Ben Mortenson, PhD, MSc, BScOT, OT

Profile portrait of Ben Mortenson


phone: 604–675–8870



After graduating from the University of Alberta in 1991, I worked as a clinician in acute and residential care before starting graduate studies at UBC in 1998. I am an emerging leader in the field of aging and assistive technology; in 2016 I received the CIHR New Investigator Award. Outside of work, I am a father of three busy, young children and a dedicated bicyclist, recreational chorister and backcountry enthusiast.




SCI Community Forum


My research focuses on four overlapping areas: assistive technology, social participation, caregiving and outcome measurement. My work is centered on four main populations: assistive technology users, informal and formal caregivers, individuals with spinal cord injury and residents in long-term care.


Here is a link to the standardized instructions for administering the ScanCourse, dual task measure of visual scanning during ambulation/while wheeling.

ScanCourse Manual

Here is a link to the power mobility assessment safety and training guidelines we previously developed.

Safety & Training Guidelines


My teaching philosophy has its roots in the tenets of student-centred learning and the principles of adult learning. I am currently an instructor with the UBC MOT program and the on-line MRSC program.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

I am currently supervising two doctoral candidates, four MSc students, one MRSc student, and co-supervising two post-doctoral students. I also supervise a variety of MOT student research projects and have four research staff (two full-time). I have funding available for graduate students on a number of projects. If you would like to discuss graduate level training opportunities, please contact me.



  • BMJ Open
  • Disability and Rehabilitation
  • Social Science and Medicine
  • Physical Therapy (PTJ)
  • Canadian Medical Association Journal
  • Canadian Journal on Aging
  • Ageing and Society
  • BMJ: Clinical Trials
  • Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Reviewer, AGE-WELL Highly Qualified Personnel Competition
  • Reviewer for CIHR Project Grant Competition
  • Reviewer for Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Grants Review Committee


  • Chair, Clinical Faculty Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Canadian Association on Gerontology
  • Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists
  • Assistive Technology Journal Editorial Board Member

Select Publications

*link to articles provided when possible*

Sharon Jang, R. Lee Kirby, Laura Hurd, Sandra Hobson, Richelle Emery & W. Ben Mortenson (2023) Wheelchair Skills Test in simulated versus community settings: a mixed-methods crossover study of experienced motorized mobility scooter users, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2023.2252004 (Free e-print)

Mahsa Khalili, Angela Eugenio, Allison Wood, Machiel Van der Loos, W. Ben Mortenson & Jaimie Borisoff (2023) Perceptions of power-assist devices: interviews with manual wheelchair users, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2021.1906963 (Free e-print)

W. Ben Mortenson, Alfiya Battalova, Laura Hurd, Sandra Hobson, Richelle Emery and R. Lee Kirby (2023) Correlates of self-reported Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire scores of new users of mobility scooters: a cross-sectional study, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2021.1874065 (Free e-print)

Emma M. Smith, William C. Miller, Ian Mitchell, W. Ben Mortenson, Alex Mihailidis (2023) Evaluation of the feasibility of an error-minimized approach to powered wheelchair skills training using shared control, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2020.1849434 (Free e-print)

Dennis R. Louie, W. Ben Mortenson, Michelle Lui, Melanie Durocher, Robert Teasell, Jennifer Yao & Janice J. Eng (2021) Patients’ and therapists’ experience and perception of exoskeleton-based physiotherapy during subacute stroke rehabilitation: a qualitative analysis, Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1989503 (Free e-print)

Jaquelyn Webber, Jennifer Wuschke, Bonita Sawatzky & W. Ben Mortenson (2021) Evaluating common approaches to improve visibility of wheelchair users, Assistive Technology, 33:4, 201-205, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2019.1608478 (Free e-print)

Kristine A. Theurer, Robyn I. Stone, Melinda J. Suto, Virpi Timonen, Susan G. Brown & W. Ben Mortenson (2021) ‘It makes life worthwhile!’ Peer mentoring in long-term care—a feasibility study, Aging & Mental Health, 25:10, 1887-1896, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2020.1849023 (Free e-print)

Darien Merrick, Kyle Hillman, Alice Wilson, Delphine Labbé, Alex Thompson & W. Ben Mortenson (2021) All aboard: users’ experiences of adapted paddling programs, Disability and Rehabilitation, 43:20, 2945-2951, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1725153 (Free e-print)

Mahsa Khalili, Chelsea Jonathan, Nicole Hocking, Machiel Van der Loos, W. Ben Mortenson & Jaimie Borisoff (2021) Perception of autonomy among people who use wheeled mobility assistive devices: dependence on environment and contextual factors, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2021.1978565 (Free e-print)

Rushton, P. W., Mortenson, W. B., Viswanathan, P., Wang, R. H., Miller, W. C., Hurd Clarke, L., & CanWheel Research Team. (2017). Intelligent power wheelchair use in long-term care: Potential users’ experiences and perceptions. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12(7), 740-746. doi:10.1080/17483107.2016.1260653.

Mortenson, W. B., Demers, L., Rushton, P., Auger, C., Routhier, F., & Miller, W. C. (2017). Psychometric properties of a power mobility caregiver assistive technology outcome measure. PLOS ONE, 12(6): e0178554.

Mortenson, W. B., Jang, S., Goldsmith, C. H., Hurd Clarke, L., Hobson, S., & Emery, R. (2017). Feasibility of a systematic, comprehensive, one to one training (SCOOT) program for new scooter users: Study protocol for a randomized control trial. BioMed Central Trials, 18(1), 235-243.

Rushton, P. W., Labbé, D.,Demers, L., Miller, W. C., Mortenson, W. B., & Kirby, R. L. (2017). Understanding the burden experienced by caregivers of older adults who use a powered wheelchair: A cross-sectional study. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 3(0), 1-8. doi:10.1177/2333721417703736

Shing, J., James, L., Mortenson, W. B., Mattie. J., & Borisoff, J. (2017). Experiences with and perceptions of an adaptive hiking program. Disability and Rehabilitation, 0(0): 17. doi:

Mahmoud, H., Qannam, H., Zbogar, D., & Mortenson, W. B. (2017). Spinal cord injury rehabilitation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Time to rehabilitation admission, length of stay, and functional independence. Spinal Cord, 1-6. doi:10.1038/sc.2016.165.

Hazem Qannam, Husam Mahmoud & W. Ben Mortenson (2017) Traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Time to rehabilitation admission, length of stay and functional outcome, Brain Injury, 31:5, 702-708, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1286386

Martin Ginis, K. A., Evans, M. B., Mortenson, W. B., & Noreau, L. M. (2017). Broadening the conceptualization of ‘participation’ of persons with physical disabilities: A configurative review and recommendations. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 98(2), 395-402. doi:

Mortenson, W. B., Hurd Clarke, L, Goldsmith, C. H., Jang, S., & Kirby, R. L. (2017). Measurement properties of the Wheelchair Skills Test for scooters among experienced users. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 0(0), 1-6. doi:10.1080/17483107.2017.1280546. 

W. Ben Mortenson, Laura Hurd Clarke, Charlie H. Goldsmith, Sharon Jang & R. Lee Kirby (2018) Measurement properties of the Wheelchair Skills Test for scooters among experienced users, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13:1, 60-65, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2017.1280546

Wada, M., Mortenson, W. B., & Hurd Clarke, L. (2017). Older adults’ online dating profiles and successful ageing. Canadian Journal on Ageing, 35(4). 479-490. doi:10.1017/S071114980816000507.

Mahmoud, H., Qannam, H., Zbogar, D., & Mortenson, W. B. (2017). Spinal cord injury rehabilitation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Time to rehabilitation admission, length of stay, and functional independence. Spinal Cord, 1-6. doi:10.1038/sc.2016.165.

Giesbrecht, E. M., Smith, E. M., Mortenson, W. B., & Miller, W. C. (2016). Met and unmet needs for mobility device, home modification, and personal assistance among wheeled mobility device users in Canada. Health Reports, TBD. [accepted]

Paula W. Rushton, Ben W. Mortenson, Pooja Viswanathan, Rosalie H. Wang, William C. Miller, Laura Hurd Clarke & CanWheel Research Team (2017) Intelligent power wheelchair use in long-term care: potential users’ experiences and perceptions, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12:7, 740-746, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2016.1260653

Mortenson, W. B., Sixsmith, A., & Kaufman, D. (2016). Non-digital game playing in older adults. Canadian Journal on Aging, 36(3), TBD.

Demers, L., Mortenson, W. B., Fuhrer, M. J., Jutai, J. W., Plante, M., Mah, J., & DeRuyter, F. (2016). Effect of a tailored assistive technology intervention on older adults and their family caregivers: A pragmatic study protocol. BioMed Central Geriatrics, 16(103), 2-11. doi:10.1186/s12877-016-0269-3

Bishop, A. M., & Mortenson, W. B. (2016). Discharge criteria and follow-up support for dementia care units. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35(3), 321-30. doi:10.1177/0733464815577140

Kaufman, D., Sauvé, L. Renaud, L., Sixsmith, A., & Mortenson, W. B. (2016). Older adults’ digital gameplay: patterns, benefits, and challenges. Simulation & Gaming, 1-25. doi:10.1177/1046878116645736

Mortenson, W. B., Sixsmith, A., & Beringer, R. (2016). No place like home? Surveillance technologies and the meaning of home in old age. Canadian Journal on Aging, 35(1), 103-114. doi:10.1017/S0714980815000549

Mortenson, W. B., Hoag, E., Higgins, R., Emery, R., & Joyce, L. (2016). Stakeholders’ perspectives related to the development of a scooter training program. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 11(4), 289-294. doi:10.3109/17483107.2014.1001449

Smith, E. M., Giesbrecht, E. M., Mortenson, W. B., & Miller, W. C. (2016). Prevalence of wheelchair and scooter use among community dwelling Canadians. Physical Therapy, 96(8), 1135–1142. doi:

Mortenson, W. B., & Kim, J. (2016). A scoping review of mobility scooter-related research studies. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 53(5), 531-540. doi: