- Rick Aldred
Rick was born and raised in Canada where he studied philosophy and education in university, and religious studies at the graduate level. He has varied work experience, focusing for many years now on information technology. His third daughter, Eleanore, was born with complex needs in 1989; the next twelve years with her changed Rick’s life, as he awakened to the lived experience of families raising children with complex needs. This has continued through involvement with Eleanore’s Project, focusing on improving the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families in low-resource parts of the world (currently Peru). These life experiences coalesced and led Rick to found Postural Care USA in 2013 with his wife Tamara, later re-named Posture 24/7. Rick provides IT support at a clinic for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Missoula, Montana, where he is highly aware of the need for cost effective health care approaches. He spends the rest of his work day developing Posture 24/7 and Eleanore’s Project. In his spare time he is an avid amateur photographer.
- Tamara Kittelson-Aldred, MS, OTR/L, ATP/SMS
Tamara is an occupational therapist in practice for 42 years. As a specialist in pediatrics/early intervention her focus shifted when Eleanore, her third daughter, was born with cerebral palsy and profound deafness. Eventually she specialized in positioning and mobility equipment for children, youth and adults with complex needs. Tamara is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional/Seating and Mobility Specialist. While working with children during their growing years, she observed deterioration in the body shape of many despite good seating and positioning. She intuitively provided a supported sleeping posture for her own daughter at night but did not expand that to clients until a she read a paper published in England in 2000 about 24 hour postural care. She continued to use what she knew as a therapist to provide 24 hour postural care for her clients, but over time desired further training. In January 2012 Tamara studied with John and Liz Goldsmith and Sarah Clayton at Postural Care Skills, CIC in England. She implemented what she learned with clients at home and completed qualifications in Measurement of Body Symmetry, Advanced Postural Care and a Postural Care Tutor/Manager course through the Open College Network West Midlands. Since then she has studied and learned more about the fascinating history of postural management as it began in England in the 1970s. Tamara’s desire to raise awareness about 24 hour postural care in the United States led to starting Postural Care USA in 2013 — renamed Posture 24/7 in 2015. In addition to working with Posture 24/7, she also directs Eleanore’s Project. In her spare time she loves to grow, preserve and cook with food from her garden and is an avid yoga practitioner.
Arwen has lived her life in connection with persons who have complex needs. This began with family friends in a neighborhood group home, entered family life with the birth of her youngest sister, Eleanore, and continued on in various work roles connected with disability services and special education as she grew up. Following university graduation with a music degree, Arwen entered the Peace Corps where she served in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan teaching music in a special education center near Amman. This work led to her decision to pursue a Master’s degree in special education, after which she taught in classrooms for six years. Arwen’s family experience and commitment to working with those who have impairments and complex needs, together with skill in developing teaching strategies and curriculums combine well with the Posture 24/7 mission of raising awareness, understanding and skills in provision of 24 hour postural care for persons with motor impairments.