Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

This tutorial looks at different assistive technology that O.T's can issue to their clients. To help us with our learning on this subject, my class and I received a visit from Trev from Hamilton's Star Mobility.

According to Gerard (2001) 'assistive technology' is defined as: "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities..."

I define assistive technology as adaptive technology designed to assist in activities where one can not use the common technology designed for the 'norm' group of people.

Voice of America (2007) state:Devices that help them perform an activity are called assistive technology. Assistive technology can help people reach their personal and professional goals”. 

I have chosen 'the big read switch' as an assistive device to talk about.
Image retrieved from:

The usual price of one of these switch's (according to Star Mobility) is $135.00.

This assistive technology device is for individual's who do not have the ability in their hands to do fine motor skills when using a computer/mouse. By having an easy to push, large, red switch the individual will fins using a computer less taxing and a lot easier. Therefore this technology helps to increase the occupational engagement that the individual has when using a computer.

Here is the link to go directly to Trev's Star Mobility page with the information about the switch:
Star Mobility

A big switch can also be used for other purposes, such as for music classes. Sounds can be recorded and with a push of the button the sound can play. Here is a clip as an example of this:

This is also a good example of occupational disruption being treated by using assistive technology to allow Amber to join in on the music session.

I hope you enjoy :)

Reference List:

Gerard, D. (2001, December 17). In What is assistive technology?. Retrieved May 17, 2012, from

How Technology Can Help Disabled People Live More Normal Lives (2007, April 3). In Voice of America. Retrieved May 17, 2012, from

Tutorial Six: The internet and online communities

This tutorial required me to search for online communities that relate to my fieldwork two placement. My placement was at Arts for Health so therefore the communities I have found relate to the topic of rehabilitation and arts. These online communities are where people with access to the internet can go on and comment/interact with people in similar situations.

This website contains an artist online community where people can post pictures of their art and chat about art on there. There are even specific forums for topics such as rehabilitation. People are able to choose forums that best suit their personality or possible struggles and comment in them.
People who like to look at art can also enjoy this site. It also allows people to see how art has helped people get through any occupational disruption (e.g. art has helped the writer of the rehab forum as she was suffering from addiction)
This is the link:

This website contains a lot of artistic information. It is a New Zealand website so therefore it would fit the clients at Arts for Health well as they would know there is other New Zealand-er's linked to the site. People can go on this website to access information on jobs, buy, sell and exchange art, find information on art projects or books and comment on forums regarding art and their own art. Advice and ideas are shared reciprocally between users.
This is the link:

This website contains information and support for adults suffering from mental illness. People who access this site can also post in forums and go on live chat with other members to offer advice and support. This is relevant to my placement as many of the clients there were suffering from a mental health illness. Many people suffering from a mental illness would benefit from this site as they can access it to gain information and support which is highly valuable to their recovery. 
This is the link:

Ethical considerations for all three of these sites include: the fact that to talk on the forums the user must log in with a username and password. This allows the user to make up a username instead of having to supply their real name- this means that they can retain privacy. Adding a picture of themselves is also optional which further increases privacy. An advantage of these communities is that people who may be shy and do not like to share with people face to face are able to share their work and chat to people with equal ideas and thoughts. A disadvantage of sites like these is that no one is really sure who runs the forums and if anything gets checked or managed (e.g. if someone starts posting inappropriate things). Also the fact that people can get quite attached to an idea of how some is which could cause them to get hurt if they some how got feelings for another member.

Tutorial Five: Video Production Sessions

My second fieldwork placement as a first year Occupational Therapy student was at Arts for Health. Here I was able to join in the daily creative ideas of about 3-6 weekly clients.

This video shows this ladies process of making a card. At Arts for Health they did not make cards with this equipment but this video shows this card makers choices and thinking around the task. She talks about her ideas on how she wants the card to look and her preference. A lot of the clients liked to express their ideas and what they found appealing when making their cards.

This video shows one of the popular crafts at Arts for Health. Many clients made magazine holders as gifts for friends and family.

This video content relates to Arts for Health as both of my supervisors there are very talented and regularly showed clients tips about painting and how to paint.

As this placement used Art and Craft as rehabilitation, many of the clients chose to use colours they enjoyed or that made them feel better when painting.

Many of the clients preferred to draw at Arts for Health. One client chose to draw nature. He was very good at it and paid a lot of attention to detail. His work was amazing!

Through use of these activities in this setting, clients who attend and share their creativity at Arts for Health are able to to experience relief and rehabilitation, as well as enjoyment.

Tutorial Four: Video Production Sessions

I found this tutorial a lot of fun! There was many laughs shared by myself and my three other group members in the making of this short film!

As a group we were given the topic: 'Occupation Disruption'. This is defined as: "...the transient or temporary inability to engage in occupations due to life events, environmental changes or acute illness or injury" (Molineux, 2004). 

After I managed to dig out ALL of my old barbies and barbie things we got to work on what we thought was a very creative idea to portray our idea of occupation disruption. As we had already sat down and planned what we would do for the video we all had a clear idea of what our end product may be like. All four of us had an active part in planning and creating this video. We had small hurdles to jump such as one male member of the group wanting to re-live his childhood and 'blow the barbies up' (haha) and also not being able to get the barbies to stay straight or being able to push the barbie car in a straight line. Thankfully one of my group members is very skilled in film editing so she was able to finish off and perfect our video.

In this video the main barbie experiences occupation disruption when she is hit by a drunk driver and loses a leg. This disrupts her ability to be involved in her occupation of dancing. Thankfully an O.T helps her out and gives her a prosthetic leg so that she can continue to dance with her friends.

Happy viewing, I hope you enjoy it :) 

Molineux, M. (Ed.). (2004). Occupation for occupational therapists. N.p.: Blackwell Publishing.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tutorial Two: Occupational Engagement, Doing, Being, Becoming, Belonging

Arts for Health- Art and Craft as rehabilitation
I chose this occupation as I had an active role in observing, facilitating and participating in it during my time at Arts for Health in fieldwork 2. Arts and crafts are used at Arts for Health as a way of rehabilitation and therapy in adults who are ill. Many deal with mental illness, arthritis and some even cancer. I was involved in helping the service users enjoy and participate in Art and Craft meaningful to them.
Here is a picture presentation I have made to show this occupation:Pio presentation1
View more presentations from Shan7433.

Today 'occupation' can be interpreted in many different ways by different professions. To me occupation is doing, becoming and being. Rowles (1991) states: "In recent decades, occupational therapy has tended to emphasize knowing and doing as focal concerns" (p.265). This is very important to me as I feel knowing and doing are very important in today's occupational therapy practice. 

Do is defined as: " To perform or execute" (The Free Dictionary, 2012). Wilcock (1998) states: "Doing or not doing are powerful determinants of well-being or disease" (p.249). 

Be is defined as: "To exist in actuality; have life or reality" (The Free Dictionary, 2012).

Become is defined as: "To grow or come to be" (The Free Dictionary, 2012).

Belong is defined as: "To be a part of something else" (The Free Dictionary. 2012).

The pictures in my picture presentation all represent these concepts as in each one someone is doing an activity, being involved in the activity, becoming better at the activity and belonging to the art group or the world of art and craft. A good example of this is Figure 7.

There were three ethical considerations I had to think about when making this presentation. The first was that I did not include the face's of my model or the pictures from my placement, this was for privacy as i have put them on the internet here. The second was that I did not disclose any names of clients. And finally the third was that I made sure none of the pictures were offensive to anyone or any culture/religion. 

I hope you enjoy my pictures :)

Reference List

Rowles, G.D. (1991). Beyond performance: Being in place as a component of occupational therapy.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, 265-271.

Wilcock, A.A. (1998b).  Reflections on doing, being becoming.  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 248-256. 

Farlex, . (2012). In The free dictionary by farlex. Retrieved May 17, 2012, from

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Information Technology and Ethical Issues

Well here we go..This is my first actual blog post :)

Over the next term I will be posting about different topics that we cover in one of my classes. This is all new to me so sorry if I end up waffling too much or just sound completely random! This first post is around the topic of Information Technology and Ethical Issues.

Schneider (2012) states that information technology " is the use of computers and software to manage information" and (2012) states it is: "the development, implementation, and maintenance of computer hardware and software systems to organize and communicate information electronically".

I too agree with these definitions but if I was to define 'information technology' myself I would also add that I believe I.T does not just mean computers anymore as now days we have iPods, phones and tablets that can transfer and hold information. These technologies are also developing day by day as new versions get released more often.

This video is a small look at what information technology is today and it definitely shows the development of technology in today's century, especially in how we communicate information electronically. Information is now all around us and it is uncommon for the majority of people in western society to have no contact with society. Its now in the latest flat screen televisions that can connect to sky or the internet or the fact that many people now own their own computer or laptop, some even own a tablet like an iPad, or the fact there will soon be more cellphones in the world than there are people and the latest touch screen phones, such as the iPhone, can do pretty much everything you need- email, photos, videos, skype, phone calls, txts and even can be used as a torch! Western society has changed with technology as develops. It is now uncommon for a business to run with out technology. Doctors can now enter information into their desk computer, Occupational Therapists can now store SOAP notes on their computers about their clients, Medlab workers can send patient information away via email and teachers can record their students learning or reports on the computer and email out their results. Many business's have also made their companies accessible through internet by making websites or facebook pages detailing what their business is about and adding photos. Basically technology has made everything at our finger tips. I just recently signed up to internet banking. This has been around for a few years now but I have never really needed it but now that I have it I use it all the time and wish I had got it sooner! A few of my classmates rolled their eyes when I told them and they explained how they were past that and now use phone banking..even I can't keep up with technology and I'm not even in my twenty's yet!

I feel that I am comfortable using I.T as it's development is helping me and expanding what I can do. I.T is incredibly useful for me as I study as I constantly have to use the internet to retrieve, find and enter data (such as this blog :) ). The ever increasing internet information has become a big part in my life as well as the social network bases. Some would say I am a little addicted to Facebook... ;) but I find this network site to be very useful for communication. Facebook has become such a huge network as people of many ages are using it to keep in contact. I hardly ever use the land line now and I feel I am moving away from even txting people as I find talking to them on Facebook to be more enjoyable and preferable to me. This does worry me a little! Although it does make calling someone a kind of exciting act, seeing as it is a rare thing.

I find the development of I.T is moving very quickly, sometimes too quickly. Cellphones are getting new connection deals therefore making old ones not work anymore, the same for t.v channels at the moment- soon everyone will need to have a t.v with freeview- what are poor students like myself meant to do with our perfectly good old t.vs when we dont have spare cash for a freeview box? This is an example of technology making us change- this does not make me comfortable. Also the fact that the older generation in today's society do not all use technology as the younger generation do. What are they meant to do when all this technology changes around them and they are still stuck in the past? If their grand children are anything like me they will get sick of teaching granddad how to send that email for the 100th time (I still love you Granddad ;) ).

In my past placement I have seen I.T be used when my superviser  entered her SOAP notes for her clients into a computer program. This meant that she could organise and store her notes on the computer and easily find them if she needed them. Also in another placement I saw the service use photos from the setting to put onto their website to show the general public what they did there. I can't see many issues around these O.T's using I.T apart from the fact that computers break down and if that was to happen to the first O.T's computer she could potentially lose all her notes.

I feel that I.T has a further great role to plan In O.T intervention, especially with the generations today that need O.T help and are used to an everyday life using I.T. I know that my lecturers use I.T a lot for their own research on the internet but also when they use email to email their students, post work for them on moodle and also refer to internet links in class for learning purposes. I.T is a very useful tool for research in the ever changing medical world as there is a constant need for O.Ts to stay up to date with the latest terms, medicine, equipment etc. I feel that I.T can also be used in rehabilitation as a way of getting the attention of younger clients and helping people get back to their everyday lives seeing as may will have some connection with a computer.

Ethical implications can and do arise from the high use of I.T these days. It is not uncommon for people to receive txt or cyber bullying seeing as it is so easy to get a cell phone number or find someone on, say, Facebook. For this reason I.T can have a negative effect. Other problems to do with private information being shared can relate to social networks and emails. My own hotmail account recently got hacked and unfortunately a lot of my contacts got sent spam messages (sorry guys!). It is so easy for technology wizz's to do this type of hacking these days which is definitely an ethical implication, especially if they steal your personal information and pretend to be you.

Therefore I conclude that although I love technology, I feel its fast adaption is moving too quickly with little education around the negatives around I.T today.

Be back soon for my next post :)


Reference List

information technology (2012). In Retrieved March 20, 2012, from

Schneider, L. (2012). Information Technology - Definition and History. In Retrieved March 20, 2012, from