Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Assistive technology

Assitive technology is explained by the Ministry of Education as "Assistive technology helps children with disabilities to do things they cannot do, or to do them better. It is sometimes called ‘specialised equipment’ or ‘assistive equipment’. It can include technology devices such as computer hardware and software as well as vision equipment, specialised seating, tables and hearing devices" (Ministry of Education. 2012).

I define Assistive technology as a piece of equipment that can alter and enhance a task that a person who is impaired can not do. The equipment helps the user be independant and do the task for themselves.

A piece of assistive technology provided by Star mobility and Disability Centre in Hamilton is the Big buddy Switch seen Here. It is $135 NZD and is ued for those who need auditory and tactile feedback and is suitable for those who prefer colourful large bottons. 


Ministry of education.(2012). Assistive technology. Retrieved from:

Star mobility&disability centre. (2011). Big buddy switch. Retrieved from:

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Blogs of interest

Hi Everyone =)

This week i have searched the internet and found interesting blogs about different occupational therapy scopes that you may be interested in.

Check them out i have linked them to my page on the right hand side

In particular I found this blog posting very interesting about breakfast club click here to check it out

Monday, 9 April 2012

Internet and online communities

In this posting I am going to hyperlink three different website around sensory. I will discuss the sites purpose, ethics, the limitations and benefits if any and relate in to occupational justice, occupational deprivation and occupational disruption.

Link one is a youtube channel created by a multi sensory room specialist in the United Kingdom. The intended purpose of the youtube channel is to provide videos of different sensory equipment, the specifications of the equipment and who the equipment caters for. I found the youtube channel extremely interactive as you can ask questions on the main page of the channel, on the different videos being posted which are public so anyone viewing the site can answer or interact with you. People can also contribute by video linking a response. This means that someone can post a video on the original video posting of a response or with questions on different equipment. 

The reason I feel people contribute to this particular community is because they have either trialed the different equipment for sensory needs or are seeking more information on the equipment. I feel the information being shared on the channel is reciprocal as many people are accessing the videos and community to ask questions and share information. 

The youtube channel relates to both concepts occupational disruption and occupational justice. This being it related to occupational disruption as many of the questions are about how different sensory inputs are affecting their childrens ability to cope with basic tasks on a daily basis. It also however can be related to occupation justice as it shares different equipment used, personal stories on what stratgies has worked for their children, which could enable that individual to have better sensory input and function better on a daily basis.

 The ethical issues with this community is that is lacks in accountability. It can be accessed by millions of people and that it is not moderated for incorrect information being given by a member of the site or for comments that do not relate. I feel the benefit of this community compared to our geographic community is that the information that is legitamite and useful is reaching a larger population and different countries will have different resources available and because this is an international community it could be very useful.

Link two

Link two is a NewZealand based online community about different trialed ideas and learning activities around autistic children with sensory needs. This website shares the different testimonials and ideas around different activites for educational purposes. The website is interactive in the form that it has many different ideas on the topic and explains how it caters to the sensory needs. It also has a communication page on the site where members can post different ideas and things to try, also you can email the websites administrator if you do not want to ask the quesition publically.

The reason I feel people are using the site is either they are looking for educational information on sensory needs around the autistic spectrum or they are sharing their personal stories and advice of their experiences with people with autisim. The site is reciprical as it is a forum where people post information although it is unknown how many people email the site administrator so it could also be seen as one way.

This site relates to both occupational justice and occupational deprivation as both are clearly seen in the personal stories where the families involved have written about their failures and successes with the different stuff available, and how the resources have helped their child function better daily and therefore are no longer deprived of occupations and have occupational justice.

The ethics taken into consideration I feel is that the questions can be shared publically or privately and that the site has a site moderator. I feel the benefit of this community compared to our geographic community is that although this is a NewZealand based website it reaches every part of NewZealand and is a place where people can meet who have sensory issues and the website seems safe and very positive. 

Link three 

Link three is a facebook group called raising a sensory smart child. The site is written by one administrator who shares their ideas or asks questions to their followers. I found the website not as interactive as the previous two but still had a aspect of interaction. The followers respond to each other and the questions that the administrator had asked but the only contribution the members have on the site is answering each others questions, however most questions were directly related to the group administrator. 

The reason I feel people are using the site is because the administrator of the site is an author who writes around the different sensory topics and therefore the group members may have enjoyed the books or find her knowledge very useful with their own or families sensory needs. I found this site to be very more one way as the advice is generally only given from the site administrator and questions are generally directed at the site administrator as well. 

This site relates more towards occupational justice as the site shares very valuable information and knowledge that the administrator has on the different syndommes and disorders that can be related to having sensory issues. It also shares how to deal or manage the issues related to sensory problems. It also relates to occupational deprivation as some of the stories shared on the facebook group I found were really sad and those affected by sensory issues were very much deprived of meaningful occupations due to sensory overload or different calming and alerting senses. 

The ethics I feel that are taken into consideration is that their is one administrator who can remove any member or comment from the group and the content shared is fairly positive. I feel the benefits of the group is that like link one it is international so information can reach a wider audience and different equipment is talked about from te different countries.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

video production - Sensory modulation, therapy and disorder

While on fieldwork one i worked in mental health and addiction services. During this placement i helped create a sensory room and learned alot about sensory modulation and the effects it can have on ones life and mental state. Sensory modulation is using standerdised tests to determine which different senories calms and alerts you e.g. a fluffy dog or a weighted blanket and sensory therapy is creating different ways to get the positive sensory stimulations.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Occupational disruption

As a group Aldrin, Jenny, Astrid and I were set a task to make a one minute film based around occupational disruption. We brainstormed a story board based around the definition of occupation disruption from christiansen and townsend. We all decided on 12 different shots for our short film and decided who was going to do the different roles around making our film. We decided that Jenny would be the main actor, Aldrin would film, Astrid researched occupational disruption, sorted out the props we would need and created the title page and definition page, Astrid and I were also "extras" in the film and I edited the film.

Creating the story board and sorting out our different roles previous to the day we filmed made it alot easier as there was no fussing around we knew exactly what we were doing, what was expected of us to bring and what shots we were shooting and where. All the planning with the story board and roles took the stress out of filming and it also made my job of editing easier as I knew the exact order in which the different scenes were arranged and I knew which scenes to give priority to time wise due to the one minute time limit for the film. The priority of scenes were written under each picture in the story board as we allocated time limits to every scene.

Christiansen,C.H.,& Townsend,E.A.(2010). Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living (2nd ed.). New jersey, USA. Pearson education inc.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Occupational engagement, doing, being and belonging

Gym group
View more PowerPoint from alisha93

My occupation I have chosen to talk about is gym group in fieldwork one. In fieldwork one the client group was mental health and addiction and as a census they wanted a gym group as they could work out together as wegiht gain was a side effects of alot of medications. My superviser has set up the gym group prior to commencement of fieldwork one placement, but i want along two days a week and helped a new client feel comfortable with the equipment and other members of the group.

The term doing refers to engaging in a meaningful, goal
orientated occupation, being refers to taking time to reflect,
belonging means the feeling of having friends and social 
interactions (Wilcock, A.A. 1998b).The gym group reflects
this in picture five as it is a heart with healthy food in it. Alot
of the clients said that they had lost an appetite for food yet
the doing aspect of going to the gym was meaningful.
Picture fourteen of the scales reflects both doing and being
as it is reflecting on the past as they were getting better
health and therefore decreasing medication yet one of the
goals was to lose weight which was put one due to
medication. Also picture eightenen and twenty reflect
belonging as they were all working out together to reach the
common goal.

The ethics I took into consideration while doing this
slideshow were that in all the photos I took I
made sure no face identification could be made. I also only
took pictures which were of basic so that no particular gym
or gym group could be identified by this slide show. The
third ethical consideration I used was that all images from
the internet that I used were referenced so that it
could not be mistaken for what pictures I used of the internet
and which are original pictures
which I took.


Wilcock, A.A. (1998). Reflections on doing, being and belonging. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 248-256.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Information technology and ethical issues

Information technology and ethical issues

The focus of my first posting is to explain what information technology is in my own words, provide examples and discuss the possible ethical issues I think surround information technology. I will also talk about the different information technology I personally use and weather I am comfortable or uncomfortable with the different information technology available. 
The definition for information technology –“refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies”(Techterms,2012).I think information technology refers to computer technology but also refers to the internet and the information we can get off the internet, the information downloaded onto the internet and how easily accessible it is. It refers to different networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube or twitter etc. The different programmes needed to run the different internet sites or your computer/laptop.

Information technology has become prevalent in our society and has become so common that it is available easily and has become the norm of everyday life for most people in our society. Information technology provides such a wide range of purpose to our society and caters to a lot of individual needs. If we take social networking as an example Facebook has “845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011, 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011 and more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011”(Facebook,2012).This shows that millions and millions of people are accessing Facebook through a form of information technology each day. Another example is YouTube, it has millions of video uploads each day, under many different categories and subjects. It can be a form of communication, expressing your views and opinions, sharing your talents with the world, listening to music or just being creative. These can all be seen at: All these show the different ways of using information technology for personal use.

There are many different information technology devices or systems that some people feel comfortable and competent using, and others which we feel uncomfortable using. Some personal example of mine are: I feel very comfortable using the internet for purposes such as skyping my family and friends, using Facebook for social networking purposes to again engage with friends and family. I use internet to browse and to look up information I want, I use email to contact people, I even use internet to shop online. I feel comfortable because I know how to use the internet for these purposes and have been for many years. I also feel very comfortable using my cell phone. I have had a cell phone since I was 11 years old so I am very competent in the services and apps that cell phones provide, such as speed texting and calling.

The information technology that I am uncomfortable using is downloading or understanding software and the purposes of them. I feel I am uncomfortable using software that is unfamiliar to me for that exact reason it is unfamiliar. This is feel could limit my personal use of information technology as generally I will not download any form of software, which could limit me for the potential or positives of having the software.

The purposeful occupations I use information technology for is on social networking sites to engage and express my opinions to friends and family. The second is skyping, because I have a family member who cannot speak but uses sign language as a form of communication, skyping is meaningful and creates purpose as I can see and understand what my family member is trying to communicate with me.

When I was on placement I saw information technology in an Occupational therapy practise with data logging into the computer programme JADE. This programme could bring up all patient information needed for the particular health professionals. Also in my second placement in another setting the computer was used in conjunction with different software’s and programmes to help educate and teach the clients in that particular setting. It was used to help some clients express their thoughts as some were non vocal. Also cell phones and Ipads were used to help communicate around appointments, as a diary and in fieldwork two they were used for social interactions. I can envisage information technology becoming a tool of practise in Occupational Therapy as it can help with clients interacting, being able to search for information independantly, social skills to be able to connect with family and friends, pay bills online, manage money via online banking and even shopping online. This can be seen in the Canadian association of Occupational Therapists website:, which talks about information technology and its uses for the client base in Canada. 
To conclude my first blog I would like to end with information technology is becoming so frquently used and widely accessable and used by many, that as an Occupational therapist it is vital to take advantage of the tools and skills information technology has to offer ourselves and our future clients.

Reference list

Facebook. (2012). Newsroom. Retrieved from:

M. Miyazaki,L. Liu.(2002).Tele-occupational therapy: Making occupational therapy services accessible. Retrieved from:

Techterms. (2012). IT definitions. Retrieved from: