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Rehabilitation engineering is the application of engineering principles, science and technology to improve the quality of life for those with physical disabilities. Areas often addressed include mobility, communication, driving, independent living, and recreation.

A certificate of authorization granted by Professional Engineers Ontario allows rehabilitation engineering at TOHRC to provide professional engineering services to the public.

Our Clinical Services

Rehabilitation engineering provides professional engineering consultation, design and construction of custom rehabilitation devices. A new custom device can be created or an existing device can be modified to meet the unique needs and abilities of an individual client when no suitable device is available. Often a well-designed change to an existing product can greatly increase a client’s level of independence and quality of life.

Rehabilitation engineering provides service to any person with a physical disability who has an equipment-related problem. Patients are typically adults who have complex or very unique needs.

Rehabilitation Engineering offers the following services:

  • Patient services include consultation, assessment, cost estimate preparation, custom design and fabrication of devices.
  • Modification of existing devices, testing and evaluation, fitting, repair and servicing.
  • An accessible infant crib loan program is available for patients of TOHRC.
  • Repair and servicing of patient-owned devices not made in rehabilitation engineering is only available if the device cannot be serviced locally elsewhere.
  • Consultation services are also available for rehabilitation health professionals with questions about patient devices or therapy equipment.

There are fees for some aspects of these services. Often clients are eligible for provincial or other funding assistance, which may cover a large portion of the cost. All custom work is covered by a written warranty.

Patients are expected to participate in the initial assessment or consultation, which is usually held at TOHRC. At the assessment, our team will determine:

  • the goals to achieve
  • the user’s abilities
  • other equipment that the solution must work with (ie. compatibility and upgradability requirements)
  • aesthetic preferences and cost constraints.

When optional solutions are presented, patient input is required. Often the patient will need to come in for a mounting or fitting of the customization, which could require one or two appointments. The patient is responsible for paying any costs not covered by external funding. After the device is dispensed, the patient is expected to contact Rehabilitation Engineering if they have any concerns, questions or need additional adjustments or repairs.

Our Team

Rehabilitation Engineering employs the skills of professional engineers and engineering technologists specialized in electronics and mechanical technology. The clinical engineer works with the client and their health-care professional to come up with the best solution. Often an equipment-related difficulty will be brought to rehabilitation engineering by an occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, physiotherapist or physiatrist.

Making an Appointment

Patients must obtain a medical referral. A person with a disability, a family member or friend may call or contact us for general information. Health-care professionals may call Rehabilitation Engineering to arrange a consultation appointment.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Louis Goudreau, P.Eng., Clinical Engineer
The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre
505 Smyth Road, Room 1401
Ottawa ON K1H 8M2
Tel.: 613-737-8899, ext. 75587

Last updated on: December 2nd, 2016