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.

No comments:

Post a Comment