This blog is a part of the Occupational Therapy paper Participation in Occupation One. The blog focuses on people’s participation in meaningful occupation. It will explore different technologies and the engagement in occupation of people who have occupational needs. It will consider how technology can be used to enhance therapy services for a client.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is defined as “any piece of equipment or product system whether acquired comerciall off the shelf, modified, or customised that is used to increase or improve functinal capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Cook & Hussey, 2000)

During the assisstive technology tutorial the piece of adaptive equipment I chose to play with was a wobble switch.  A wobble switch come in different sizes, long and short, can be attached to a small base that can be sat on a table or wheelchair tray, or with a bracket that can be attached to the edge of a table or wheelchair. Used with people who don't have controlled movements, they just need to hit it once and what it is attached to will start and hit it again and the item will stop. It means you don't have to hold the switch down to make something go and because it is long you don't have to hit in the same exact place every time. A wobble switch can vary in cost between $100 and $400 depending on size and what it can be attached to. The wobble switch I played with was a child's switch, as it had a bright and colourful 'wobble' ball on the top of the switch.

A wobble switch increases functional capacity by allowing the people who wouldn't normally be able to participate in an activity due to uncontrolled movements, not being able to hold onto an object, or turn or press a switch, to be able to participate. By using the wobble switch I was able to realise the benefits of the switch. The cord was long which meant I didn't have to reach far for it, it was coloured brightly which would make it easier to see for people with visual deficits and was light which meant not a lot of strength was required to turn the switch on. All in all it was a very valuable piece of technology.

Proof of Communication

  1. Hi Nicole,
    I really enjoyed reading you post on IT and ethical considerations. I see that you use IT on a day-to-day basis, what IT device would you say that you use most often?


  2. Hi Ashley,

    I would use my phone the most often by far as it is portable, a good source of communication and also has the internet.

    Thank you for your comment!


Group Video production

Our film is about 'Occupational Deprivation'. Although it can be a very big issue in our society, we decided to take a different and more light hearted approach.

The story centres 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. Therefore showing that 'Occupational Deprivation' can have both positive and negative affects on a person and their society.

Video production session

Autism is topic within the Occupational Therapy practise area and is a topic of interest for me. I had a placement at a mainstream school, in a class of 28. One child in the class had Autism and I worked closely with him. While working with him, I found it so interesting. It changed my outlook on life, and definitely improved my patience. I am really looking forward to working with children with Autism in my fieldwork three placement. I have chosen five videos about Autism that I found very interesting. I chose 4 very different videos so that those reading could expand their knowledge base about Autism and gain a better understanding, and one that was a response to their previous video thanking all that supported them. These videos help explain, demonstrate and provide personal experience of Autism. 

This first video I found was just titled Autism, but is done by a man who has a youtube channel "". His nephew Jason has autism, and he would like to create a better awareness around it, therefore creating less stigma.

The second video I found, is a parents attempt at looking at their daughter's autism, through their daughters eyes. They imply that Madison gained autism after receiving her MMR shots as a baby. Her life changes dramatically, also affecting their family.

This third video is an Occupational therapist working with a Grandmother and her Grandson that has autism. Her focus of the therapy session is on play and it shows a lot of good tips that I will attempt in later placements or in the workplace.

This forth video was extremely moving. I was crying from almost the beginning. It is a fathers point of view, explaining about his daughter's autism, the therapy she goes through, and the battles he has with insurance and health care systems in America.

This fifth video is a response from the same father as the video above, this time with his daughter also in it. He tries to make a thank you video but even this simple task takes 2 minutes and 55 seconds to complete. 

Slide show : Being, doing, belonging and becoming.

Arts and Crafts

Art and craft has always been a big part of my life as my as I come from a creative family. We have an artist (aunty), Dress maker (nana), Cake decorator ( grandma), and an interior designer (uncle).
Art and craft was a vital part of my fieldwork two placement at a school. Schools often incorporate art and crafts into their teaching methods so that the children pay more attention and learn better. Including art and craft into learning inspires creativity and also covers more learning styles.

In slides 3 - 8 the occupation of 'doing' is being portrayed. Doing -Taking part in purposeful activities. (Wilcock, 1998). This is shown in my slide by arts and crafts that people have made as a form of doing as an occupation.

In slides 9 - 12 the occupation of 'being' is portrayed. Being - Time taken to reflect and appreciate the meaning and value in what we do. (Wilcock, 1998). This is shown in my pictures by the human desire to 'be' through arts and crafts.

In slides 13 - 15 the occupation of 'becoming' is being portrayed. Becoming – Envisioning our future and what we wish to become. (Wilcock, 1998). This is shown by the human desire to make something of themselves through art and craft. 

In slides 16 - 21 the occupation of 'belonging' is being portaryed. Belonging –  The sense of being included through occupational performance and social interaction. The sense of inclusion and support. (Wilcock, 1998). This is portrayed in my pictures by a sense of community and unity.

Here it is! Enjoy! ☻☺

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Week One – Information Technology and Ethical Issues

Information technology is “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of infotech". Information technology is a general term that describes any technology that helps to produce, manipulate, store, communicate, and/or disseminate information” (Wikipedia, 2012).

Information technology is very prevalent in todays society, it is everywhere you turn and very common place. It is forever changing, adapting and getting more and more advanced. This causes demands on society to continue updating or improving their technology to keep up with the changes.

I use many IT devices in my day to day life, most commonly my laptop and phone, but am also have an ipod and digital camera, and commonly use social networking sites and emails.

A form of technology that I have noticed is used a lot during my fieldwork placements has been a digital camera. A placement I attended at a school placement used digital cameras for taking photos of the students and their artworks. Teachers took photos of their students and hung them up in the staff room with their names underneath so that the teachers could easily identify the students and build rapport with them as the teachers will know their name, even if they don’t teach the child. They also used the digital camera to take photo’s of the students artwork so that it could be posted in the school news letter, or if the child chose to take their artwork home, the teachers would still have a copy. The other form of technology that is commonly used in practice is a computer. They store and write student notes, school reports, and be used during meetings.

Even if IT systems and devices are helpful there can also be ethical implications that need to be addressed when using them, the main being privacy. Common privacy issues that can be overlooked is did a person agree to that information being taken, what will it be used for and who else has access to it. This is common with photographs, especially if they are used on social media websites.

Computer Ethics - “is a branch of practical philosophy which deals with how computing professionals should make decisions regarding professional and social conduct” (

Intellectual Property - “is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which property rights are recognised--and the corresponding fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions” (

Social Justice - “is the application of the concept of justice on a social scale” (

Informed Consent - “is a phrase often used in the law to indicate that the consent a person gives meets certain minimum standards” (

From these definitions it is important to recognise the use of ITC in practice, as every therapist needs to be aware of how information is being used, where it is going and who has access to it. Without this it could lead to individuals privacy being broken.