Yakima Wheelchair Cushions

Hi, I’m Erik from Howard’s Medical your local expert on medical supplies. Have you ever sat on a hard bench for a few minutes and just couldn’t get comfortable? Imagine if that hard bench was the only option you ever had to sit? This is the case for some people in wheelchairs where it is their only place to sit all day long. There are over fifty different kinds of cushions from air, foam, and gel or a combination of each. If you know someone in a wheelchair who is not using a cushion or if you just want to make the chair you sit in at work more comfortable, stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave.


Yakima, Washington. – Erik Mickelson, Manager at Howard’s Drug and Medical Supply, has earned the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, (RESNA). RESNA is the nation’s leading organization who serves people with disabilities seeking technology applications to maximize their ability to function in their home, school and/or work environment.

A trained assistive technology professional analyzes the needs of individuals with disabilities, assists in the selection of the appropriate equipment and trains the consumer how to properly use the specific equipment. The Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification recognizes professionals who have reached an internationally accepted standard of knowledge in assistive technology and who demonstrate a commitment to provide only the highest ethical standards of practice.

To become certified as an Assistive Technology Professional, one has to meet three requirements: eligibility (through work and education), a rigorous exam that tests competency in the field of assistive technology and an ongoing commitment to practice the highest ethical standard. RESNA has a process to review any violations of these standards which can be reported to the professional standards board.

Mickelson graduated with a BA at the University of Washington and a Masters of Divinity from Denver Seminary started Howard’s Medical Supply in 2004 in Selah.

“Most candidates find that the certification process itself is highly valuable,” said Anjali Weber, MS, ATP and Director of Certification, RESNA. “The application, work experience and comprehensive examination are an excellent evaluation of their commitment to the field, and the requirement to abide by the RESNA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics help assure that individuals with assistive technology needs will be offered quality service.”

To earn ATP Certification, Mickelson had to demonstrate an understanding of the main principles of assistive technology including psychology and sociology; human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics; basic etiologies and pathologies; learning and teaching; assessment procedures; service delivery systems and funding for assistive technology; design and product development; product knowledge of assistive technology devices; integration of person, technology and the environment and professional conduct.

“We see certification as an integral part of RESNA’s commitment to the education of its members and the development of the assistive technology profession in general,” said RESNA past-president Glenn Hedman, MS, PE, ATP, RET.

There are almost 4,000 rehabilitation engineers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, suppliers, educators and other professionals who have successfully received their certification. Mickelson is only the second ATP in Central Washington.


RESNA is a non-profit professional organization whose members serve people with disabilities seeking technology applications to maximize their ability to function in their environment. RESNA’s membership consists of researchers, clinicians, suppliers, manufacturers, consumers and educators who work in nonprofit and for-profit companies. All members are dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas and information for the advancement of assistive technology.

For more information on the ATP certification, visit www.resna.org.

Canes and Walking Sticks

Unfortunately, your doctor or loved one might not suggest you need a cane or walker until after you have a fall and have a scare. Canes are used to help you compensate for an injury or disability. The most common medical supply on the market today is the cane and at Howard’s we carry thirty kinds. We have different colors, folding canes, ergonomic canes, adjustable canes, acrylic canes with different styles of patterns and prints, derby canes, and canes with seats on them, you name it, and we probably have it and most are under $20.

One of the many benefits of using a can is you get to keep your independence. I will admit using a cane is a downside of aging but it is a whole lot better than falling down and possibly permanently your independence. People who use a walking aid stand up straighter and move with more and more control.

When sizing for a can, it is best to see your health care professional. The cane users should be wearing his/her normal shoes and be as upright as possible. His/her arms should hang at their sides with a normal bend at the elbow. If possible, have a second person place the cane upside down and the bottom portion of the cane should be even with the bend in the wrist. If you do not have a second person, you can use a tape measure to measure the bend of the wrist of a person to the floor to get the right length of a cane.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.