Thursday, 17 May 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

The assertive technology I have chosen to discuss is switches.

Assertive technology is defined as "Assertive or Adaptive Technology commonly refers to "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities...", according to the definition proposed in the Assertive Technology Act of 1998." (Rehabtool, 2012)

From this, I understand that assertive technology is technology that can aid an individual in their activities of daily living.

Switches can be anywhere from $150 upwards, depending on the make and model.

This video is about a young boy and yes/no switches.

This is a link to a website that makes and sells various switches

This can help children with independence, play and learning. Occupational deprivation is decreased due to this.

Proof of Communication

Me to Emily:
Hi Emily,

I found this post very interesting. I had no idea switches could be so expensive! Also, it is amazing how much is achievable through the use of switches. Are these available for a regular Joe Blogs to purchase, or do they have to be bought through an occupational therapist?


Emily to Me:

Hi Brylie,
yes, anyone can get these switches. Here is a really good link to a web page that sells them


Slideshow tut 4

I have created a slideshow of picture related to the concepts of being, belonging, becoming and doing.

So here it is:

Tutorial Five: Video Production Session

I have chosen five videos that reflect my theme of play.

The first is to do with play as a tool for occupational therapists.

The second is what a pediatric occupational therapist does, with some fantastic examples of play.

The third takes a different road, and is of a synchronized skating team.

The fourth is of a father learning to play a video game that his sons play.

The fifth is of children playing.

These five videos show different aspects of play, be it sport, technological, or for theraputic rehabilitation.

Tutorial Four: Video Production Sessions

Our film is about 'Occupational Deprivation'. Although this is a very serious issue, we decided to take a different spin on things.

The story centers around a girl who begins the video overweight and hungry. She is constantly woken up early, and is too broke to go out with her friends, so she studies instead. She is deprived on food, sleep and fun.

But, in the twist, we see her three years later, having lost a lot of weight and gained her degree due to her studying.

 A link to my video can be found here

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


I chose the occupation of 'play' as this is related to my fieldwork experience, and it encompasses such a broad range of occupations.

I have alot of experience in play. Not only in my fieldwork experiences, but also in my role as an Aunty, babysitter and friend. Play is an integral part of human occupation as it provides meaningful occupation.

Oxford Dictionary defines 'do' as "perform (an action, the precise nature of which is often unspecified)" (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). They define 'be' as "to exist" (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). 'Belong' is defined as " be the property of" or "be a member of (a particular group or organization)" (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). They define 'become' as "begin to be" (Oxford Dictionary, 2012)

Some of the pictures I used are of members of my family. I spoke to them before posting as an ethical consideration, and got verbal conset. 

Privacy is a big issue on the internet, as is copyright.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tutorial One: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

Welcome to my first post! The focus of this post is 'Information Technology and Ethical Issues'.

Let's begin with the definition of information technology. Oxford Dictionaries defines information as 'facts provided or learned about something or someone', or 'what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things' (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). Technology is defined as 'the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry' (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). Putting these definitions together, information technology is defined as 'the study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information' (Oxford Dictionary, 2012).

In my own words, information technology encompasses all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange, and use information in its various forms.

Notice that the definition does not mention computers. It is common for people to immediately think of information technology as relating to computers, when in reality it is so much larger than that. Think of the clothing you are wearing. The fabric you are wearing is probably machine made. The clothing itself could have been designed on a computer. The books on my bookshelf are printed by a machine. While I am writing this, I am listening to music from my iPod, and my boyfriend is playing video games on an Xbox console and our new giant TV. Technology is all around us, and unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there is no escaping it. We really are living in the 'information age'!

I use a whole heaps of technology every single day. My laptop, cell phone, social networking, emails, camera, and television are all things that I use on a daily basis. I use my Ipod as a GPS, a cookbook, a gym instructor, a game center, a bank, to tell me the weather, a news broadcaster, to shop, the list goes on. When I think about the potential jobs I am destroying by doing this, it blows my mind that we use all this technology so blase without considering the wider picture.

Although I am fairly familiar with technology, I am by no means an expert. I have a MacBook Pro laptop, which is my pride and joy, despite the cracks that are appearing in the casing and the slowing down of the processing speed (it is almost three years old now). I pride myself in knowing the track pad shortcuts, such as if I swipe all four fingers down, all the windows that I have open will appear on screen. I can also zoom in while looking at pictures by pinching my fingers together.

In saying this, I have no idea how my computer really works. I have a friend who builds computers from scratch, and I am constantly in awe of the tiny parts scattered all around his room. How can these come together to create a machine so technical?

Despite this, I would say I am comfortable using technology. It does not scare me, and I can generally figure out how to make things work (given time and rage sessions). I enjoy the benefits that come with technology. As a (very effective) stress release, I like to play video games. I find it a meaningful occupation. Without the technology of gaming consoles and televisions, this would not be possible.

Last year I was fortunate enough to spend four weeks in the central North Island, in a hospital's child development unit. During this time I saw a variety of technologies being implemented as part of rehabilitation. Hoists were used to move paralyzed children from wheelchairs to beds. The wheelchairs themselves were so technical, they'd almost need a path of study to understand them.

There seems to be a bit of a stigma within occupational therapy for using and developing new technologies, when in reality, technology can be hugely beneficial to rehabilitation. Take things like the Nintendo Wii Console. Studies have proven that the Wii is a great tool for all kinds of occupational therapy - traumatic brain injury (TBI), geriatrics, war veterans, and of course, pediatrics.

Having an understanding off all the technology is very important to the profession, just as keeping up with research is. Knowing all the available options to you is imperative when making an intervention plan for a client.

Writing this blog has taught me something new about my computer! Holding down the alt (or option) button and pressing a letter creates symbols.

So I will sign off for now, and be back again soon.