Amputee Walking School - NEW LOCATION and NEW CONTENT!

We are very excited to announce that the Summer Session of the Amputee Walking School on June 21, 2017, will be held at the Linthicum office of Dankmeyer!

We are hosting Todd Schaffhauser, Dennis Oehler, and the staff from University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) as we work with amputees and their families, as well as healthcare professionals, to learn new exercises and challenge themselves in a safe environment.

I have gained enormously from attending the Amputee Walking School, and would encourage other amputees to participate as well. I expect to be there in June!  - Dr. Andrew Rubin - Lower Limb Amputee

This change of location gives us a chance to share our environment with those attending and allows our staff to meet and greet attendees as they volunteer at the evening session.  This day of fun and education will consist of two sessions. A day long course for healthcare professionals and an evening event which focuses on amputees and their families. If this sounds like something you would like to take part in, then read on!

For healthcare professionals we will be hosting a new course, Lower Limb Prosthesis Prescription and Training Considerations. This course will take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and will feature Todd, Dennis, Megan Sions, PT, PHD, DPT from the University of Delaware, and our own Mark Hopkins, PT, CPO, MBA. Registration is currently open for this event. Lunch will be provided.  We do ask that you register early as space is limited.

Our evening event, which takes place from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, brings those with lower limb loss into the activity. This is where amputees, their friends and family can learn ways to be more active! The evening event continues to be free for all, however we do ask that you register in advance so we can keep track of those attending.

All of us at Dankmeyer hope you will join us for this event. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Amy Smith at (410) 636-8114 ext 269 or email us at info@dankmeyer.com

We also encourage you to check out the programs available at University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI).

If you would like to read more about previous sessions of Amputee Walking School, please continue to read below.  

Amputee Walking School March 2017 Complete!

Despite the best efforts of winter storm Stella to wreak winter havoc with the SPRING Amputee Walking School, the show must go on - even if it was a week later!  The morning of 3/15/17 started off with Todd and Dennis - the lecturers - having their flight into Baltimore cancelled due to poor weather in the Northeast.  Organizers at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) and co-hosts the Amputee Support Group and Dankmeyer, Inc.  quickly moved to make arrangements to hold the event one week later on 3/22/17.  Program attendees were notified of the change and calendars were re-marked!  Participants assembled on the new day and had a very successful event.

As always, Amputee Walking School is designed to bring Paralympians Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, self-styled “professional amputees”, together with other amputees and their families, physical therapists, prosthetists and support staff - to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd and Dennis, both lower limb amputees, co-founded the Amputee Walking School (AWS) in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.

Professionals attended the afternoon lecture session before regrouping with patients and their families for the evening session.  Some attendees were returning to display progress made since their previous session.  Newcomers were learning for the first time the exercises and were able to benefit from working with the others.  One of the younger attendees met Dankmeyer's 3DPO intern and had a great time entertaining him - very creatively building an obstacle course the two of them could negotiate.  (If you would like to read more about 3DPO, you can click here.)

Announcing new location and course content for 6/21/2017

Dankmeyer, Inc - one of the co-hosts, was pleased to announce that the June 21, 2017 session would be held at Dankmeyer's Linthicum office.  In addition to switching up the location, the professional content will be new - Lower Limb Prosthesis Prescription and Training Considerations.  Todd and Dennis will be joined by Mark Hopkins, CPO, PT, MBA and Megan Sions, PT,  PhD, DPT as lecturers.  This physical therapy education session will be held from 9-4, with lunch provided.  Amputees will be welcome to attend that as well as the evening Walking School from 4-7.  Applications have been submitted for Physical Therapy continuing education credits.  Registration information will be forthcoming, so mark your calendars.   

Now, enjoy some pictures of the action!

RESCHEDULED!!! to March 22, 2017 Spring Amputee Walking School is open for registration!

DUE TO WINTER STORM STELLA - This event has been rescheduled to March 22, 2017.

Registration for the event is open for professionals and individuals with lower limb loss and their families.    

All events will be held at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) on Kernan Drive in Baltimore. This series is co-hosted by the Amputee Support Group, UMROI and Dankmeyer.  It aims to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Para-Olympians and self-styled “professional amputees”, co-founded the Amputee Walking School in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  

Professionals can attend the session from 1-7pm.  This is a very inexpensive way to earn CEU's.   Information and registration for this session can be found by clicking here.

Patients and their families can attend the evening session. There is no charge for attending the event from 5-7 pm! If you would like to register, click here.

Previous amputee participants are encouraged to attend more than one session.  If you haven't been before, you might find reports of previous sessions fun and inspiring! Please scroll down through OLDER news on this page.

We also have dates for the other 2017 sessions:

  • June 21, 2017
  • November 15, 2017

If you are interested in attending, either as a professional, or as an amputee, put these dates on your calendar.  You won't want to miss these events. 

Fall 2016 Amputee Walking School

Who are these guys?  Why, they are Paralympians Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler of course!  And if you are a lower limb amputee and haven’t met them yet - check this out so you can see what is going on.  Three or four times a year, Paralympians Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler pack their bags and leave Long Island, New York and head to Baltimore for a day of Amputee Walking School.  They just completed their November 2016 visit on Wednesday the 16th.   Organized by the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) at their Kernan Drive location, the event is co-hosted by the Amputee Support Group and Dankmeyer, Inc.  Amputee Walking School is designed to bring these self-styled “professional amputees” together with other amputees and their families, physical therapists, prosthetists and support staff - to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd and Dennis, both lower limb amputees, co-founded the Amputee Walking School (AWS) in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.

Todd and Dennis began Wednesday with a morning lecture and demonstration session, primarily attended by physical therapists and clinicians, to review the biomechanics of walking, running and other physical activities with a prosthetic device.  They discuss how to assess functional level and learn to look for indicators of successful prosthetic use. Stretching and strengthening exercises for amputees are reviewed along with some treatment approaches for their patients.  Todd and Dennis provide a number of practical demonstrations with the lecture and share their experiences as Paralympian Track and Field Medalists to educate and inspire these clinicians on sports and recreational opportunities for amputees.

In the evening, lower limb amputees and their families participate with a number of demonstrations and exercises, led by Todd and Dennis.  Attendees of the morning session also participate in order to work directly with amputees in the practical application of their morning studies.  As a special surprise, a local ABC News affiliate came to do a story on the event, and you can see that report by clicking here.

Todd and Dennis are very attentive and hands-on, guiding and encouraging professionals and amputees alike.  There is usually a lot of laughter and fun mixed in the with hard work - friends reconnect to encourage each other in their progress and learn new techniques.  The goal is for patients to come to multiple programs in order to gauge their progress after any continued therapy and practice of the exercises.

New attendees are always welcome.  The schedule for 2017 events is:

  • March 15, 2017
  • June 21, 2017
  • November 15, 2017

Save these dates when you are planning your 2017 calendar. You won’t want to miss these classes!  Now, check out this gallery of pictures from the November 2016 edition.

 

 

Get Registered for Fall 2016 Amputee Walking School

Registration for the November 16, 2016 event is open.  There are two sessions.  

All events will be held at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) on Kernan Drive in Baltimore. This series is co-hosted by the Amputee Support Group, UMROI and Dankmeyer.  It aims to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Para-Olympians and self-styled “professional amputees”, co-founded the Amputee Walking School in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  Their stories and training sessions are an inspiration to the professionals, amputees and their families who attend.

Previous amputee participants are encouraged to attend more than one session.  If you haven't been before, you might find reports of previous sessions fun and inspiring! Please scroll down through OLDER news on this page.

The morning session is for professionals.  This is a very inexpensive way to earn CEU's.   Information for this session 11/16/16 from 1-7pm, can be found by clicking here.  To register for this session  click here.

Patients and their families can attend the evening session.  For information, click here. There is no charge for attending the event 11/16/2016 from 5-7 pm! If you would like to register, click here.

Dates for 2017 sessions have been announced!

Dates for the 2017 series of Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations (Amputee Walking School) have been announced.  

  • March 15, 2017
  • June 21, 2017
  • September 16, 2017 in conjunction with the Adaptive Sports Festival
  • November 15, 2017

If you are interested in attending, either as a professional, or as an amputee, put these dates on your calendar!  

 

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old....

“Make new friends, but keep the old…” goes an old childhood rhyme.  And that is what happened at the June 15, 2016 evening edition of the Amputee Walking School.  With the highest number of attendees ever, the event (more formally known as Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations) boasted a number of returning participants as well as new ones - including a group of youngsters who met each other for the first time, and were very intent on playing with each other. One of these enterprising young toddlers decided to investigate some of the equipment the adults were working on, and was determined to master walking on the treadmill. Another decided that weightlifting was more his style.

Other attendees greeted each other like old friends and welcomed the first timers.  The University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute welcomed back Dennis Oehler and Todd Schaffhauser for the popular program. Todd and Dennis are both individuals with amputation who were Gold medalists in the 1988 Seoul Paralympics, and now travel around the country with this event. Hosted locally by the Amputee Support Group, and co-sponsored by Dankmeyer Inc. Prosthetics and Orthotics, the program is designed for people with lower extremity amputation.  Free to participants and their families, amputees are encouraged to attend all sessions, in order to gauge their progress and introduce them to new exercises.  Many clinical volunteers participate, including physical therapists and prosthetists.  As this particular event was in the evening following a session of Certified Peer Visitors training from the Amputee Coalition, many of the newly certified joined in the fun as well!  

The Dankmeyer-sponsored Amputee Coalition (AC) Certified Peer Visitor (CPV) training took place during a day long program leading up to the evening event.  Coordinated by Dankmeyer, thirteen trainees attended the classes lead by instructors from the Amputee Coalition.  These candidates had to submit an application to AC to be considered for the program.  

The CPVs' enthusiastic response underscored the need for enhanced amputee peer support in our region. These new CPVs - including both amputees and parents of amputees - should enable us to leverage some of the resources that were gathered at the AC June 2016 conference to better serve new amputees. A member of Dr Stephen Wegener's program development team (Promoting Amputee Life Skills, or PALS) has expressed interest in enabling the new CPVs to administer the PALS program for Dankmeyer's new amputee patients. The soon-to-launch online version of this program utilizes 8 "self-management lessons", each requiring approximately 25 minutes to complete,  and the idea is to offer all new Dankmeyer patients an opportunity to meet with a CPV who can facilitate PALS training and by so doing, work with new patients over an extended period of time.

Our hope is that such a program will help to ensure that our new patients begin acquiring the skills they need to participate effectively in their care plans, from the onset of treatment. Discussions with parents of amputee children at the CPV training session have emphasized the fact that a significant percentage of child amputees' parents feel a need for a more effective parent peer support group within our local limb loss community. One of our young patient's parents is especially interested in creating a local Parent Peer Support Group in coordination with Dankmeyer and a local institution, and I am currently reaching out to the staff there,  the Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC), and the International Child Amputee Network (I-CAN) to get advice regarding how to best develop a parent-led peer support group for our local area.

Enjoy some pictures from then June 2016 Amputee Walking School here:

June 2016 AWS, Case Management and Certified Peer Visitor Training on the Way!

Yes - that's right!  A combined training event will be held June 15, 2016.  In addition to the Amputee Walking School session, and the Case Manager continuing education session, Certified Peer Visitor training will be offered. And all of the three individual sessions are FREE! FREE! It's time to register for the event that so many clinicians, case managers, and lower limb amputees have previously enjoyed, or train to become a Peer Visitor.  All events will be held at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) at 2200 Kernan Drive in Baltimore. 

Everyone that comes that day is welcome at the evening AWS session from 4-7pm to network and participate.  THE MORE THE MERRIER!!

Amputee Walking School for Persons With Amputation

The Amputee Walking School series is co-hosted by the Amputee Support Group, UMROI and Dankmeyer.  It aims to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Para-Olympians and self-styled “professional amputees”, co-founded the Amputee Walking School in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  Their stories and training sessions are an inspiration to the professionals, amputees and their families who attend.  Previous amputee participants are encouraged to attend more than one session - all free of charge.  New attendees are always welcome!

NEW THIS SESSION: Special activities geared toward child amputees!

Registration for amputees can be found at Eventbrite.com.  This session will be 4-7 pm.

Case Manager Continuing Education

For information and registration for the Case Manager Training, 2-4 pm, click here.

Certified Peer Visitor Training Class

In addition to Amputee Walking School, a day long training session will be held for those interested in becoming a Peer Visitor.  This 8am - 4pm program is hosted by UMROI and Dankmeyer, in collaboration with the Amputee Coalition (AC).  This session is from 8am - 4pm at the same location.  There is a short list of criteria to look at, to help interested parties understand what the AC expects.  That criteria can be found by clicking here.

If you find you are interested,  or you want more information about becoming an Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitor, please contact Kevin Hughes at khughes@dankmeyer.com, or you can call 410-636-8114 for questions and registration. The application for this program can be found by clicking here.  Lunch will be provided to all registered participants.

 

Did you attend March Amputee Walking School?

The 2016 season of Amputee Walking School events kicked off on March 16, 2016, the first of three dates this year. The University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute welcomed back Dennis Oehler and Todd Schaffhauser for the popular program. Todd and Dennis are both individuals with amputation who won their running events in the 1988 Seoul Paralympics, and now travel around the country with this event. Hosted locally by the Amputee Support Group, and co-sponsored by Dankmeyer Inc. Prosthetics and Orthotics, the program is designed for people with lower extremity amputation - with sessions for clinicians and patients with their families.

The program includes instruction in exercises for people with amputation to improve walking, balance, coordination and even running!  Included is testing for balance and walking speed with retests at subsequent events to track your progress.  Attendees always enjoy the positive atmosphere and team work that is found at these events.  Here are some pictures of the March event we hope you will enjoy - and please plan to join us for the next three sessions:

  • June 15, 2016 - in conjunction with the Amputee Coalition Peer Visitor training

  • November 16, 2016

 

New Dates for Amputee Walking School

Dates for the 2016 series of Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations (Amputee Walking School) have been announced.  

  • March 16, 2016
  • June 15, 2016
  • November 16, 2016

If you are interested in attending, either as a professional, or as an amputee, put these dates on your calendar!  

Registration for the March 16 event is open.  

For amputees and their families, click here.  There is no charge for attending!

For professionals who want to learn more about this event, click here.

All events will be held at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute (UMROI) on Kernan Drive in Baltimore. This series is co-hosted by the Amputee Support Group, UMROI and Dankmeyer.  It aims to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Para-Olympians and self-styled “professional amputees”, co-founded the Amputee Walking School in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  Their stories and training sessions are an inspiration to the professionals, amputees and their families who attend.

Previous amputee participants are encouraged to attend more than one session.  We will post additional information as soon as it becomes available.  For pictures and video of previous sessions, please scroll down through OLDER news on this page.

Summer Advanced Gait Training/Amputee Walking School Complete!

Hosted by the Amputee Support Group, Dankmeyer and the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Institute co-sponsored the June 17, 2015 session of Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations.  Fourth in an ongoing series of training sessions, the morning program of Advanced Gait Training and the evening session of Amputee Walking School is designed to bring Para-Olympians and self-styled “professional amputees” Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler together with other amputees and their families, physical therapists, prosthetists and support staff - to teach and practice training exercises for lower limb amputees.  Todd and Dennis, both lower limb amputees, co-founded the Amputee Walking School (AWS) in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  This June session was attended by over 30 clinicians and patients and they were joined by a large group of physical therapy students from the University of Maryland.

Mark Hopkins, CEO of Dankmeyer, a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist and a Physical Therapist, notes: “Amputees need training to use their prosthesis properly as only so much can be overcome with technology.  A long term relationship between the patient and his/her support team is motivation for progress and helps to facilitate confidence in device use.  There is a starting point for prosthesis use - the patient progresses from beginner, to intermediate and advanced use.  Over a span of time there is a change of ability and progress in movement.  Sometimes people plateau or digress, or are ready for the next advance.  This multi-disciplinary clinic is designed for long term followup and provides a touchstone for all involved to evaluate progress.   For these reasons this is a continuing education training program - it is meant to benefit all levels for gait training, and patients are encouraged to attend AWS regularly."

Todd and Dennis begin with a morning lecture and demonstration session, primarily attended by physical therapists and clinicians, to review the biomechanics of walking, running and other physical activities with a prosthetic device.  They discuss how to assess functional level and learn to look for indicators of successful prosthetic use. Stretching and strengthening exercises for amputees are reviewed along with some treatment approaches for their patients.  Todd and Dennis provide a number of practical demonstrations with the lecture and share their experiences as Para-Olympian Track and Field Medalists to educate and inspire these clinicians on sports and recreational opportunities for amputees.

 

After this morning session, clinicians are joined by patients in a gym environment where Todd and Dennis rotate through clinician/patient workgroups for hands on exercises.  Patients work with assistive devices, Therabands, stairs, balance boards, balance beam, agility gym floor ladder, and even an obstacle course in some cases.  With these tools they work on fast walking, self selected walking speed, varying steps, running, balance and knee control, movement on stairs and curbs, and for some pediatric patients, perhaps kicking a soccer ball. Family members who are present are able to participate and assist in these activities.

Todd and Dennis never fail to engage all attendees in an educational experience that is both fun, active and informative.  We look forward to their next visit Wednesday, October 21, 2015.  Specific information will be available soon.


Dankmeyer co-sponsors Summer Amputee Walking School

Hosted by the Amputee Support Group, Dankmeyer, Inc. is pleased to co-sponsor the next session of the Amputee Walking School along with the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Institute (UMROI). This session will be held on June 17, 2015 at the Institute at Kernan Hospital.

Instructed by ParaOlympians Todd Schaffauser and Dennis Oehler, the event is for clinicians, amputees and their families.  Clinicians can attend from 1pm - 7pm for continuing education hours.  They will be joined at the evening session, from 4:30pm - 7pm, by amputees and their families, where they will all work with Todd and Dennis on a number of advanced gait training techniques.  Todd and Dennis, both lower limb amputees, co-founded the Amputee Walking School in 1989 to take amputees beyond traditional rehabilitation.  They are well known for their personable interactive clinics.

You can register by calling 410-448-6802 or email sschaffer@umm.edu.  Details are available by clicking on any of the links below.

UMROI has an update on their website about the clinic here.

PT's, PTA's, Physiatrists, Orthotists, Prosthetists, and PT/PTA Students who are interested in attending can get details for registration here.

Attendance for amputees and their families is free.  If you are interested in attending, please get details here.

You do not have to be a Dankmeyer patient to attend and attendance is free for amputees and their families!

REGISTER TODAY!  You don’t want to miss this!  News and pictures can be found below from previous sessions.  These stories would give you an idea of just what the Walking School is about.

 

FREE to Amputees and their Families! Amputee Walking School

We are very proud to be partnering again with The University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and The University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network to present an Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations.  The all-day event will be on November 8 ,2014 and it will be conducted by two dynamic Para-Olympians, Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler. The event is open to all and in addition to being educationally advantageous, it is truly inspirational. Videos and pictures from last Spring’s Walking School are here on our website.   

If you are a lower extremity amputee, or a referral source that has a patient who you feel could benefit from this training, please invite them to come and let us know that they will be attending by either notifying your Dankmeyer Practitioner contact or by calling our main office at 410-636-8114.  Click here for the registration form.

You do not have to be a Dankmeyer patient to attend and attendance is free for amputees and their families!

REGISTER TODAY!  You don’t want to miss this!

Amputee Walking School Recap Summer Session 5/2014

On May 31, 2014, we were very proud to be partnered with The University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute and The University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network to present an Advanced Gait Training for Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations.  The all-day event was conducted by two dynamic Para-Olympians, Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler.  Held at Baltimore City Community College, the participants attended some lectures, and spent a lot of time in the gym!  There, they explored different stations where they could work on balance, technique, and in the case of the children - just play!

One of our attendees was Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Major, who lost both of his legs in an IED attack in Ramadi Iraq in 2006. See one of his walking school exercises in this video: