Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology: what is it when refer to assistive technology?Cook and Hussey define it as

Any item, piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

I like to define assistive technology as any item that can be used to adapt the use of or make possible the use of equipment that can be used as an aid to improve independent performance or teach a skill that improves an individuals fuctional capabilities.

Unfortunately I missed the assistive technology tutorial but I will introduce a piece of assistive technology that I will be writing a report about. Its called The Nintendo Wii console, sold as a bundle which is another way of saying package, consisting of a console, wireless hand held remote and accompanying game which may also contain tje relavant accessaries i.e a balance board or presure mat. The remote, board and pressure mat are all movement sensitive, the gathered information is relayed to the console. These things are amazing in their rehabiltative potential and advances in technology in modifications to the accessoties are making them even more user friendly to those with disability. Aside from the fun and motivational qualities of the product, which helps ensure adherence to the intervention therapy, co-ordination, grip strength and cognitive processes involved in playing enhance and improve the function of the client through their participation.
As I've said before a pacture is worth a thousand words so I'll leave you with this very helpful site I found on the Wiiha, a Wiihabilitation site. Oh I nearly forgot to mention the cost average cost of the Nintendo Wii console is $399.00 to $600.00, but the $399.00 model is fine you don't need to go top of the range for a good product, then you've got to buy the games, although some console bundles come with a game like the Wiisport that also has the remote as well. The Wii fitgame comes eith the balance board accessory. I'll have to get back to you with the web site address for wiihabilitation cause I can't find it right now.

Tuitorial Six: The Internet and on line communnities

In this blog we are to choose 3 on line communities , provide the addresses and make comments on their purosoe etc. So to start here are said on line communities:

Trademe -
Facebook -
Youtube _

A brief description:
Trademe is a web site solely for the purpose of buying and selling items that someone is either trying to make a profit on or just wants the best price they can get by reaching the widest possible market population.And the buyer is after the best deal they can get. All abit of as risky business with no recall, no refund, and no guarantee that you're gonna get what you thought you were, in fact you can end up with no money and nothing to show for it !
Facebook appears to be a way of catching up or keeping up with the goss, who's' doing what where how or how often. Its possible to up date mates by posting photos and leaving messages. Its kinda like keeping a public dairy which lots of people can read so you only have to write one letter/post to keep in touch with everyone, instead of writing heaps of them and then paying for postage. I don"t like the idea of being out there in the public eye, at least that's how it makes me feel and I get pretty annoyed with those darned messages that keep telling me I've got mail, much rather a yak over coffee.
YouTube seems to be away of sharing info as well. You can post videos of your mates doing something they'd rather forget and wish everyone Else would, or for a more useful way of sharing interesting and helpful information.

How interactive are they?

Trademe is a two way interaction in the exchange of information and posting bids. Further product information can be gathered by asking questions on the site of interest, but its pretty much just for buying and selling purposes.

Facebook and Youtube tend to be delayed interaction, not like a phone call where the response is immediate, but faster than waiting for a reply to a letter.Youtube does have the added advantage of being able to post up pretty much anyone or thing, this isn't really an advantage to who ever might be in the video, if they'd rather not have been caught on screen. I'm not to sure on the legalities of this pass t9me but it seems to pretty loose, judging by some of the stuff up there. But some of the sites are a treasure trove of shared information. But still not the same as sitting down and having a face to face discussion.

Why might people contribute to the sight and what are they seeking?
Well trademes obviously one seeking to sell something for the best price, and reach the largest market they can. The other is trying to buy something for the best possible price without having to leave the comfort of their living room to do it. But you can certainly save yourself a fair amount of money if you're willing to take the risk.
Facebook is people wanting to stay in touch, when distance or time is an obstacle and they're seeking to inform a large group of people, covering a large geographical area quickly and easily.
Youtube contributors are really just wanting to share experiences and info with the rest of the world not particularly aimed at making contact with anyone in particular. Aside from having a desire to inform others about things of similar interest, I'm not to sure why people put some of the stuff up their that they do.All three sites are sharing information, but only trademe and Facebook are reciprocal. Facebook you can reply and discuss in a disjointed way, trademe is reciprocal in sharing information.

The thing about these sites is that its hard to govern legalities of consent, honesty and inappropriate use of information. On trademe you could think you're paying for a great product like the car that's perfect for you, only to get it home and find the motors not exactly good to go. But its buyer beware so these no refund and comeback, its a risky business.
Facebook you can say whatever you want about anyone or publicly harass and abuse somebody without ever giving your identity away.
A major benefit to using these sites is the global coverage you can access, and the numbers of contacts that can be made, although you can only bid on trademe if you have a
new Zealand bank account.

The problem I find with communicating online is the lack of personal interaction, these not the immediate feedback that is apparent in face to face contact. These this barrier there that prohibits that bouncing of ideas and genuineness that you get face to face. The writing and the screen seem to me to be a barrier to honest interpersonal interaction, and in a way its pretty isolating communicating through a screen from your little space in the world. Great for sharing and accessing information you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to though.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

YouTube services and topics of interest in Video form

todays post I'm going to take a look at some of the services YouTube offers but first heres a definition of what YouTube is:

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005.[3].

So we know that we can browse through YouTube checking out what other people have been up to , somethings are a bit out there and the information put up isn't sensored, so occassionally in appropriate veiwing happens, parents beware. We can download videos for our own interest or to use as demonstration of skills, information or to clarify ideas through visual information. And we can upload videos that we might like to share with others. YouTube serves as a great source of information about pretty much anything you care to checkout. However its service is open to misuse in regards to privacy, consent and possibly pirating ideas.

For an Occupational Therapist YouTube can act as a create tool for research and sharing ideas, or demonstrating ideas visually. I've choosen the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation, as this area is of particular interest for me, and have downloaded five videos that are relevant to this topic that you might find interesting; This is just a very short video that gives a breif veiw of the physchological state of some patients that, as an OT, we may encounter. Motivation would seem to be quite a challenge.

This one covers the condition of 'footdrop', discribing the consequences of footdrop to the client and gives information about an electrical assistive device called 'walkaid' used to activate the non working muscles required to lift the toes. YouTube - BTS ANYMOV from MEDICA test - An interesting look at the possibilities of assistive technology.

This video demonstrates the use a device that sends electrical currents to the muscle in the fore arm that stimulates finger movement in hand grip http://

A look ok at the value and meaning of having faith and perserverance

A look at another form of therapy for stroke rehabilitation.

Well, thats it for today, hope you find these sites ok.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Video Production Sessions

Okay, so far we've covered Information Technology, Ethical Issues, Digital Imaging and I've managed to create a blog and make postings on it. Some where in there is a flickr account as well (I hope). The next thing is the video session, whioch was quite fun to make. This is what we did, in case you want to give it ago yourself;
The Task- self was to select a topic for the video, it might be over coming adversity, discuss with our fellow film makers what this means and how it might be portrayed, with out the use of sound, decide who was doing what. Check out the camera and accompanying equipment, so that you know where stop and go is, and how to zoom in/out and pan the camera. Ok so far so good. Next is the story board and script. The story board is a sequence of small thunbnial boxes on paper, in these boxes we are to depict each scene whe invisage that will tell the story, the amount of boxes used is dependent on how long your video is. In our case it was only 30seconds, its quite along time when trying to do it right though. So, in each box draw a basic picture of whats going on in that scene, breaking the film idea down into lots of little pictures, now decide exactly what it is your character should say and do, what message are they trying to get across here, write and discribe this below each box. Now that you know fairly clearly what you films about and what each persons doiing you can now go forth and give it ago.
Having been out and made yourself feel like a complete idiot (who wants to be a movie star now!)you now need to up load the video from camera to computer, edit it , add any desired effects e.g sound track, colour effects, speed, and removed any undesirable footage, like that bit where you were caught picking your nose on film, I know you thought no-one was looking, but there it is in black and white (or colour) for every one to see. Just imagine if that made it to face book, reputations can be made or destroyed in the blink of a button, this is whats meant by cosent and inappropriate use of images. Back to the objective, O.K. your videos the fits the time length given, effects have been added, bloopers removed, you're ready to up load on to your blogg page and thats where it all starts getting a bit sticky for me. I think you've got to put on to a USB memory stick and then I'm not to sure, so will have to go give it a try watch this space........ hmmm, found the video up load button think, its the one at the top of the screen you write in when posting your blogg, its got a littlle picture of a piece of film on it, only now I've lost my USB stick so I'm going to finish up this post here and get back to you, when I can, on posting up you video on your blogg, see you later.

Digital Imaging

Information technology(IT), in todays world has enhanced our ability to store , share and transfer knowledge through the use of digital imagery. These images can be altered to create a desired effect if the individual desires. One soft ware programmes that enable us to this are photo shop.Computors all have programmes that enabling storing, sending or manipilating images, all you have to know is how to access and work these programmes, its that simple! Yeah right ha ha!
Some examples of the ways in which we apply digital imaging are video cameras. live preveiw digital cameras, laptops(transferring images), camera phones for capturing and transferring and some ability to store. skpe, not sure of the spelling on this one , but its pretty handy if you know how, you can look at whoever you're talking to or you can move the camera component to show the person(s) what you're talking about .This gives the veiwer a far more accurate idea of what you're talking about, as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words".
Some other ways in which images can be transferred are up loading images from camera to be stored in a personal file, or sent to another for storage, use or clarification e.g as an OT an we can take a photo of a piece of equipment or of something needing adaptation, up load it to a website to get others input, or email to another professional in order to clarify or identify what may need to be done. W can take a video and transfer the knowledge to a blogg site to back up a written discription, again clarifying meaning and generate understanding of what is meant, needed, or more accuratly discribe a situation, condition or the implications of a condition or disability. As a student I have experienced this method of transferring information through imaging alot in creating a better understanding of a condition in several of my classes.
We can say that "a new technology is rarely superior to an old one in every feature", but actually its pretty hard to fault the advances technology has made in regard to digital imagery, in both the camera itself and its mirade uses that IT has opened up. They're quick and easy to capture images on, we can just delete any pictures we don't want by veiwing and pushinag a button immediatly, no need for development avoiding expense and time delay. They can be up loaded to yor personal computer or sent to anyone any where in the world at any time, and the veiwed a fraction of time later.The quality of the digital photo versus the good old manual can be debated, but to the general Joe it looks pretty equal in quality. And theres the added advantage of being able to print out as many copies as you like the only cost is in ink, and a fraction of your time in comparison withe traditional version of printing. There is one or two down falls though, transferring of images and/or posting them on a publec or private forum opens the door for some ethical issues such as the inappropriate use of images, invasion of privacy and getting consent from individuals captured sunbathing, in the background of the photo your mates at the beach for example, this could be intentional or unintentional. Idea pirating is another problem e.g who owns the image, there have been legal disputes over ownership and the finacial gain made from some images.
In the Occupational Therapy professon the technology at fingertips has become invaluable in sharing information and knowledge, as well as being able to store an image instead of relying some times inaccurate memory. For example as an OT you go off to see your client who is having truoble with bathroom accessibility, and the layout of the room its self is causing difficulty, and the fittingds and fixtures may need adaptation as well, instead of writing a book trying to discribe , accurately the situation, a file of well taken images can store that information.This information can be transferred to any other professionals required to get the job done e.g builders, funding agencies or other OT for their opinion. These no variation in interpretation because its right the in colour or black and white as the saying goes.
If, as Occupational Therapist, we're involved with mobility, in this case physical movement in p[erforming an action , we can video the movement for later analysis and compare, adapt equipment to fit the action or the disability. We can also use digital images stored on file to monitor the progress of a client and avaluate the successfulness of a prescribed intervention. Using images of the intervention in use, so we can evaluate why it did or didn't work anf veiw where changes need to be made. The list of uses in digital imagery gets longer and longer as IT and its associated uses keeps growing. What will we do when we run out of the resources ie oil and electricity, will we rememer what a pen and paper is? Or will generations down the years think the pencil is a new invention?
And if you're anything like me, who is still struggling to grasp the basics of blogging, hyperlinks (thats why I haven'y used any yet) and the internet, knowledge or the lack of is one of the major faults in the use of IT, and I have to say I struggle with being taught in a group, for me one on one and clear recise instructions are required, actually digital imaging could be used as a form of instruction in this paper at least I'd have some reference to go on!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Information Technology and Ethical Issues.

This posting covers a definition of information technology, it also discusses possible ethical issues surrounding the use of IT and also my own feeling toward using IT devices.
Information and information technology i.e., computers, telecommunication, gaming programmes are concerned with the use of technology in managing and processing information (http://en In my own words information technology (IT), is the way in which we use digital technology i.e., cameras, computers, mobile phones, diaries to store, process or gather information that we may require immediately or at a later date.
In to days society IT has almost become a way of life, some might say a 'lifeline', to maintaining contact and keeping in touch with our immediate circle of friends and wider community. IT also enables us to keep up with fast moving advances that are being made world wide in what ever area of work we are in. This is particularly relevant to the area of health and science, as an occupational therapist new ways of approaching client issues and therapies are at our finger tips through the advances of the information technology available to us in today's world and the computer age, e-mail, skype, fax, the Internet, mobile phones and even Internet access through your mobile! Not to mention wireless laptop, the use of camera and video on phones and the transportability via memory stick of information, the list is endless and ever growing. However, in our insatiable desire for bigger, better faster we have forgotten one crucial criteria that enables the use of IT, electricity, the power, in a power cut may you be blessed with a infallible back up system!
Of course the other key criteria to the use of IT as a tool, is education and level of competency. I, myself, detest using computers, hence my reluctance to participate in this particular paper. The reason for this almost allergic reaction to all things computer? Lack of familiarity and education in the area of computer use, this then kicks high rising levels of anxiety and discomfort, which I would rather avoid where possible, thus I try to avoid the computer when possible. But, you know, since I've been studying I've gotten allot better, I no longer panic at the though of digitally dropboxing assignments, I can send and receive email, and am a dab hand with my cell phone, in fact, like so many others I'd be lost without it. So we can see that its just a matter of education and becoming familiar with the unfamiliar, the old dog being open to learning new tricks. Today's generation need have no fear, well they don't have any because ITs built into there world, our world, today's world.
The use IT in occupational Therapy is evident in the use of bloggs, youtube and other forms of information sharing. Emailing, photographic and video information can be made immediately available via various forms of IT. When using these forms of information sharing issues of consent confidentiality and intellectual property need to be considered. File information can be made accessible to others which should remain confidential.
Intellectual property refers to to the legal entitlement attached to certain types of information, ideas or subject matter of the person(s) using such information.
Social justice is the accessibility of the use of IT to all individuals and groups regardless of disability or functional abilities, it refers to 'fair treatment ' or giving everyone in the population a 'just share'.
Informed consent is the the given agreement of those involved in the information sharing that they have a clear understanding of the process and risk involved in the process.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Participation in Occupation 2011

Hi again!
Here we are PIO 2011. This paper is once again participation in occupation, the 2011 version! It is concerned with the technicological applications that can be applied in todays world of occupational therapy to enable the occupational participation of the clients that we, as occupational therapists, maybe involved with. In the following blog posts I will describe how and why IT can be applied, and also make you aware of some of the pitfalls of IT usage.