Jenni Dabelstein

Physiotherapist
BPhty, Grad Dip HSc (HEd), MHSc (HSM), MBA, APAM

Throughout 3 decades of experience in both Australia and the USA, Jenni has worked extensively within the disability sector as a clinician, researcher, vendor, business operator, educator and consultant.  An Assistive Technology specialist with a focus on biomechanics, complex seating and wheeled mobility, Jenni has a passion for finding the best fit for each client.  She has a keen interest in recreational and sports wheelchairs and is a Paralympic Boccia Classifier.  Jenni is a Board Member of ARATA, and a member of RESNA.  Jenni has an in-depth understanding of specialised equipment and the industry that surrounds.


Jenni founded Gizmo Rehabilitation in 2010 with a vision to support each client to select gear that is the best fit for their own needs goals, lifestyle and aspirations.  Gizmo operates as an independent seating & equipment consultancy with a clientele including both adults and children with a range of conditions including acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other complex presentations.   Jenni also works as an educator and consultant within the disability sector and provides a range of professional training and mentoring services to allied health professionals and organisations who desire to build their capacity and competence in the area of assistive technology.  

Smarter Advice about Specialised Equipment

The Journey so Far....


I graduated from the University of Queensland as a Physiotherapist in 1986 (whew that was a long time ago).  After a stint working in rural Queensland, I worked as a children's physiotherapist in rural and urban settings in Australia until 2002.  During this time, I worked extensively as a community-based clinician with children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury, as well as with typically developing babies as an educator within the maternal and child health system.  It was during this period that I developed what was to become a career-long interest in biomechanics and rehabilitation equipment, observing how the use of specialised equipment can not only help children with special needs to achieve mobility and function, but when set up correctly, can encourage their bodies to grow and develop more typically.

From 2002-2006, I worked in specialist settings in the USA and because of my background and interest in equipment and biomechanics became heavily involved in wheelchair, seating, prosthetic and orthotic prescription.  It was while working in a gait laboratory in South Carolina that I really began to apply the biomechanical principles that clinicians use to select orthotics and prosthetics to help select rehabilitation equipment, especially wheelchairs.  It was a lightbulb moment when I realised that how clients' bodies move and change can be profoundly influenced by how the equipment they use every day is set up and fit.  During follow-up studies on adults, I developed a keen appreciation of the long-term effects of equipment selection (both positive and negative), especially equipment such as wheelchairs, that are used for long periods every day. 

Moving back to Brisbane in 2007, I worked as a consultant clinician in the area of Assistive Technology for both children and adults, while completing a Master of Health Science and later an MBA in 2000.  Because of my strong clinical background and business acumen, it was a natural jump to the retail sector where I moved into sales, marketing and then management roles within large rehabilitation equipment businesses from 2000-2009.  This experience on "the other side of the fence" gives me a perspective quite unique within the rehabilitation equipment industry.  I have considerable insight into the nuts and bolts of how the industry works from both clinical and business viewpoints, and can use this knowledge to help my clients achieve better outcomes.
 
In 2010 I established Gizmo Rehabilitation, using my unique skill set and experience as a physiotherapist, educator, business woman and assistive technology specialist to help both individual clients and organisations achieve better outcomes from rehabilitation equipment.  In particular, I am passionate about wheelchair and seating prescription, and I love bringing together unique solutions to suit each individual client.   I believe that a piece of equipment must not only meet each client's own unique biomechanical, therapeutic and functional needs, it must also enhance their own vision of themselves.  My clientele includes both adults and children with a range of diverse conditions including acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other complex presentations.   

I love to share my knowledge, so I continue to work  as an educator and consultant within the industry and most recently have begun providing a range of professional mentoring services to allied health professionals and organisations who desire to build their capacity and competence in the area of assistive technology.  I have a keen developing interest in recreational and sports wheelchairs and am a National Paralympic Boccia Classifier.  In 2019, I joined the Board of the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association, keen to be part of shaping our industry in these exciting times as the NDIS scheme changes the AT landscape.

Every day I learn something new, from you, my clients - so thanks!  The journey continues....