Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Meet Aaron Fotheringham.........

All terrain wheelchair

This is a link for a cool wheelchair that can go on a range of terrain and features some pictures of where it can go and the ways people utilise it.

Tutorial 7: Linking to Blogs of Interest

I have searched online and found five blogs of interest. These are:
-A blog that looks at using Wiihab.

-The official American Secretary of Transportation blog, which has some interesting information about driving from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

-An Australian Occupational Therapists blog that looks at the role of online technology in occupational therapy education and practice.

-A blog page from a fellow student to give her perspective on what she is learning about within her Participation in Occupation course.

-A blog page from a occupational therapist who has been working for several years, but started her blog back when she was studying, which is interesting to read how her life has progressed.

- A blog page from Josh Vandervies where he reflects on the 2004 Paralympics and beyond.

Tutorial Two: Occupational Engagement, Doing, Being, Becomming, Belonging.


My chosen occupation is dance. I chose this because it was a huge part of my second fieldwork placement that I was involved with in my first year of studies. Dance can mean many things to many people (personal and social meaning). It can be an expression of self, a way of excercising, a way of socialising or communicating, a way of exploring, the list is endless.
The placement was local community facility. I went there for one morning a week and participated in the dance workshop. Dance covered music appreciation, musical instruments, dancing as individuals, group dancing and partner dancing.
The images used on this powerpoint presentation are not from the fieldwork placement, but they reflect the occupational aspects of doing, being, becomming and belonging.

Doing -The attributes of engaging in the particular occupation or activity. (Christiansen & Townsend 2010).

Being - Occupation is a strong enabler for knowing your self. To know one's self is to know one's being. (Hasselkus 2002). This helps an individual form their identity - ones being and purpose in life.

Becomming - holds ideas of potential and growth, transformation and self-actualization. (Wilcock 1998a, p. 251).

Belonging -Refers to the physical, social and community areas of being. (White & Reed 2008).

The images in the slideshare presentation are as follows:
Image one: Being, doing and belonging: Older ladies dancing in a group. Image two: Is of a school Valentines day dance.(Doing  becoming and belonging). Image three: Town hall dance back in the day. (Doing, belonging) Image four: A couple dancing. (Doing, belonging) Image five: two little girls in tu tus and point shoes. (Doing, being, becoming, belonging). Image six: a couple dancing to the band. (Doing, belonging). Image seven: Powwow - native American dance. (Doing, becomming, being, belonging). Image eight: Two people dancing in dance studio. (Doing, being, becomming, belonging) Image nine: Man dancing with lacey ballerinas. (Doing, being, becomming, belonging). Image ten: Lady bend backwards - amazing flexiblity. (Doing, being). Image eleven: Russians teaching prisioner to dance. (Doing, becoming, belonging). Image twelve: Umberella ballet. (Doing, being, belonging). Image thirteen depicts a lady in a beautiful dress dancing. (Doing, being). Image fourteen is about a group of people partying. (Doing, becomming, belonging). Image fifteen depicts American artists celebrating dance. (Doing, belonging). Image sixteen depicts me dancing outside a massive glasshouse in Adelaide. (Doing) Image seventeen depicts a couple dancing. (Doing, belonging). Image eighteen is a picture of some dancing heels. (Being). Image nineteen is of a dance floor. (Doing). Image twenty is of a couple waltzing outside.(Doing, being, becomming, belonging).

The ethical considerations I took into account when making this presentation where that the photos were obtained legally as they are off the creative commons part of Flickr a photosharing website. The fact that each image has been referenced to prove the photo has been obtained in a honest way and not obtained illegally. The personal photos used have all been referenced accordingly and the people in the photos have all consented to the use of the photo online.

Presentation1 doing beccoming belonging


Christiansen, C. H. & Townsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to occupation. The art of science and living. New Jersey, United States of America. Pearson Education.

Hasselkus, B. R. (2002). The meaning of everyday occupation. New Jersey, United States of America. SLACK.

White, V. K., & Reed, K. (2008). Assessments in occupational therapy mental health: An integrative approach. New Jersey, United States of America. SLACK.

Wilcock, A. A. (1998a). An occupational perspective of health. Thorofare, New Jersey. United States of America. SLACK.

Tutorial Eight - Assistive Technology

In class the other day, we had a Occupational Therapist come and talk to us about his role within a school setting where he works with children with significant physical disability. It was the Occupational Therapists role to assist the students to function as independantly as possible, and provide therapy that is centered on the needs of the student. Often this involved the use of assistive technology in some capacity.

What is Assistive Technology? 

Assistive technology can be defined as a broad range of devices, services and practices that are concieved and applied to ameliorate the problems faced by individuals who have disabilities. (Hussey & Cook 2000).

More simply put, assisstive technology is basically any item (whether a piece of equipment or a service) that can be used to increase or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with some form of disability.

One such piece of equipment is the Ipad. You simply buy the Ipad, then what ever App you require. There are many Apps available to cover a plethora of things - from communicating to entertainment and everything inbetween.  The application im going to look at it for in this blog is for communication.
There are a variety of different Apps you can purchase to assist with communication depending on the individuals level of functioning and how much assistance they require. The nice thing about Apps is that they are available in a range of prices (from free upwards), so are affordable for most people, and they are cheaper to buy and maintain than many of the other assisstive communicative devices.
Depending on the GB size (or storage capacity) and what version of Ipad you buy dictates the price. Currently for the latest Ipad (based on prices from to buy an Ipad that connects using wifi connection a 16 GB costs $729, 32 GB costs $879 and a 64 GB costs $1029. If you are wanting one that connect to the internet via both wifi and cellular networks then 16 GB costs $929, 32 GB costs $1079 and a 64GB costs $1228.

This Utube video shows some of the different communication apps that are available.

The Ipad and its communication Apps have assisted users to increase their occupational involvement as they have a way of communicating with others easily, giving them independance and increasing their functional capabilities. Having a good communicative device enables a person an communicate exactly what they want to say, when they choose to say it - instead of waiting to be understood.

The Ipad with the communicative App can break down the constraints of occupational deprivation (occupational deprivation is when something external to the person is creating conditions that lead to deprivation e.g. geographic, environmental, social, economic, historic, cultural or political) because the communication App programmed with certain accents or certain phrases that are specific to a certain culture, some can work as a translative device where you can put in what you want to say in one language and it comes out in another which can reduce the social aspect of occupational deprivation.

When it comes to occupational transition, a communicative device can enable a person to communicate any worries or concerns they may have about the transitional period to other people, as opposed to if they didnt have the device, they may be unable to communicate their concerns or questions.

The following are two links to Utube clips to demonstrate the use of an ipad with a communicative App.
This shows what the SpeechTree software can do when run with an Ipad.
This link shows how the Ipad can be used with children with autism.
How a little girl called Ainsley uses her Ipad with communicative software.

 Hussey, S. M. & Cook, A. M. (2000). Assistive Technologies: Principals and practice. St. Louis. Mosby.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tutorial Five: Video Production Sessions

                                                 VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS

A particular interest of mine in the occupational therapy area is vehicle modifications. The five Utube videos listed below reflect that interest and each shows a different way that a vehicle can be adapted to enable people to increase access to occupational engagements and increase their involvement in social participation.
Transportation provides human access to other people and places. A lack of transport options can limit an individuals access to various occupational engagements including work, school and many social activities. It can also undermine a person's wellbeing as often a lack of transport will limit an individuals earning potential and involvement in social participation. (Christiansen & Townsend 2010).


REFERENCES: Christiansen, C. H. & Townsend, E, A. (2010). Introduction to occupation the art of science and living. (2nd Ed.). New Jersey. United States of America. Pearson.

Tutorial Six: The Internet and Online Communities


An online community is a community that exists online rather than in the phsical world and helps to fulfill an ongoing need in a persons life. The internet can assist people to become part of a community as it erases boundaries created by time and distance making it easier for people to make and maintain connections. (Kim 2000). This helps to counteract against occupational deprivation. Occupational deprivation occurs when a person is unable to participate in occupations of choice due to factors that are beyond their control. These factors may be social, economic, enviromental, historic, cultural or political. (Christiansen & Townsend 2010). By accessing a meaningful online community of choice it is enabling the person to participate (in some way) in an occupation that they find meaningful to them. The online community is anonomous so there is no need for concern regarding who you are, what you believe or your financial status. You can choose how much information to wish to share, how much information you want to use and how long you want to be a part of it.

There are many online communities in cyberspace that delve into a plethora of different interest groups.
Based on a previous fieldwork placement in Elderly Rehabilitation I decided to look into elderly online communities. Some of these sites assist people with occupational transition.
Occupational transition is defined as a major change in the repertoire of a person in which several occupations change, disappear and/or are replaced with others. (Christiansen & Townsend 2010). There are many transitions that occur through a persons life. One of these is the transition from employed to retired. This can affect a persons whole occupational pattern, where after a lifetime of hardwork every day, a person suddenly has all this extra time on their hands and freedom. People who had difficulty adjusting to retirement had a common reason; they lacked participating in occupations that they found truly engaging. (Christiansen & Townsend 2010). Many of the websites I found had discussions on a variety of topics, blog pages where you could read about other peoples experiences of senior life, information pages on health issues, chat rooms. By accessing these different informative sources it must help in some regard to assisting people in identifying occupations that they find personally satisfying.

It was surprising to find a lack of good online communities for the over 50's that were New Zealand based, so aside from the Age Concern link my other links are either American, Canadian or Australian. provides its website visitors with information that is useful for life, news and articles on recent topics, information on money, health, housing, food, relationships, travel, living. Participants can contribute in the chat rooms, forums, blogs. These have to be signed into before you can participate. 
A Canadian website that is designed for Canadians over 50. It is a good site as it offers games and jokes provides information, articles, news and Canadian site links available for seniors. In addition, it provides a place for seniors to gather and trade information through email pals and senior listings, senior talent page and articles. Although it is designed for Canadian over 50's, it might offer some senior inspiration for people in other parts of the world.
Participants can contribute in the chat rooms, discussion forums, "your opinion" section, column ideas where you can suggest topics that you would like to read about. This site is good as it is quite interactive, invites contributions and it provides alot of information.
Greypath is a site designed  to "empower seniors and enrich the quality of our lives."
It provides links to other useful websites, chat rooms, email pals, forums, competitions and computer help.
Paticipants can contribute in the forums ( health or general forums), competitions, top tips section, chat rooms or the online shop.

This New Zealand based website works to serve the needs of older people and cover issues relevant to older people and aging. Health, money, happiness, safety, my home, out and about, and common questions.
The New Zealand Age Concern website isnt an internet community as such as it is not very interactive, but it does have links to take you to their Facebook webpage.
The website seems quite bland, seems to just provide information as it lacks an interactive element. (Apart from its Facebook page).

Due to the anonymity of the internet it does pose some potential ethical issues as a lack of identity can cause a lack of accountability if anything does go wrong as no one knows who anyone is for definite. People could lie and make up ficticious information and suck other users in, hack into their computers and steal their identities or their money. Computer viruses could get spread and ruin computers, photos could get downloaded for dodgy purposes or used for financial gain. Some people might access a certain community online and bully, harass or cyberstalk the other people that are using it.

In a traditional geographical community you learn things that you wouldn't neccessarily learn from an online community, such as tolerance, patience, respect, courtesey, how to relate to people in a human capacity.
Online, much of that is removed as you are anonymous so you dont have to always uphold these things if you dont feel like it and you can be as rude or reclusive as you like as there is no accountability. It lacks that personal human interaction.
In a traditional community you can be judged for the silliest things such as what car you drive, or what clothes you wear, what accent you have or what job you hold. Online communities dont have the same predjuices as a real community, although there can be bullying in an online community, often you can block the bully or get them removed. Much easier.
There are pros and cons for both types of communities. Its just down to the individual to decide the what they find more meaningful and beneficial to them.


Christiansen, C. H. & Townsend, E. A. (2010). Introduction to occupation. The art of science and living. New Jersey, United States of America. Pearson Education.

Occupational Disruption References: A. J. Kim. (2000). Community building on the web. United State of America. Peachpit Press.