Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tutorial Eight - Assistive Technology

"Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible" (AccessIT, 2012).
I believe that assistive technology is anything that helps people be able to perform tasks that they could not do otherwise. Assistive technology is a wide range of items starting from computers that have enlarged keys for people thats eyesight may not be as good anymore, or people who struggle to keep their hands still. Talking photo albums are also classified as assistive technology as they help people remember memories that otherwise they could not remember, for example dementia patients or people who struggle with sequencing. There is a massive amount of different assistive technology around today making it more accessible to everyone to use. Having assistive technology widely available means that individuals with disabilities can increase, maintain, or improve their functional capabilities.

One item that was brought along to the assistive technology tutorial was the talking photo albums. According to Star Mobility & Disability centre website, the talking photo albums "Combine literacy and ICT with this Talking Photo Album. Record your stories, timetables or messages with our Talking Photo Album. Simply insert drawings or photographs into the plastic wallets and record up to a 10 second message on every page. Great for Dementia patients" (Star Mobility &Disability Centre, 2011). Sizes of the talking photo album range from smallest being A5 to the biggest being A3. The cost of the talking photo album depends on the size you buy. An A5 photo album will cost $98, the A4 will cost $115, and the A3 will cost $122. This equipment helps increase occupational engagement for the user by allowing the user to remember what has prehaps happened in the past. With dementia patients, most are unable to recall past experiences, people or items, but can recall the most recent experiences. If you use a talking photo album you are able to show them photographs which may jog their memory so they can remember something. This can then in turn increase occupational engagement as they will be able to be able to socialise more with their family as they can remember an experience which may be relevant to what is happening around them. Dementia falls into the category of both occupational deprivation and occupational disruption. Occupational deprivation refers to ""the deprivation of occupational choice and diversty due to circumstances beyond the control of the individual. It differs from occupational disruption as deprivation occurs over a extended period of time so is not so temporary" (Molineux, 2004). Occupational disruption is "a temporary ability to engage in occupations due to life events, environmental changes or actue illness or injury" (Molineux, 2004). This relates to dementia as when people are diagnosed they are not affected and they are able to continue their normal occupations. As the person deteriorates over time they start to be in a state of prolonged preclusion as family aren't sure what they can and can't do, and as their memory fades the family start to spend less and less time with them. With using the talking photo album the family can reconnect with the person with dementia and this will decrease the exclusion that would happen otherwise.

Two examples showing the use of the talking photo album are shown below

This first clip shows The Queen Elizabeth Hospital using talking photo albums to try aid dementia patients to remember people or items.

This second clip shows some speech students using the talking photo album during a literacy activity, this shows how the talking photo album can be used in different ways

Full Reference
Molineux, M. (2004). Occupation for occupational therapists. Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tutorial seven - Linking to blogs of interest and exhanging comments

Interesting Blog about using the Wii as part of rehab

This blog is about an OT who works with autistic children

Chronic Pain Blog

This blog is about an OT who uses recycled items in her work

Pediatric blog

A blog about a OT who uses hippotherapy

Tutorial six - The internet and online communities

For this tutorial I will find 3 communities that relate to people who have dementia or alzehimers

"Alzheimers New Zealand is a support and advocacy organisation for people with dementia, their carers, family, whanau and community". This site is interactive as you are able to ask questions about dementia, scroll around the whole website and learn about dementia and share your own story, poem or blog about living with dementia or how you are personally affected by dementia. People can contribute by getting in touch with Alzheimers New Zealand. You are able to contribute financially or volunteer your own time to help out.

"Age Concern helps serve the needs of older people by offering nationally contracted services, education, resources and national leadership". This site is less interactive then the first site, there is no FAQ's section however you are able to email if you have a question that is not answered. Mostly this website is just information. However you are able to contribute, by emailing or ringing the number on the website. You can donate financially, volunteer or help with research.

"Carers New Zealand is now a national registered charity which provides information, advice, learning and support for families with health and disability needs". This site is more interactive then Age Concern but less interactive with Alzheimers New Zealand. You can listen to the radio on this website, you can read information, and look for carer communities. People are able to contribute by emailing or ringing the number on the website. Carers New Zealand asks for financial donations to help keep the website running, however you can join the carers network for $25 per year.

People choose to contribute one way or another to each of these communities because they want to help. Most of the people who visit the 3 websites I posted have probably has had personal experience with dementia, and knows the pain and emotional strain that it takes on the family and everyone around them. If they donate, they feel like they are doing some good, prehaps being able to save another family the heartbreak and strain of what they have been through. Maybe that $20 they donate will help another family get the information and help that the first family never got. Guilt would be another reason why someone would donate, guilt for not being their when someone they knew had dementia, or being to busy to visit them, or guilt for putting them in a rest home. Some of the reasons will make them feel that if they contribute they will have done some good, after prehaps making a bad decision and regretting it. People who choose to contribute will gain recognition, a boost in pride, self esteem and confidence. The information that is shared on the pages is reciprocal, everyone can read the same information and no information is withheld.

The chosen sites address occupational deprivation and occupational disruption.

"Occupational disruption is a temporary ability to engage in occupations due to life events, environmental changes or acute injury or illness" (Molineux, 2004).

"Occupational deprivation is the deprivation of occupational choice and diversity due to circumstances beyond the control of the individual" (Molineux, 2004).

The websites I posted are aimed at trying to help people cope with the change in their life that has occurred since being diagnosed with dementia. Dementia would be both occupational disruption due to the fact it affects the persons life due to illness, dementia starts off very temporary so at first does not affect the person much, and they are able to continue their normal actitivites, however dementia over time gradually worsens and then falls into the catergory of occupational deprivation as dementia takes over the persons life and occupations and there is nothing the person can do, it is beyond the control of the individual. There is no cure for dementia either so they have no say in what will happen. These websites are trying to bring information regarding dementia to the people who suffer from it, so they know what will happen, and what can be done about it (medicines, exercises) and things that prevent dementia from worsening (exercise, medicine, puzzles). The websites also state true facts, so people are aware that there occupations will be disrupted, and eventually they will be deprived of that occupation.

Potential ethical issues that may arise in this community are lack of identity and accountability, misuse, validity is questioned, and limited communication tools. As a online community there is a lack of idenity and accountability, this is due to the fact people can make up names and alias, you are not aware who you are talking to and can't hold website accountable for incorrect information. There is a huge potential for misuse as you can't stop people from posting incorrect information or misleading information. Everyone is able to read what you write and write their own comments towards what you have said. It is hard to monitor what is being written up on the sites and the moderators can be slow to take down rude or offensive material that is posted which may damage the websites reputation. There is no way you can tell if anything that is written on the websites is valid or even correct, it could be "mumbo jumbo", or it could be outdated, it is hard to tell true from false ! Being an online community there are limited communication tools for contacting others, mainly just being email, or phone.

The benefits of using online communities in relation to traditional geographical communites include having quick and fast access to information, being able to talk to other people with the same illness/injury and not having to leave your own home to do so. Whereas in relation to the traditional geographical communities you would have limited amount of people to talk to, and some of them may not have the same illness/injury, it is timely if you have to research information as you have to leave the home to do research. The limitations for online communities are lack of identity and accountability, potential for misuse, validity and limited communication tools.

Full Reference
Molineux, M. (2004). Occupation for occupational therapists. Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tutorial five - Video Production Sessions

The topic of interest which was drawn from my fieldwork was dementia. "Dementia is the decline in the memory and other cognitive functions in comparison with the patient's previous level of function as determined by a history of decline in performance and by abnormalities noted from clinical examination and neuropsychological tests" (, 2006).

How occupational therapy can help people with dementia

Part two of how occupational therapy can help people with dementia

This video clip is a real life story of a couple,one of whom has dementia

Another video clip on a couple and how they cope with dementia

This video shows an occupational therapist stimulating an dementia patient with aids

Reference list (2006). The definition of dementia. Retrieved from

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tutorial four - Video Production Session

Occupational deprivation is defined as "the deprivation of occupational choice and diversty due to circumstances beyond the control of the individual. It differs from occupational disruption as deprivation occurs over a extended period of time so is not so temporary" (Molineux, 2004).

Firstly our group brainstormed what our main idea was. Our group decided to use occupational deprivation. We quicky realised we could see around the campus some of the designs that would be limiting individuals with disabilities especially wheelchair users. We then went around the campus and filmed different areas that were especially hard to access with a wheelchair.

Full Reference
Molineux, M. (2004). Occupation for occupational therapists. Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Tutorial three - Blog Creating Task

I have created a Blog for participation in occupation, I followed the instructions to construct the blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tutorial two - Occupational Engagement, Doing, Being, Becoming and Belonging

View more PowerPoint from jai090909

The chosen occupation that I focused on was arts and crafts. Crafts are defined as "Skill in doing or making something, as in the arts” (The Free Dictionary, 2008). Arts are defined as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture” (Google, n.d.). I chose this occupation due to the fact I had been helping with arts and crafts in my fieldwork setting. I was placed in a rest home and hospital and had been taking the elderly residents for weekly arts and crafts.

"The concept of doing includes purposeful, goal-orientated activities; doing has been the traditional preoccupation of occupational therapy" (Hammell, 1998a). For example, Image 2 in my PowerPoint is showing doing. To the residents at the rest home and hospital where I was doing fieldwork, this was purposeful. Doing is also goal orientated, for example Image 6 on the PowerPoint shows a paint brush and paint, the goal of this would be to complete the painting by the end of the 3 hour session.

Hammell, 1998a states "being has been defined as time taken to reflect, be introspective or meditative, and to be appreciative of art, music and nature". Image 8 on my PowerPoint represents the young children being appreciative of art, by going to the museum. Another example is image 9, which shows a card being handed to another person, this shows that the person receiving the card is appreciative of the time and effort that went into making the card.

Rebeiro, 2001 used the term belonging" to describe the necessary contribution of social interaction, mutual support and friendship, and the sense of being included, to occupational perfromance and life satisfaction". Image 3 is a good picture of to belong, it shows the two elderly people smiling and being happy, they are enjoying each other’s company while doing the art and crafts and both feel included and are getting social interaction at the same time.

"Becoming describes the idea that people can envision future selves and possible lifes, explore new opportunities and harbour ideas about who or what they wish to become over the course of their biographies and how their lives might be experienced as worthwhile" (Hammell, 1998a). Image 21 is to show that elderly people need to have something to do; they thrive on keeping busy and having meaningful occupations.

The three ethical considerations that I made in relation to my images were informed consent, authenticity of online material and using appropriate photos. I made sure when I took my own 5 images, which I had permission from the person who would be in the background. I tried to keep people out of the images as much as I could. When I used the pictures of the internet, I made sure that it was all referenced so that the person who had originally taken the photo gets the credit they deserve for the photo they took. Also before I took the photos off the website I checked the authenticity of the website, and where it was from. This gives me a good clue whether it was going to be a good image to use. Most of the images that I chose where from rest homes or hospitals who do the same arts and crafts as the fieldwork placement that I was placed at. I only used appropriate photos which were relevant to the topic I was doing. You don’t want to do anything that would cause physical or emotional harm to your subjects.


Google. (n.d.). Define art. Retrieved from

Hammell, K.W. (1998a). From the neck up : Quality in life following high spinal cord injury.Vancouver, BC: The University of British Columbia, Unpublished doctoral disseration.

Reberio, K.L., Day, D., Semeniuk, B., O'Brien, M., & Wilson, B. (2001). Northern initative for social action: An occupational based mental health programme. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 493,500.

The Free Dictionary. (2008). Craft - definition. Retrieved from

Tutorial One - Information Technology and Ethical Issues

Information technolgoy is defined as the “Branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve, store, and transmit information (University of Princeton, 2012) This definition from my own perspective means that information technology is a broad topic, not only covering computers, but also other technology such as cell phones, internet, websites, blogs, Facebook, podcasts, radio and TV . All of these are to be included into the definition because they all can store, retrieve and transmit information to other sources including people.

We now rely on technology for retrieval, storage and to transmit information. Gone are the times of of writing, now you can type it on the internet, or show the world what you are up to using YouTube or blog. Facebook is now prevalent in our society; almost everybody uses Facebook, even adults and grandparents. I was at a rest home and saw residents older than 80 using Facebook! It doesn’t matter where you look or go; technology is around you all the time, from when you are starting your day until you go to bed at night. Look around you; notice how many people around you are using technology.

There is no longer any escape from technology, as it’s everywhere. Adjusting to new technology is the key. First it was laptops and now it is IPads, these are several examples showing that there is always new technology coming onto the market which is better then the last item.

These 2 youtube clips below show how IT is now prevalent in our society.

As I was growing up I was introduced to technology, which makes me more comfortable with using technology than my parents. I am also more competent using technology as we used it a lot in school and at home. Although I am comfortable using cell phones, laptops and the internet, I struggle with using things like podcasts and blogs, as these are unfamiliar to me and it takes me some time to adjust. Having classes at school has helped expand my IT knowledge, however this was years ago and some of those things have changed, for instance, at school we were using desktop computers and now everything has changed to laptops, which for me isn’t hard to adapt to, however laptops and desktops are totally different in some ways. At school we only had wired internet so using wireless is now easier and I can walk around the house doing my assignments without having to be stuck to one area. Going back to blogs and podcasts, I am limited in this area just due to the fact that I didn’t use this at school and I didn’t use it at home either. So when I was told me we are doing blogs, I was thinking “oh no, I actually haven’t used that before, I hope I can figure it out!” Another thing which may limit my use of IT would be bad experiences. I’ve used a blog before and hated it, I thought it was too hard and put it in the “too hard basket”. This has made me unwilling to try again for the fear that it will still be “too hard for me”. However this was the same for Facebook, I had a Facebook several years ago and just never caught onto the “craze” and gave up using it. However then Facebook had another massive “craze” and all my friends started signing up and encouraged me to try again. This time I enjoy using it.

There are lots of examples of when I use IT to engage in purposeful occupation. The first would be using the internet and laptop to type up and research my assignments. Another purposeful occupation would be setting up my blog, as part of Participation In Occupation. These experiences contribute to my learning and knowledge and will be useful skills to have when I am a qualified specialist.

In occupational therapy practise, IT is an everyday tool, it is used for typing up patients notes, googling for more information on medical diagnosis, and for doing assessments on. Some issues that exist around IT systems and tools are surrounding compatibility, and training. If you use IT systems you must be aware that different systems may not always work along side each other, and are always updating. Therefore you are constantly having to update which can be costly. When using large amounts of IT, there is a large amount of training involved. Everyone in your department must be trained in the use of IT which can be time consuming and frustrating if people aren't used to using IT. I can envisage IT becoming a potential tool of practice in the next few years. Even now Occupational therapists are using IT in assessments and IT can also be classifed as a meaningful occupation for some clients. One example of IT being used by occupational therapists includes the Ipad. These youtube clips below show how the use of the Ipad is now prevalant in occupational therapy.

I believe that a great understanding and use of IT will help us in our practice and daily lives if our goal is to enable occupation. Without understanding IT we will be limited in our knowledge and will not be able to help others when they are experiencing problems. The use of IT in OT practice is now a common practice which makes life simplier for both the OT and other medical staff. It saves time, and retrieval of information is quicker and easier to type up and change if needed. In enable to allow occupation you must have a deep understanding of why and how people use IT. IT is now an main occupation for some clients and can be classified as important to them, therefore you need to be able to use IT confidently and quickly when needed.

The ethical implications that arise from capturing, sharing and transferring of information via IT devices is privacy issues, and plagiarism. When using IT there is always the risk of having your computer hacked and your confidential information being made public and to sources that you do not wish to have this information. Having a password or lock on your computer will limit the acess from the outside. When sharing photos plagiarism is a real issue, people are able to use
photos that you have posted on a public sight as their own unless you have watermarked it or unless you keep it private. When capturing photos it is vital that you get the person's permission before you take photos. You could land yourself in serious trouble if you fail to do so.

These youtube clips below show how the use of the Ipad is now prevalant in occupational therapy. This is only recently been introduced to occupational therapy. When technologly wasn't around all the occupational therapists had little choice and range of equipment. Now that technology is increasing, occupational therapists have a wider range of options including the Ipad which they can use for children. The Ipad can be brought locally and is easily sourced and can help alot of children with learning disabilities.


University of Princeton (2012). WordNet. Retrieved from

Introduction to my blog

This is my first blog for Participation in Occupation 1