Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals (Cook & Hussey, 2002)
This can especially be applied to occupational therapy equipment that we use and learn about so frequently.

The wobble switch is an example of such a piece of equipment. With one simple touch the item the wobble switch is attached to will move and with another touch the item will stop whether it is a wheelchair or an edge of a table. The cost can be between $400 and $100 depending on the type and size. This allows people that have uncontrolled movements and usually miss out on participating in occupations to be able to have that control. The item does not need much strength to turn off and on either. 

Tutorial Seven: Linking to blogs of interest and exchanging comments.

Chosen 5 blogs:

Communication Record Provided:

             Jess Barker17 May 2012 20:38
I like the images you have found.

Thanks Jess, my younger brother is really into creative photography so he showed me a couple of really good photos.

Tutorial Six: The Internet and Online Communities

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The site’s motto is “reducing the burden of neurological disease” which instantly is obvious of the sites purpose. They share recent articles about new treatments, funding information, diversity programs, training and career awards among other features. They state that NINDS supports basic research in related scientific areas. They operate a program of contracts for funding for research and research support efforts.

Stroke Foundation of New Zealand Inc.
On the website of the site under “what we do” states: ‘Our mission is to: save lives, improve outcomes, enhance life after stroke.’ I think this site’s intended purpose is to ‘save lives’ by creating awareness about symptoms and improving recognition of stroke symptom onset and immediate response. They state to ‘improve outcomes’ by reviewing, updating and publishing National Stroke Guidelines. The intend to enhance life after stroke by offereing and organize support groups such as ‘spouce support group’ and ‘stroke clubs.’ The meet up regularly to share and gain support from each to carry on dealing with life after stroke. The funding of the stroke foundation comes from donations, grants and mainly government contracts.

Heart and Stroke foundation
This community is a volunteer-based health charity which intends to eliminate heart disease and stroke through the promotion of healthy living. They train to provide the public with information on heart and stroke symptoms to make people more aware. People can contribute by signing up, getting trained and informing public about healthy living. The make people who suffer from such happenings less alone and segregated from communities.

People choose to contribute to such communities to get outside support of what they are going through. Sometimes dealing with such illnesses with family members is too raw and difficult. They are seeking an outside opinion, voice and support. When someone posts a question or asking for help it does not only help them but those who see the online community as well. You can be anonymous which allows you to be free in what you want to talk about with strangers going through similar obstacles as you. Such sites relate to occupational concepts such as occupational justice and occupational deprivation. Occupational justice can be related to among the community as they have each experienced having the decision made for them to not participate in their own occupations. Occupational deprivation is when occupations these people are entitled to be taken away or not offered to them at all. Having this community enables these people to feel purposeful in an aspect of their life that they are completely in control of.

Lack of identity and accountability could occur through anonymity and being open to the public, not private sites, this of course would be something to look out for. Benefits of these online communities would be they can help people from all over the globe without the hassle of travel. Limitations would be not being able to have the connection of physical meetings. 

Tutorial Five: Video Production Sessions

The following videos help to explain, demonstrate and provide personal experiences of stroke sufferers. 

This video is a simple easy to follow animation about how strokes occur.

This video is about the extremely precious time frame “as soon as humanly possible” for the medical team to get blood and oxygen back into the section of the brain.

What to do to manage stroke patients more efficiently before a medical team can get to them.

This video shows the importance of not ignoring mini strokes. By following the FAST signs.

Rehabilitation program online. Shows best stroke exercise to recovery. 

Tutorial Four: Video Production Sessions

Out of the following occupational factors; occupational justice, occupational disruption, occupational transition, or occupational deprivation our group chose occupational deprivation to make our movie on. After planning and putting together a story line and setting tasks for everyone we began filming our movie. During the filming we can up with different (sometimes better, sometimes worse) ideas for the movie so the editing was also quite time consuming. We shared the tasks until our one minute movie was a satisfaction.

Each of us in the group thought of ways how people can be and are affected by occupational deprivation. We decided to relate it to our situation as being students as it would be clearer for us if we could apply the situation to ourselves. As students we can socially be suffering from occupational deprivation. We showed this in the movie by having our student actor not being able to afford going to the movies or able to buy her lunch which would be occupational deprivation because she was not able to socialize at movie or lunch events with her friends.

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

Making a cup of tea.
I chose this occupation because it is one of the oldest gestures of friendship and peace in so many different cultures. On a fieldwork placement I was on last year, tea making was used as a kitchen assessment to test cognitive and physical strengths of older people that had suffered from strokes. This was done in a simulation kitchen on the rehabilitation ward. I felt for some people this task would be familiar and relaxing for them so they would feel comfortable even though it was a “kitchen assessment” of how they could put the steps together correctly of making a cup of tea.

Tea making considers such values as doing, being, becoming and belonging. In the images I have chosen they outline these terms. Doing is shown in photo 12 of the process of tea being made. Being is shown in the photo 15 where people are part of a gathering. Becoming is shown in the photos 1, 2 and 5 where the person’s purpose and achievement is highlighted in their action of the finished product. And belonging is outlined in the photo 20 as the two people in the image are a part of each other’s company.

Examples of ethical considerations I made were not referring to the name of the placement venue to maintain privacy that I mentioned when reflecting on fieldwork links. I have stated where I sourced the photos from that I did not take myself. The authenticity of the online sources that I used seemed legitimate because several sites had the same references for each of the photos and images. For example I found some images on and the same images on and they had the same reference of where they found the images. 

Tutorial One: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

This first blog is about what information technology is and ethical issues that go with publishing information online, for example privacy issues that go with the social network of Facebook. Information Technology as defined by;
Noun; the development, implementation, and maintenance of computer hardware and software systems to organize and communicate information electronically. Abbreviation: IT

I think this basically explains the communicating and sharing of information over the internet whether it is wiki sites where people share facts that anyone can access or social networking sites where you can communicate with friends and family all over the world. This definition covers software systems most businesses rely on to function and most people in general as the technology world is ever growing.

The internet now is almost impossible to avoid. This type of technology is prevalent in workplaces, for some people it is not about enjoying the newest technology; they do not have a choice except to use it.

I am comfortable using IT because it has been part of life since I was around eight years old. I would not call myself a “computer whiz” but I know enough computer skills to navigate myself around the internet and various software that are a necessity in my tertiary education. On a day-to-day basis I will use sites such as moodle for my studies and various Microsoft office products to write assignments etc. I will use an internet banking site to manage my funds, Facebook to communicate with my friends and family around the world, and my two email accounts- one for my personal use and one for my tertiary studies. I feel like I know enough about how to use each of these sites and software I have mentioned but probably only enough to use them for specific needs. If I had studied an IT class when I was in high school I would have a wider knowledge of using each of these tools and then would perhaps class myself as a “computer whiz”. A purposeful occupation I think would be using my bank’s website to manage my account. This saves me going into the bank or calling them on a phone. Using websites that shops have created can save time shopping researching certain items to buy, even supermarkets are online now.

Privacy is a large ethical implication that arises from social networking sites such as Facebook as anything you share such as pictures or information about yourself, can be seen by people that you may not know. This can be done if your privacy settings are not set as ‘friends only’, however, even if your privacy settings are set as ‘friends only’, friends of friends can sometimes have access to viewing your information. The concept of not owning your own photos that you post on Facebook or other social networks is chilling but casually not thought into because of the website being so large it feels safe. 

References: Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.