Thursday, 17 May 2012

Online Communities

My field work one placement was on an elderly rehab ward. One common reason patients were admitted to this ward was due to stroke. For my online community post I decided to investigate online support and communities for individuals that had suffered a stroke. This would fit into occupational disruption as it is often has a sudden onset that can leave a normally functioning individual impaired, therefore experiencing some form of occupational disruption to their activities of daily living.  The follow links and descriptions of 3 online communities that I found.  

The following web site is an online community for individuals who have suffered a stroke. The web site describes it as a way for survivors to, connect, share tips, stories and support each other during tough times. People are able to contribute their stories and interact through forums and private messages.

 The following website describes itself as offering support and information for people who have suffered stroke, their family, and caregivers.
People are able to interact with each other via forums, chat sessions, instant message and blogs.
Members are able to contribute their story of recovery with other members and offer each other support. provides education and support to survivors of stroke and their caregivers. Members are able to contribute their stories,support , and tips via chat, forums and blogs

Individuals may choose to contribute to this site after suffering a stroke to gain support, find out how others managed and coped, vent their frustrations,identify and talk to someone the knows and understands what they are going through. People may want to seek advice, support, help and friendship from other who know and understand their situation. These sites address the concept of occupational disruption by offering education and tips enabling individuals to cope with the disruption to their life.

Benefits and Drawbacks:
One of the main benefits of these online communities is to gain support from people who know and understanding what the person is going through. A lot of these sights say they also offer education and tips, this may also be beneficial to learn how overs where able to cope post stroke.

A drawback of these sights may be that they are specific to the country they are created in. For example the resources and information they provide may be based in America and not specific to New Zealand.

Work Sheet One:

This is my first blog posting it will focus on information technology and the following:
  • Ethical consideration
  • IT in occupational therapy practice
  • The prevalence in today society
  •  My personal understanding of IT

According to IT (Information Technology) refers to an entire industry that uses computers, networking, software and other equipment to manage information. Modern IT departments in large companies are equipped with computers, DBMS (Database Management Systems), servers and security mechanisms for storing, processing, retrieving and protecting information of the company. ICT (Information Communications Technology) is a term widely used in the context of education. Even though there is no universally accepted definition for ICT, it mainly refers to utilising digital technologies such as computers, television, email, etc to help individuals or organisations to use information.(

If I was to define this into my own words, Information Technology is a much border term, used to cover anything related to computers and technology. Whereas Information communications technology is more specific as it is more commonly used within universities hospitals or organisations to communicate and share information

I feel I am not the words greatest when it comes to using IT devices or systems. I am able to use the basic functions on my laptop, such as word, power point , internet etc.Why may I be limited in this area? One possible reason could be, going to school in the 1990s we were not introduced to computers until the age of 12, before this I only knew two people who owned a computer. My lack of exposure to IT coupled with a general disinterest is probably responsible for my limited knowledge.

The following short videos demonstrate the prevalence of IT in today society. They look at  this history, how IT has evolved and the future for IT .

The following is a short animation showing the evolution of communication.

This video is a longer and more detailed history of IT ......

Here we have a funny video with a different concept, trying to get kids of today to use old technology.

The world as predicted in 2021.

During my placements I have seen IT used as a way for hospital staff to communicate with each other, eg email. On both placements there was not a huge amount of IT usage, as most of the notes and not writing was done on paper and stored in the hospital basement.

There are many ways in which IT could be used as a tool in Occupational Therapy practice. As Verdonk points out IT and communications technology are becoming increasingly popular and becoming an everyday meaningful activity for occupational therapy clients. Therefore it could be used as a potential therapy tool and therapists should capitalise on the opportunities offered by mainstream technology(Verdonk,2008)

For example it has become increasing popular to use video games such as Wii it rehab settings. Not only would it improve basic motor and co-ordination skills, as the movements required to play the game have the potential to work with rehabilitating physical and possibly cognitive impairments. It is also a fun and enjoyable for clients so it so they becoming more motivated to engage in therapy (Halton,2008)

Having a better understanding to IT and ICT will help Occupational Therapists in practice. As IT usage is increasing, it is fast becoming a meaningful activity for individuals. Therefore it is essential that therapists understand so they can facilitate this for clients.

Ethical considerations:

There are many ethical considerations when sharing photos on the internet. When you upload a picture onto Facebook or any kind of social network site, who then owns it? And who is able to view them? Facebook does have privacy settings so you can restrict who views your photos but how clear are these set out for the consumer? For example when I signed up for Facebook I set all the privacy settings on full, Facebook then changed the lay out and put my setting to default. Having my setting on default allowed Facebook to regulate what was available to the public. The question is does Facebook have an  interest in making your profile public and who owns these images when if I decided to delete my profile.

 The following is an  interesting article about an artist interested in the uploading of photos onto sites such as flicker........ check it out.......

flickrexhibition_mini.jpg retrieved 18/5/2012

References Date retrieved 13/4/12

Halton,J.(2008).Virtual rehabilitation with video games: A new frontier for occupational
therapy. Occupational Therapy Now. 9(6).

Verdonk MC,Rysn,S.,(2008) Mainstream technology as an Occupational Therapy,71(6),

Tutorial Five: Video Production Sessions

My fieldwork two placement was a day programme for elderly who had become socially isolated within the community. It was established in the 1990s as it was becoming an increasing need within the North East Valley and surrounding areas. This day programme gives individuals an opportunity to socialise and build friendships with people in a similar situation. After reflecting on this aspect and relating it to technology I decided to look at elderly using social networking sites or Skype etc as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family.

Here is a 90 year old women connecting with members of her family on her birthday via Facebook. These are probably members if her family and friends she would not other wise receive a birthday message from.

Video encouraging people to help get elderly members of their family to connect to Facebook so they can share more of each others lives.

Frank and Rita trying to use new technology to stay connect and take a photo to send to their family on Franks birthday.

Video talking about the increasing amount of elderly using the internet and social networking sites.

Film production.

The following film was made in class to depict occupational transition. Within this film we showed the transition between living at home and moving to Otago to study and all the challenges that come along with this ie studying too much, eating too much, partying too much, committing to a flat cat etc.

Within this short film we show a series of moving and still images each representing a different challenge the student will face transitioning from living at home in a comfortable warm environment to living independently  in a cold Dunedin flat.

We put together a draft story board of all the key shots and parts of the film we wanted to show. This helped guide us when we went to film because it gave us focus and time was not wasted filming content that would not be in the final edit.

Doing, being, becoming, belonging......

This slide show is a series of pictures that represent a sand saucer flower arrangement activity, carried out on fieldwork two. During my time on placement a lot of emphasis was put on arts and craft based activities such as this one. The following is an explanation of how it fits into the categories of doing, being, becoming and belonging.

Hamell describes doing as an activity that has purpose and is goal orientated.(Hamell,1998)  When facilitating a large group activity in this setting, it is difficult  to find one activity that holds purpose and meaning to all participant’s. The group members all had different backgrounds and interests
Being is defined by Hammell as a time to reflect, discover or rediscover the self, savour the moment, appreciate nature, art or music and enjoy being with special people.(Hammell,2004) This was evident by the way the clients interacted with each other. It was obvious that this group was a social outlet for many of them and the “ being “ to them was spending time together in a group of their peers.

Belonging has been used to describe the necessary contribution of “social interaction, mutual support and friendship, and the sense of being included.”Rebeiro et al.(2001)  Belonging was very evident within this group. It was clearly observed clients enjoyed the social interaction of the group and support of peers in the same life stage and similar situation. This in turn lead to strong friend ship being built as some clients had been attending for over 10 years. Through group activities such as the example of the flower sand saucer, clients were able to increase interaction and social engagement amongst the group, and use it as a topic of conversation, work together and help one another.

“Becoming describes the idea that people can envision future selves and possible lives, explore new opportunities an harbour ideas about who or what they wish to become” (Hammell,2004.pg304) While participating in arts and craft clients may enjoy it so much that the can envision themselves carrying on with the hobby and expanding their knowlegde.

Follow this link to my slide show.......


Hammell, K.W. (2004). Dimensions of meaning in the occupations of daily life.  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (5). 

Assisstive Technology

Cook and hussy define assistive technology as a broad range of devices, strategies, and practices that are conceived and applied to help improve a problem faced by an individual with a disability.(Cook&Hussey, 2000)

Cook and Hussey characterise assistive devices into several areas, low to high technology, hard to soft technology, appliances versus tools, minimal to maximal technology, general versus specific technologies, commercial to custom technology. Using these categories they are able to cover a large range of devices, from equipment requiring technology such as a pencil and paper communication board to a high technology device such as wheelchairs, electronic communication devices, and computers. Cook and Hussey go on to cover other areas of assistive technology such as , hard to soft technology, appliances versus tools, minimal to maximal technology, general versus specific technologies, commercial to custom technology.

I would define assistive technology as a large area, covering any type of equipment or device that can be used to enable an individual with a disability to maintain or increase independence

Siri for iPhone 4S:Siri is an inbuilt speech interpretation and recognition interface. The application uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendation and perform actions.(

Siri enables individuals with visual impairments to access an iPhones independently. This opens the door to communication and independence enabling them to engage with others via txt and email and keep up to date with the latest technology. The technology is in its infancy and the possibilities can only be imagined. 

This is occupational justice for individuals who otherwise would not be able to use items such as smartphones

Check out the following links!



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