Monday, 28 March 2011

TUTORIAL SIX: - The Internet and Online Communities

I would like to Introduce my chosen topic of adaptive devices/equipment and the usefulness of these items available for clients within their own home. I will be considering 3 online communities regarding this topic. 

1.  Description of World-class Assistive Technology Making a World of Difference"High-tech assistive, adaptive and accessibility aids for children and adults with disabilities and special needs..."
Purpose: This site specializes in computer adaptations and builds custom software solutions for children and adults with disabilities.The services provided on this site are:
  •  Augmentative and alternative communication devices
  •  Computer access equipment
  •  Multilingual speech synthesis and voice recognition software
  •  A great selection of virtual on-screen keyboards
  •  Voice-enabled communication boards 
  •  Cognitive rehabilitation tools adapted to the special needs of the disabled
How interactive is this site -This site accommodates for a variety of skill levels, ages, capabilities. These include assistive/adaptive technology available for disabled users
• How can people contribute - The online community and forum gives readers an opportunity to interact and post messages on desired topics of interest regarding.
• What do they contribute - The site offers quarterly newsletters and information on other sites that have similar. Contributions are made in the forum by way of answer/question methods.

2. Description of - was founded in 1986, with a mission to develop and market products that provide people with a healthier and more productive way to interact with computers.
Purpose: We are experts in our industry and specialize in providing our clients with all of their assistive technology and ergonomic product and training.
  How interactive is this site - This site is user friendly, I found it easy to look for the desired areas of interest. A clear website to work in and give your opinions on their blogsite if you wanted to.
• How can people contribute - People can contribute by There is a live support network, txt site, blog site available to post comments. Receiving emails is also an option.
• What do they contribute- There is information on the company and catalogues of available products. There are resources on ergonomics and devices suitable for individual users.

3. Description of Spectronics NZ-   The purpose of this site is to provide a comprehensive range of technologies, activity exchange software programmes, support and training, and equipment trials so clients can choose the right devises for them.
Purpose: The purpose of this site
"Spectronics is Australia and New Zealand’s largest supplier of special needs software and assistive technologies. We prefer to think of our range as “inclusive learning technologies”, being those technologies which foster real success and real inclusion in educational or community-based settings. Our team is made up of staff from teaching, speech pathology, occupational therapy, and technical backgrounds, and we work closely with a wide network of professionals and technology users – reflecting our commitment to providing quality support to both education and disability groups throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia". 
How interactive is this site -  This site offers a wide variety of interactive software sources for people with learning disabilities. It actively promotes assistance fpr those who require speech assist devices for reading, writing, communication, physical, intellectual disabilities to name only a few.
• How can people contribute - Viewers can interact via training and support network, blog site, online library, travel and events diary, email updates and product reviews, plus many more.
• What do they contribute- Viewers can interact via looking at answer and facts portal, video and photo footage of a previour conference held in 2010. You can also get an online quote or use their equipment trial scheme. They also offer trials of activities that can be downloaded and used within programs such as Boardmaker, Clicker 5, Communicate: SymWriter and many more.

Considering why people might visit these sites, it may be for convenience of online shopping or maybe they seek to get others opinions on the reliability of supply or services by the companies concerned. Information is generally reciprocal when blogs are concerned, but may be one way depending on the content discussed. When looking at this type of online content we should consider boundaries and property rights......

The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (1967) gives the following list of subject matter protected by intellectual property rights:

  • literary, artistic and scientific works;
  • performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts;
  • inventions in all fields of human endeavor;
  • scientific discoveries;
  • industrial designs;
  • trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations;
  • protection against unfair competition; and
  • “all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.”
Ethics plays a big part in online communities and the use of personal information, a good website to refer to for assistance is - which covers Consumer internet privacy and accountability for the quality of content that is being written.


World-class Assistive Technology Making a World of Difference: Retreived March 18, 2011, from:

InfoGrip, Assistive Technology Devices and Adaptive Products: Retreived March 24, 2011, from:

Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technologies: Retreived May 6, 2011, from:  

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

TUTORIAL FIVE:- Video Production Sessions Part- Two

A brief summary of the services offered by UTube are as follows:

You tube or UTube offers an online source of video footage that is available to the general public. Individual's can post an item of video footage or download a video from this site. The UTube site shares ideas, tips on how to create, sharing knowledge on hobbies, giving personal ideas on things, and even teaching you how to play instruments. If it can be done, then it can be found on UTube. Here is a link that gives you information on UTube and how to download a video from their site.  

I will now introduce my chosen topic of interest which is related to my fieldwork experience.
 "Adaptive Equipment and aids for independance within the home environment"
I have five different sources of online video content that I hope will give a good explanation and demonstration of "Adaptive Equipment" I have links available to the

Mr Swivel is a standing device designed to aid a person who has Muscular Dystrophy and that experience a limited range of movement. It gives the individual with a disbility the choice of how they are transfered and minimal on their joints and body. Persons with a progressive type of the disease normally require carers to help with transfering/transfers.

The Shower Buddy is designed to help the user have a certain amount of independance and allows carers to perform a minimum of tranfers from bed to wheelchair or wheelchair to toilet and vs versa, this device inceases safety and minimises accidents associated with tranferring clients.
Sock aid allows client to place a sock on with minimal effort, useful after a hip replacement, or someone experiencing arthritis of the hands. 
This link covers the why, how and who of assistive technology for disabled users, their rights, impacts, and examples of devices that are available.

A wonderful video that focuses on devices for children with multiple sclerosis and the like, a big touch pad commonly named a jellybean is linked to interactive toys and or devices to assist learning. It can be used instead of small switches that make it difficult for kids to use equipment and perform tasks.


How to copy a youtube, Retreived March 22, 2011 from: 

Mr Swivel, Retreived March 22, 2011, from:

Shower buddy, Retreived March 22, 2011, from:

Sock assist, North Coast Medical: Retreived March 24, 2011, from:

A Special Education Guide to Assistive Technology: Retreived March 24, 2011, from:

Technology for Children with Disabilities, Alltogether kids, Retreived March 24, 2011, from:

TUTORIAL FOUR: Video Production Sessions -Part One

Task One:
We worked in small groups to plan and produce a 30 second short film.

Task Two:
We posted our film to our blogs after editing and adding headings and a Credit page.

We were provided a short handout/powerpoint to assist us in producing a short film, we were given a camera, video and a tripod. We then worked for a short time on what we were going to do, our description was given to us by the teacher, it was any letter of the alphabet. W e then set upon our short film task......

It is most important to plan properly otherwise structure will be lacking and the time frame will not be met. This concept applies to Occupational Therapists when filming with clients and completing tasks within a set timeframe. Storyboarding and scripting is essential to achieve a task being finalised. It helps to have a sound working knowledge of devices and how they operate, otherwise schedules will be disrupted.

TUTORIAL THREE - Blog Creation Tasks

Task One:
We followed instructions to set up an account with Blogger

Task Two: We then followed instructions to complete the following Blog construction tasks.

Task Three: We started posting content. Our first two posts were taken from the technical description for tutorials one and two.

Task Four: We uploaded photos from tutorial two onto our flickr account.

We explored other blogs, looked at creating feeds and hyperlinks to other blogs and organised flickr accounts.

TUTORIAL TWO: Digital Imaging/Camera Use

List some of the ways that digital images are stored transfered and manipulated using information technology.

Technology allows us to capture a moment in time, a special event, and unforgetable memories......... one way in which we can do this is:

Digital Imaging Hardware
Consists of storage devices such as cameras, video-camers, computers, flashdrives, flashcards, CD- Rom, USB drives, etc.

Images are then transfered with photo sharing sites such as facebook, Flickr, Myspace, photos can also be moved around by email, or txt messaging, it just depends on which method you choose and prefer to use. Digital images can be manipulated with various computer software programs, for example Photoshop.

"A new technology is rarely superior to an old one in every feature" - Briefly discuss this statement in relation to digital camera technology. What would you consider to be some of the "Pluses and Minuses" digital camera technology holds in relation to more traditional film based cameras?

Monday, 14 March 2011

TUTORIAL ONE: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

The following post is concentrated on Technology as an Occupational Therapy Tool, to be able to define Information Techhnology is not as easy as it may seem, but here we go.

IT Definition:
 "Information Technology," and is pronounced "I.T." It refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies. Many companies now have IT departments for managing the computers, networks, and other technical areas of their businesses. IT jobs include computer programming, network administration, computer engineering, Web development, technical support, and many other related occupations. Since we live in the "information age," information technology has become a part of our everyday lives. That means the term "IT," already highly overused, is here to stay (Tech Terms, 2005-2011)

Own notes, thoughts: 
Technology, communications, and information is all linked in some way. The online communities that are available to users are both varied and filled with different types of information. The way in which we interpret and use this information is ever changing because of modern development in the computer age. This technology allows therapists to utilize the internet, many portable devices, computer applications and software to assist in client interventions as a therapy tool.
Having the knowledge and skill base allows us to feel confident and comfortable using IT. I get a little bit nervous when a new device is introduced to me, questions run through my head.... will I be able to work it, do I need it, how lomg will it take me to figure it out. Im sure others feel the same and have had similar experiences with technology and all of it's inadequacies.

This entry is concerned with the phenomenological approach to interpreting information technology and its social and ethical implications. However, in order to understand the distinctiveness of the phenomenological approach some other possible ways of interpreting this relationship will also be outlined briefly. often about the way information technology is changing or transforming the social domain, and in particular, the ethical domain. This is largely centered around different ways of conceptualizing and interpreting the nature of the information technology and society interrelationship (Introna, 2005).

Own notes, thoughts:
Ethical implications may arise when dealing with IT devices and the sharing, capturing and transferring of data. Technology is a wonderful thing when it is used appropriately. Occupational therapist's (OT) need to be aware of lmitations and precautions assoicated with many dangers that the internet and digital devices pose for clients. For example computer gaming can be associated with negative effects such as aggression or additive qualities. In instances like this it is where the judgement and clinical reasoning would kick in to assess risk factors for each individual and IT device.

Intellectual Property (Definition)
An Explanation of Intellectual Property Rights as the name indicates, intellectual property refers to some idea or knowledge that is produced from the mind or the intellect. The term includes certain inventions, discoveries, written material and recorded media the holder of which is entitled to various legal entitlements similar to physical property. Intellectual property laws are made to protect these legal rights and entitlements. Copyright, patent, trademark and industrial design right are various forms of intellectual property rights designed to safeguard the interest of its holder. These exclusive rights can be transferred to third parties by way of license and mortgage (Explain Intellectual Property Rights, 2007).

Own Notes,Thoughts:
To my thinking Intellectual property in relation to IT and OT practice has signifigance around any legal issues, clients rights, law, copyright, piracy and software piracy issues. Possibly various legal entitlements attached to particular types of information and who has permission to use or print.

So What Is Social Justice? (Definition)
Fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. See also civil rights (Business Dictionary, 2011).

One definition of justice is "giving to each what he or she is due." The problem is knowing what is "due". Social justice encompasses economic justice. Social justice is the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institutions, when justly organized, provide us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our associations with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to work with others to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development (Centre For Economic and Social Justice, n.d).

Own Notes, Thoughts: 
Fair treatment is something that we all desire and should strive to reflect in our own lives and project to other people. There are many theories relating to social Justice, identity and empathy are involved and come hand in hand, identity creates principles of a moral instinct, and empathy gives a natural law or predisposition to help one another. Evolution of neuroscience technologies suggests that research in pyschology and primatology have involved theorists such as Darwin and links to human nature.
A study by Miller (2001) and colleagues of the brain disorder frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is also instructive. FTD attacks the frontal lobes and anterior temporal lobes, the site of one’s sense of self. One early symptom of FTD is the loss of empathy (Identity Theory, n.d).

What is informed consent?
Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action.
Principles of Informed Consent

It is the right and responsibility of every competent individual to advance his or her own welfare. This right and responsibility is exercised by freely and voluntarily consenting or refusing consent to recommended medical procedures, based on a sufficient knowledge of the benefits, burdens, and risks involved. The ability to give informed consent depends on: 1) adequate disclosure of information; 2) patient freedom of choice; 3) patient comprehension of information; and 4) patient capacity for decision-making. By meeting these four requirements, three necessary conditions are satisfied: 1) that the individual’s decision is voluntary; 2) that this decision is made with an appropriate understanding of the circumstances; and 3) that the patient’s choice is deliberate insofar as the patient has carefully considered all of the expected benefits, burdens, risks and reasonable alternatives. Legally, adequate disclosure includes information concerning the following: 1) diagnosis; 2) nature and purpose of treatment; 3) risks of treatment; and 4) treatment alternatives ( Ascension Health, 2011).

Own Notes, Thoughts:

Informed consent can apply to a Occupational Therapists ethical and moral situation when dealing with client information and release of any infomration to other therapists and or family members. Without an informed decision and consent by the client it could be classed as malpractice.


Tech Terms, IT Information Technology. (2005-2011) Retreived March 13, 2011, from:

Explain Intellectual Property Rights, (2007). Free Legal Advice Help. Retreived March 14, 2001, from: 
Social Justice, Definition.(2007). Retrieved March 15, 2011, from: 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Did You Know?


This blog is designed to enable students to demonstrate their competence in producing an on-line resource and to understand the application of specific technologies for Occupational Therapy Practice.