Monday, 14 May 2012
Definition of Assistive Technology
One example of assistive technology from Star Mobility
Relationship with occupation
Whiteford, G. (2010). Occupational deprivation: understanding limited participation. In C.H. Christiansen & E.A. Townsend (Eds). Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living (2nd Ed). (pp 303 -328). New Jersey: Pearson
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Introduction and links to 3 chosen communities
Brief description of each community
- What do you think is the intended purpose of the site? Information can be linked here from the specific sites.
- How interactive is this site?
- How can people contribute?
- What do they contribute?
HemikidsThis includes online discussions groups, email discussion groups and information on hemiplegia and details of local support groups.
The site is specifically aimed at parents of children with hemiplegia, hemiplegic cerebral palsy or hemiparesis. The purpose of the site is to provide information and links for families with shared interests in the condition their child has.
The site is interactive in that there are online fora. For example, there is Hemihelp Online Forum for UK parents. People need to register and agree to conditions of use of the site. But once registered they can read postings, place postings of their own and interact with other users. There is not a live chat room.
The forum is split into topics of interest, including types of therapy, equipment, emotional and behavioural issues and funding issues.
Special Kids UK
I was unable to read any postings at all without joining up, whereas on the Hemikids site I could read public postings and get the gist of what topics are covered without actually joining.
I joined up with Special Kids but found that even after sending an email and verifying it, then being able to log in, I could still only see the broad topic heads rather than individual postings. I am sure I could have eventually found my way online with help from the site administrator, but had already spent quite a bit of time getting to stage 1!
The Special Kids site has not only a forum but a chat room which makes the community even more potentially "interactive". People must register but can then be involved posting to forums or the chat room. Topics covered include communicating with your special needs child, education, items for sale or swap, and bereavement for those whose children have died or are terminally ill.
Cloud 9 NZ (Aspergers children)
Material presented in the online package.
- Make comment on why people choose to contribute to each community.
- What is it they are seeking?
- Is information shared one way or reciprocal?
- How do you think chosen sites address or relate to occupation concepts introduced in tutorial one e.g. occupational justice, occupational disruption, occupational transition, or occupational deprivation. Choose at least 2 concepts to discuss.
The forum definitely involves reciprocity.
I believe people are participating in this community for most or all of Kollock's (1999) 4 reasons. They anticipate reciprocity and enjoy a sense of community. They may also get a sense of efficacy, at the very least by being parents trying to do their best for their children. Some participants will also be interested in increased recognition of the impairments and issues their children face.
From the postings I reviewed, I saw links to occupational justice (discussions on funding sources and equity) and occupational deprivation (a parent asking how their child might be able to ride a trike, and what features the trike might need).
Special Kids UK
I consider the purpose and reasons for being involved in Special kids UK are very similar to those of Hemikids participants (see above), with the exception that geographic considerations may not be so strong since the site covers all special needs children rather than simply those with a particular type of condition involving one-sidedness (hemi).
Cloud 9 Aspergers children
Kollock, P. (1999). The economics of online cooperation. In M. smith & P. Kollock (Eds). Communities in Cyberspace . London: Routledge
Potential ethical issues eg lack of identity and accountability
In each of the 3 communities I reviewed, there would be potential to post dishonest or inaccurate information onto the forum. Each site requires a user to accept certain terms and conditions on joining, but in reality the main consequence for improper or unethical behaviour would be removal of the ability to use the site, and perhaps removal of any improper posting, potentially AFTER it had been seen.
Another ethical concern would be people trying to make a profit from posting on a site, for example recommending their business products (or even pretending to be parents who can recommend the product. Note this warning copied and pasted below from the Hemikids site:
I was interested in the following warning placed on the Hemikids site as well:
"Courts of law can subpoena records, including messages in the Hemi-Kids archives and your response to the Hemi-Kids survey. If you are involved in any sort of lawsuit or expect to be involved in the future, please consult your attorney before joining the group."
Benefits and limitations of these communities compared with traditional geographical communities (considered in terms of Otago Polytechnic's online learning package).Of the 10 benefits specified in the online package(slides 10 and 11) I consider the Hemikids and Special Kids UK provide all of these, with the exception that potential members of Special Kids cannot actually be silent observers before they participate (since one cannot see threads till one has applied to join). Both online communities compliment the other communities the families live in, for example communities involving their health professionals and teachers and human (not virtual) support network.
However, the negatives were likely outweighed by the positives - I did see real benefits in global information sharing between people with shared interests.
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
- Find five different sources of online video content that help explain, demonstrate, or provide personal experiences of your topic.
Use of switching devices to enable occupation
One of my fieldwork experiences was at a school for children and teenagers with multiple special needs. I was particularly interested in the use of switches by the staff to involve students in a group activity or play that they mightn't have otherwise had the capacity to do. I was also very interested in observing the most able of the 5 students in my classroom use head switches to drive her wheelchair. Finally, I noticed on placement how meaningful and useful it would be if a student could communicate simply by yes and no answers to closed questions, using switches if necessary.
I have embedded (for ease of reference) 5 You Tube videos in this blog entry.
The first two clips show different forms of switching devices that can be connected to toys or other equipment. in my fieldwork one student had a noisy colourful plastic toy that he started up by pushing down on the big durable button connected to it. As well, each week my class did "cooking", which was mainly undertaken by the staff due to the high levels of impairment of the students. However, the recipe always involved using a food mixer which each student could start whizzing by pressing or making contact with a large plastic yellow switch connected to it. As one of the video clips says, switching can help teach cause and effect.
More complex switching is shown on the clip in which a group of students make music.
I have also included a clip of a switch which has sensory integration components such as rubber surface and lights and sound that come on when the button is pushed. There were autistic children at my fieldwork setting who may have benefited from this.
Finally, I have included a clip showing a person operating their own wheelchair using head switches.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
My fieldwork - Powerpoint about Anxiety Management.
Themes in my PowerpointAlthough occupation is seen by some as doing, as "goal-directed, purposeful activities, occupation is about more than doing. It is a synthesis of 'doing, being and becoming' "(Wilcock, 1998, cited in Hammel, 2004, p 301 ). Being is a state of existence."'To 'be' in this sense requires that people have time to discover themselves, to reflect and , to simply exist" (Wilcock, 1998b, p 255). Occupational therapists help people become the people they can be. They help them develop talents and competencies to enable them to become. (Wilcock,1998b , p 251). Finally, occupation helps people gain a sense of belonging. good health outcomes and occupations help people's capacities to do things, and to experience not only meaning and satisfaction, but "belonging and sharing" Wilcock, 1998a, p 343) . I now explain these principles in terms of the slides in my powerpoint. My slideshow about anxiety management occupations contains individual captions relating many of the slides to the do, be, become and belong theme. The power point shows first, the general feelings and impaired functioning that stress and anxiety can have (images 1,5,6 and 7). The slideshow also shows specific examples of stress impacting on the act of feeding a toddler (doing) (image 2), and using the kitchen (image 3). There are also slides of people doing things to combat their anxiety, like being in an anxiety group or watching DVDs for education on anxiety (eg image 17).There are slides showing how people with reduced anxiety are able to just "be", that is, exist ( images 18 and 19 are intended to show people being with nature). In terms of becoming, anxiety management can help people become calmer and do their activities better (images 10 and 11). The can become better functioning (image 13) and become more of the person they wish to be (image 16, belonging to a baseball team). As well, participation in an anxiety support group may bring a sense of belonging, both to the group and to the wider world (images 14 and 15). Ethical considerations This was the first time I had ever sought images online, and used them in my own work. I used Google Images for some photographs, but made sure I linked through to see those images published on the particular website on which they had been published. I also made sure I referenced those websites as sources.For my own photographs, I made sure my photos did not identify individual people, by not showing their faces. It would be possible to obtain proper consent from people to use their images online, but that consent would need to be full especially in terms of the world wide web. As well, in my case I photographed 13 year olds, and would not consider they were competent to give appropriate consent - their parents would have needed to give that consent as they are minors.
Wilcock, A.A. (1998a). Occupation for health. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 340-345.
Introduction and definition
In this section the focus is on the wider picture of IT – its benefits, its downsides – and recognising how much we depend on and need IT in today’s world. We also draw our mental attention to ethical issues such as social exclusion, and privacy and intellectual property.
There are various definitions of this broad term. Let us take a dictionary definition. Information technology is :
To me this definition suggests that IT is particularly about information in an electronic setting, such as with computers and other digital devices. I understand that information can be recorded, saved and stored, and retrieved and given out again, as suggested in the dictionary definition. But I admit my own thinking about IT is that it is about also the manipulation of information, and the various software and hardware which applies for using a computer in the modern world. For example, if I try to install programme X and that action has a consequence for Programme Y which is already installed on my computer, I would hope my workplace’s “IT” department could help me, even though I am not just trying to retrieve “information”. (On the other hand, I guess the programme itself is some sort of information – though it could be entertainment like a game).
Prevalence and widespread use in today's society
A Google search on the use of IT in today’s society leads us to many many sources of information on this topic. Here is just one example of a site called Slideshare.
As a non-technical person (more like a digital alien than a digital migrant) I could hardly understand what Slideshare was about. I then watched 2 videos on the site, from which I learned that people join up to the site, and then can upload power point, documents and videos, see other users’ presentations, download them and remix and edit them to use for their own purposes. People can also sync MP3 audio with their slides to make lectures and webinars (this must mean attach sound in the places you want). Then, a big focus is the fact that you can get your presentations “out there” in many places, through links with Facebook, Linked In , Twitter and other social media. This apparently helps improve your business as people watch your presentations and know you.
The use of IT is increasingly prevalent, at least in developed countries.The following You Tube video discusses an initiative in a district of America to have children as young as 5 have access to hand held devices like ipod touch and Ipad in their classroom for everyday educational use.
IT devices I am comfortable using - examples for my purposeful occupation
Use of IT in fieldwork, Occupational Therapy practice and enabling occupation
I envisage IT use as very important in some areas of OT practice. This is especially true as young people in our society grow older, and have grown up with visual or kinaesthetic learning methods such as videos and interactive games. OTs have considerable involvement in educating clients, and the learning will need to be relevant to the clients.
Blogging is another use of IT which OTs need to understand.Here is a link to a blog OT4OT .(I think it means online technology for OTs.) The writer puts forward the benefits of blogging, including sharing ideas with other professionals and also recording one's professional activity.