This is my final post for the Participation in Occupation paper.
According to Verdonck & Ryan (2008) technology is becoming a daily meaningful occupation and therefore can be used as a therapy tool. It can be used to improve a person’s functional independence. Assistive Technology is the "Technological devices designed to enable active engagement or participation in occupations through energy conservation, accommodation for diverse physical abilities, or compensation for functional limitations or disability” (Christensen & Townsend, 2010, p. 417). In basic terms, assistive technology is the name given to an item or device that improves a persons abilities. (woop woop go assistive technology!)
Assistive technology is the name given to an item or device which improves a person’s functional and abilities.
My personal interpretation of that, is that assistive technology is devices used by those with disabilities to maintain or increase their abilities. this can be modifying an already existing piece of equipment or an invention of a totally new one.
A piece of equipment that I have mentioned a particular liking for and that is a form of assistive technology is the iPad.
The iPad is a tablet computer designed and developed by Apple. It is particularly marketed as a platform for audio and visual media such as books, periodicals, movies, music, and games, as well as web content.
Look at the following link to learn about some of the iPads specs
From the Apple support website we can see that the iPad is a good size and weight to be a portable assistive device. The iPad is wireless and has a ten hour battery. This means that it can be moved around and used throughout a whole day without having to be connected to a plug to function fully.
The iPad provides the opportunity for increased occupational engagement for disabled users. an example of this is the use of an iPad as a communications device through applications that augment speech, and convert text and pictures to speech such as the proloquo2go application. This is a link to proloquo2go application and what it does.
Here is a video about proloquo2go
For some clients the iPad may provide the difference between communicating with the outside world and being enclosed within their own mind (Brandon, 2009).
Another example is the use of The iPad can to improve fine motor skills in clients through the use of the iPad itself by interacting with it and also specifically tailored applications such as dexteria. This video shows the uses of the application
This can lead to the increased readiness for handwriting skills in both children and adults. There are also interactive applications that focus on handwriting skills and letter recognition too.
Here is a video of a man with limited hand function and how he uses the iPad to write and also other apps he finds useful.
iPads can aid in prevent occupational deprivation. Occupational deprivation is 'A prolonged preclusion from engagement in occupations of necessity or meaning due to factors outside the control of an individual such as through geographical isolation, incarceration or disability.' (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010 p. 421). iPads can help with occupational deprivation in a way that it lets individuals participate in occupations. For example being able to use the iPad to communicate with others is a huge step in over coming occupational deprivation. Individuals who use the communication applications can get a say in what happens to them, what they would like to do and give them an opportunity to participate in socializing in a new way.
So to conclude, technology can be used as a therapy tool and can be used to improve a person’s functional independence. The use of the iPad has the potential to extend the abilities of individuals, positively impact on their ability to communicate and aid in reducing occupational deprivation.
Ciao for now!! :)
Brandon, J. (2009). Is the iPad a ‘miracle device’ for autism?. Fox News. Retrieved May 17 from: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/09/can-apple-ipad-cure-autism/
Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. (2010). Introduction to occupation: The Art of Science and Living (2nd ed.). USA: Pearson, p.177.
Verdonck, M.C., & Ryan, . (2008). Mainstream technology as an occupational therapy tool: technophobe or technogeek?. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(6), 253-256.