Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive technology

Assistive technology Act (2004) defines assistive technology as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, wheter acquired commercially, modified, or costumized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities" (cited in Polgar, 2006). Assistive technology basically refers to objects in which their purpose is to enable individuals with disabilities to perform a or many tasks. 

One piece of assistive technology employed during my first placement in a school setting was a SMART Board. If you think about an iPad, well it is very similar but on a bigger scale. The main difference is that the SMART Board is separated from its engine. It relies on a computer to work. The SMART Board comes with a software program called Notebook. Together, they provide a multi-sensory learning experience. The SMART Board (SB) 600 series, more specifically the SB640 has a touch surface of 97.5 cm × 73 cm and a size of 106.7 cm × 81.3 cm × 13 cm. This model  cost approximately 999 US dollars and that does not include the mobile floor stand or the speakers (SMART Technologies, 2012). During my placement, I realised that it gave opportunities to students with fine motor difficulties or speech difficulties to actively take part into the class activities. This assistive technology strongly relates to occupational justice as it is a resource required to enable occupational participation that satisfy the users (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010).

Here is a video of the SMART Board 640.

Here is a video from SMART technology

Christiansen, C. H., & Tonwsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living (2nd ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

Polgar, J.M. (2006). Assistive technology as an enabler to occupation: What's old is new again. Canadian  Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(4), 199-205. Retrieved from ProQuest database.

SMART Technologies. (2012). SMART Board interactive whiteboards. Retrieved May 16, 2012, from:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tutorial Seven: Linking to blogs of interest and exchanging comments

These are the five blogs I have chosen:

And here are the comments related to a point of interest.

Tutorial Six: The internet and online communities

Occupational Therapist in a Paediatric setting

Like I mentioned in my previous post, my first placement was in s school setting with children diagnosed with developmental delays. 

Just below are linked my three online communities which I think relates to the setting as they cover different aspects of the occupational therapy practice in a school setting.

The first online community is the American Occupational Therapy Association which can be viewed by everyone. To post any comments or view comments from other members, the users need to possess a Facebook account. This website relates to its geographical location and is an organisational online community as the participants are therapists and students practising in AmericaThis webpage enable the users to share stories and  new discoveries in the field of practice. It is an interactive site as the users are able to  post  comments and link information. I personally thought it was an appropriate online community as it cover the entire scope of practice of occupational therapy. By exchanging information, users can learn and relate to others' experiences. 

The second online community provides support to parents, family, friends and caregivers that have a child with a spectrum of disabilities. The users do need to register via their email address and although it is an American website, it provides great information and good online support for world-wide users. For the first and second online communities, the founders have to be aware of the comments posted on their website as it could be disruptive to others. 

The third online community is less interactive as no comments can be added onto the website. The purpose of this web organisation is to provide information about autism in New Zealand. It not only provides information about the autism but helps the users to find support. It has many subheadings like the news on autism and the events coming up to facilitate access to specific information. You do not need to register to access the information on this website. This website relates to its geographical location as the main content is related to New Zealand.

These online communities strongly relates to occupational justice as they provide a resource to enable occupational participation that satisfy the users (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010). They connect people from various place to share information. They also enable silent observation prior to participation without having any cost. These websites have the ability to share information very quickly. Like any internet content you need a computer to access it. A negative aspect of my first online community is that the full content is not accessible to all. 

Overall, these website provides support, easy access to information and a sense of belonging.

Christiansen, C. H., & Tonwsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living (2nd ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

Tutorial Five: Video Production

My first fieldwork placement was in an intermediate school part of the special education unit. During this placement, I met some wonderful students that were diagnosed with autism.  My understanding of autism grew as I discovered the different aspects of this disorder as well as the presence of sensory issues. These sensory issues called sensory processing disorder affect the children's learning.

Here is a short video explaining autism.

Here is a short video that explain the basics of sensory processing disorder and how occupational therapy can help.

This next video gives a brief overview of Anna Jean Ayres' work as an occupational therapist. Her focus was in the area of sensory integration dysfunction, called today sensory processing disorder.

During my placement, I also learned about sensory rooms and the benefits it provide to children that suffer from sensory processing disorder.

This next video shows how sensory processing is disrupted and how a sensory room optimises the individual's learning.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tutorial Four: Video Production Sessions

Barbie’s Occupational Disruption

We were given a one minute length video to produce. The video needed to be linked to one of these four concepts: Occupational justice, disruption, transition or deprivation. 
As a group, (Craig, Shannon, Kate and I), we decided to base our film on occupational disruption. Christiansen and Townsend define occupational disruption as a “transient or temporary condition of being restricted from participation in necessary or meaningful occupations, such as that caused by illness, temporary relocation, or temporary unemployment” (2010).
We brainstormed some ideas and came up with the story of Barbie who becomes impaired and cannot dance until she meets an occupational therapist...
Although Shannon did not like the thought of her Barbie getting run over by the Barbie car, she let us use all of her Barbies and Kens. Craig not wanting to play with the Barbie dolls became the cameraman. Kate, Shannon and I made the Barbie dolls come to life.
We brainstormed again for the movie montage. Once we all agreed, I edited the movie and then made sure the group liked the final result.
If you want to be able to read what Barbie says, just click on the bottom right corner to make the video full screen. Enjoy the movie!

Christiansen, C. H., & Tonwsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living (2nd ed.) New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

Tutorial Three: Blog creation Tasks

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tutorial 2: Occupational Engagement , Doing, Being, Becoming and Belonging.

Walking is define by the Oxford English Dictionary as “ the action of moving or travelling at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn so that one of the feet is always on the ground; the action of taking exercise or recreation on foot; (also) a person's gait” (2012). I choose walking as my occupational engagement because with dementia clients, physical activity is a very important occupation to keep them their body and mind active. During my placement, the activity coordinator and I would take some residents for a 30 minutes’ walk.
Hammell explains “Being” by defining it to a time for individuals to analyse, think, reflect and experience their life (2004). It is also said to be “concerned with the nature of existence” (Hammell, 2004). Figures 1 to 6 represent the meaning of “being” as they outline human beings within different life stage. I focused on feet to keep the concept in relation to the occupation of walking.
Figures 7-12 focus on the occupational performance which in this case is walking.  Hammell suggests that “doing” includes goal-oriented activities which give purpose to individuals (2004).  The reason I chose figure 12 is to illustrate that walking is an important activity to keep the brain active, especially the slow down the dementia process.
Hammell suggest that becoming is like picturing future selves (2004). It is ideas that individuals vision future opportunities and process ideas and change (Hammell, 2004). Figures 13-18 illustrate the “becoming” aspect of walking. By walking you become more active, your body is revitalised.
Rebeiro et al., stated in Hammell (2004), define belonging as “the necessary contribution of social interaction, mutual support and friendship, and the sense of being included, to occupational performance and life satisfaction” (2001). The feeling of belonging contributes to the enjoyment of an activity (Hammel, 2004). Figure 14-20  are related to the belonging aspect.
Hammell, K. (2004). Dimensions of meaning in the occupations of daily life Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(5), 296-305.
The first ethical consideration I had to be aware of when taking the photo of the rest home was to respect the privacy of the people passing-by. I waited for them to leave the front property so they would not feel like I was taking photos of them. The second ethical consideration when taking my own photos was to ask my subject for their verbal consent to use the photos on my blog. I made sure that they felt comfortable to participate in my photos and proposed the idea without putting pressure to do it. My third ethical consideration was to appropriately reference the images I chose online. I made sure to keep the “url” to be able to go back to the website if needed.