Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

Assistive Technology products can enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist them in communication, education, work or recreation activities, in essence, help them achieve greater independence and enhance their quality of life. Assistive Technology devices can help improve physical or mental functioning, overcome a disorder or impairment, help prevent the worsening of a condition, strengthen a physical or mental weakness, and help improve a person's capacity to learn, or even replace a missing limb.

Gerard, D. (2001, December 17). What is Assistive Technology? Retrieved May 2, 2012, from RehabTool Assistive Technology:

My interpretation of this meaning is that assistive technologies are tools used to enrich people with disable life, to keep them doing their meaningful occupation.  AT is giving people back their independence and improves their functioning ability.

Here is an Assistive technology called the Key U see Keyboard.

The function of this keyboard is making using a computer easier. They have larger print to see the letters and numbers for vision impairment.

The size of a keyboard are the standards keyboard 21-23 cm width= 7-8 cm. The costs of the key boards range from $125.00-$430.00. The keyboard I will be talking about is NZ$125.00.

So how can this keyboard increase occupational engagement for the user?

This keyboard can help with seeing the keyboard easier. The keyboard has super large and bold print for those who have visual impairment. These keyboards have one push functions on them so you can use the computer easily. The keyboards also have night colours to see the letters and number more clearly. With having such features will increase occupational engagement for people with vision impairments.

  • Colour: Black, Ivory or yellow.
  • 12 Internet and multimedia hot keys
  • Enhanced 104-key layout
  • High Quality membrane switch
  • Large and bold 41 point typeface on the keycaps 
  • High Quality membrane switch 
  • Withstand over 10 million keystrokes 
  • USB connector

Below are some video showing these easy use keyboard.

This first video clip shows you how you can over-come occupational deprivation by making it able to see the keyboard and able to use your computer again for the visual impairments.

The second clip here is showing how a client who is visual impairment using the keyboard. This clip shows occupational transition. Showing he had changed his keyboard due to circumstances of his disabilities.

This link above is a site where you can visit and discover all the different colours and visions to suit your needs. It also shows a kids version.

I hope this have been a great post and you may have help someone close to you or now have the knowledge to pass on when someone has issue with visual impairments and using their keyboard.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Tutorial Seven: Linking to blogs of interest and exchanging comments

Here I researched other blogs on the worldwide web and if you look to your left and scroll down you will find six blogs to discover. They are all related to Occupational Therapy, written by Occupational Therapists as well as Occupational students.

This first blog is for discussion, knowledge on different equipment, job announcement, book release; awards receiving news, treatment technique develop by Occupational Therapy student. It is a great way on how others are learning and creating around the world and a great contact to others around the world, get discover new information and ideas. 

The second blog is written by Dr Anne Zachry. This blog is about Paediatric Occupational Therapy tips.  This blog is to show many different craft activities and resources to help other have an idea on what to do in occupational therapy with children. Dr Anne does state that everything she has discussed is general guidelines. However, take a look and learn some new ideas when working with children. 

My third blog is written by Bradley Pascoe. He is an Occupational Therapies Student studying in Hamilton in New Zealand. He has created this blog to show what he is learning within the profession as well as learning how technology works within the occupational world.  

The fourth blog is written by Anita Hamilton. Anita has designed this blog for Occupational Therapists to discuss the issues of technology to help improve technology within the profession as well as Occupational therapists to have a greater understanding of the technology and what benefits it can provide others.

The fifth blog is written by Briony Barnett. Briony is a student studying Occupational Therapy in Hamilton. On this blog you will take a journey with her on what she is learning around occupational therapy and technology within her profession.

The lucky last blog is written by Salford University Occupational Therapists Educators in the United Kingdom. This blog discusses everything and anything to do with the Occupational Therapy world. It is a great way to see how the Occupational Therapists work and think in the United Kingdom.

I hope you enjoy taking a look at these blogs and maybe learning something new or help with ideas around the Occupational Therapy profession.

Tutorial Six: The internet and online communities

TradeMe Community

The purpose of this site is for anyone with an illness, disease or injury, to talk about it, get advice and pass on their stories to offer support. This is a great site, to talk about your problems, share anything that helped you, or just get off your chest what happened to you in a negative way or positive way. Many people create their threads and share their ideas or start a thread to talk about their issues. Others chose to join others threads and discuses their relieve topic. 

Stroke Survivor Blog

‘The purpose of this blog is to share how a stroke affected our lives, and how through our stroke recovery experience, stroke survivors, stroke victims, caregivers and others might find peace, hope and encouragement’ This is a great site to find out everything about strokes. It shows a person journey through stroke and how family and they have coped. You can leave your comment about their stories and/or ask question. This blog is a great way to understand everything you need to know about strokes and how it can affect your lifestyle. 

The Stroke Recovery Blog (The Stronger After Stroke Blog)
The purpose for this site is to help people who have had a stroke to have a community, where they do not feel alone. People can view the site and find equipment that can help them with everyday activities. You can also find other blogs/communities on this site to support your needs and to see how family and friends are being affected. You can interactive by reading articles, viewing interesting blogs they have posted as well as other internet sites for equipment they may help after stroke.  You can contribute by writing comments and asking questions on any article you would like for information. The ‘community’ of this blog writes blogs and questions about articles and equipments and thank others for the support.

Why contribute to this community?

Individuals may contribute to Trademe thread to help gain a community of people who they can talk to and get advice to feel as they are not the only person, feeling the way they do. It is a way of learning through others.

Stroke Survivor Blog is a way of seeing another person’s story and how they coped with having a stroke. It is a way in connecting with someone and seeing how they deal with the issues and learn ways of dealing with their problems through their wisdom and research.  It is also a way for friends and family to learn what their family member will be going through and how they can help.

The stronger after stroke blog is a great way to contribute your ideas on what can help others. On this site you can share information, technology, research and advice to assist others to gain knowledge on what is best to help your needs. It is also a way to contribute to show your new design of adaptive technology that may help others.

What is to seek on this site?

The blog on TradeMe is a site where you can seek reassurance. A way of communicating when you are feeling isolated.  Learn you are not alone with a feeling of comfort, support and faith that things can and will get better. A contact with a community that understands what you are going through and build up friendships with others.

Stroke Survivor Blog is a way in seeking comfort. Seeing how a man and his family dealt with his stroke and a way that may help you have a better understanding on how others feel and cope.

The Stronger after Stroke Blog is a way of seeking information and discovering new technology.  It’s a great way in educating yourself with what new information surrounds stroke and how you can help others or yourself. It is another great way for health professionals to keep up with new technology and see what is helping others.

What way is the information shared?

Trademe blog is blog where you shared the same topic and discuss the topic. However, you discuss what you think on the topic with your own ideas and thoughts. There is no judgement. People just have a chance to discuses both views.

Stroke Survivor Blog is a way of reading someone else’s story and giving you the choice to respond and leave a comment.

The Stronger after Stroke Blog is a way of learning new information from others. This blog is a way of sharing information within your community.

How do these sites relate to the concepts I introduced to you in my video?
(Occupational Justice, Occupational Disruption, Occupational Transition and Occupational Deprivation)

Occupational Transition: ‘Circumstances creating a change in the nature or type of occupational engagement pursued by or available to an individual. Such transitions may be the result of choice, changes in physical or mental status, life transitions, geographical change, geopolitical strife, or other factors’ (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010, p.421).

Occupational Deprivation: ‘A term credited to Wilcock and Whiteford (2000) referring to a state of prolonged preclusion from engagement in occupations of necessity or meaning due to factors outside the control of an individual, such as through geographic isolation, incarceration, or disability (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010, p.420).

Christiansen, C. H., & Townsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to Occupation (2 ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
In the three blogs I have introduced to you in this post all could have the concept of occupational deprivation due to a power cut or the internet not working. Also if people using the blogs are typically older people due to that age being affected by strokes, and the education of the use of computers and therefore not being able to use these blogs due to unable skills of knowledge.

In the Stroke Survivor Blog and The Stronger after Stroke Blog show occupational transition. They are transiting from a lifestyle with limit health concerns, to having a stroke and now understanding they have to slow down and maybe need to rely on others more. These site can help them talk about their frustrations and be educative in new technology that can help them transition easier.

Is there a potential ethical issues that may arise in these communities?

With any site there is a possible for ethical issues. First issue need to be understood is privacy. There is a chance that your information publish can be copied in others work or used as an example. Also when signing up to sites, if you chose usernames and profiles where others can find out who you are, others will know who wrote the comments and what information you are sharing.

There is also a need to understand that not all information being publish could be correct. If reading information, research around the topic would be the best action and if any medication advice, people should talk with their doctor. However, TradeMe Blogs have the right to remove any information that seems offensive. Other people’s blogs or sites may have the same rights; however the information provided may be unclear if correct or incorrect.

What are the benefits and limitations do communities provide relate to traditional geographical communities.

There are a number of benefits being connected to online communities. It makes is easier to learn new information from around the world quicker and at the reach of your fingertips. It is also a great means to build relationship and share views and options with no face to face contact, making if feel free of judgement.   Another benefit is the accessibility of site. It is easier for people who are maybe bed bound or unable to independently leave their home to access the communities and build insight into their chosen topic.

Limitations of these online communities is that the connection is not face to face and people using these blogs could get hurt or not get the chance to explain their thoughts. Another limitation is that if the person using the blogs may have a learning disability and therefore not being able to understand or read the information on screen.

I hope you enjoy these sites. I hope they help you or your loved one.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Tutorial Five: Video Production Sessions

In this post I will have five videos of Sit n be Fit, which is an occupation I did on Fieldwork 2. We would gather in the IDEA Services van and drive down to the local hall and join the community to be part of the exercise group "Sit n be fit".  I believe these videos bring meaning to my clients lives. They bring back function to do meaningful activity and they also create belonging and friendships when doing the exercises. They may be exercises by observing but they bring a sense of belonging to others. Enjoy and don't be afraid to try!

Video one shows sitting on a chair and using the elastic band to strengthen arm muscles.

Video two shows exercises with using a ball

 Video three shows dancing

Video four shows exercising  with weights.

Video five shows general body exercises

Monday, 2 April 2012

Tutorial Four: Video Production Sessions

In tutorial four we were asked to do a one-minute movie on four topics. These topics where occupational justice, occupational disruption, occupational transition or occupational deprivation. In my group of Sally, Grace, Abby and I chose the topic of occupational deprivation. The four of us researched the meaning of occupational deprivation. This topic means: ‘...the concept of occupational deprivation was described as a condition in the environment in which individuals, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to participate or engage in occupations necessary for their spiritual, mental, physical, or economic well-being for extended periods’(Christiansen & Townsend, P. 323).

From this understanding we came up with an idea of a vertically challenged person could not reach the top cupboard to get the equipment needed to make their cup of tea. For the person to get the equipment down, they needed to relay on the person next to them. This is showing that the kitchen is only designed for one group in mind and has not catered to all groups of people. This shows occupation deprivation. Once filmed in 5 sections, we got together and put all scenes together on the programme called My Movie. We then added music, which we downloaded from the internet, changed the movie to black and white and put it on our blogs. We hope you enjoy. A special thanks to Ben for acting, and Hillary and Tim for all equipment! Christiansen, C. H., & Townsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to Occupation (2 ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Tutorial Three: Blog Creation Task

Here I designed my own blog. I have played around, changed the colour, font and design. So here it is! Hope you enjoy what I finally picked.

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

Sit & be Fit join the community:

This occupation I have chosen is from Fieldwork 2: IDEA Services. This setting is for people with intellectual disability to get together and be involved in the community. An activity I helped in was Sit ‘n’ be Fit. This was done in the location community, for everyone who wanted to get together for exercise, dancing, have morning tea and form friendships. I helped by supporting with exercises, using money and assisting with transport. I chose this occupation because I feel it explains and shows the message of doing, being, becoming and belonging. 

Doing:  “They ‘do’ daily tasks including things they feel they must do, and others that they want to.   Human evolution has been filled with ongoing and progressive ‘doings’, which, apart from enabling the species to survive, has stimulated, entertained and excited some people and bored” (Wilcock, 1998, p.249).
Being: “Being is about being true to ourselves, to our nature, to our essence and to what is distinctive about us to being to others as part of our relationships and to what we do”(Wilcock, 1998, p. 250).
Becoming: “...being a sense of future, even though in many ways becoming is dependent on what people do and are in present, and on our history in terms of cultural development” (Wilcock, 1998, p. 251).
Belonging: “Belonging to describe the necessary contribution of social interaction, mutual support and friendship, and the sense of being included, to occupational performance and life satisfaction” (Reberiro et al, 2001).

The illustrations in the powerpoint explain the meanings: 

Figures 4, 17, 18: These figures show becoming part of a friendship/group
Figures 19, 20: These figures show belonging to a friendship/group
Figures 2,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,15,16:These figures show doing the activity
Figure 14: These figures show being yourself

In this PowerPoint the ethical considerations made were:
  1. Authenticity of online sources and referencing all information of images
  2. Consent from creating common material to use from Kate Loader, Grace Bell and Vanessa van der Klip
  3. Created common material due to privacy issues of people taking part in Fieldwork 2.


Wilcock, A.A. (1998b).  Reflections on doing, being becoming.  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 248-256.
Rebeiro, K.L., Day, D., Semeniuk, B., O’Brien, M., & Wilson, B. (2001). Northern initiative for social action: An occupation-based mental health program. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 493-500.