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Permobil Blog / October 6, 2022

The custom wheelchair seating relationship: it sounds complicated

The custom wheelchair seating relationship: it sounds complicated

In the seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility world, you’ll often hear the word custom. Custom seating can mean different things to different people, which can be confusing, intimidating or even exciting, depending on who you ask.

As a clinician, when I first started hearing others recommend custom seating as an option for a cushion or backrest, all I could think of was that sounds really complicated. I didn’t understand why the person’s functional and medical needs needed a custom solution, or what that even meant.

A relationship is defined as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”1 Whether you are a wheelchair user, a clinician, or a CRT (Complex Rehab Technology) provider, you may have or had a relationship with custom seating in the past. You may have used it, recommended it, or even built a custom product for someone. There are many different custom products available that could meet the user’s medical and functional needs. If everyone in the wheelchair seating relationship isn’t connected, this does complicate things!

Medicare defines custom seating as a product that is individually made for a specific person, made by starting with basic materials (such as liquid foam or a block of foam), and created by using a technique to capture the individual shape of that person.2 That still sounds a bit complicated, right? It also sounds pretty cool! Having something made specific to you is also an option, especially if you’ve tried a bunch of other cushions and couldn’t find the right ‘fit’. Custom could be the answer you’re looking for!

There are different techniques to make custom seating products. For 10 years, the Inception cushion has been connecting the relationship between the user, the clinician, and the provider by using the Inception Simulation Kit to design the perfect cushion together. Check out what’s in the Kit by watching the video below.



Using the Inception Simulation Kit, you can build from the base layer up with your choices of high quality foam, positioning pieces, gel inserts, and now ROHO® inserts to design the cushion for you, the individual.

Relationships don’t have to be complicated. Custom seating doesn’t have to be either! Designing with positioning and pressure offloading materials specific to what you need should be a team effort. When you’re working together, goals and confidence are achieved.

Inception cushion create custom with confidence


  1. Oxford languages Oxford Languages | The Home of Language Data (oup.com)
  2. Custom Fabricated Wheelchair Seat and Back Cushions - Correct Coding - Revised - JD DME - Noridian (noridianmedicare.com)

Share ButtonNicole-LaBergeNicole LaBerge, PT, ATP

Portfolio Marketing Manager - Seating & Positioning

Nicole B. LaBerge, PT, ATP is a Physical Therapist with 17 years of experience in a variety of clinical settings. She currently works for Permobil as a Portfolio Marketing Manager of Seating and Positioning products. Her past clinical practice has included seating and mobility for adult and pediatric populations, with a focus in neurological rehabilitation, power standing and wound care. Nicole has presented at the State and International Levels, has multiple publications in peer reviewed journals and enjoys sharing her passion for patient advocacy, efficiency, and clinical outcomes. She currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Clinician Task Force.

Categories: Complex Rehab, Seating and Positioning, Cushion

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