Sunday, June 8, 2008

Assistive Technology

Tutorial Eight:

Definition of Assistive technology

Assistive technology is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. Although, Cook & Hussey (2001) report this term is usually not used for rehabilitative devices and for devices that able-bodied find useful. According to disability advocates, technology is often created without regard to people with disabilities, creating unnecessary barriers to hundreds of millions of people.

Assistive_technology. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved June 07, 2008, from website:

Describe one piece of equipment introduced in assistive technology tutorial.

An Augmentative Communication Device called “Tech Talk” by Spectronics.

It is an electronic communication board with 6, 8 or 12 levels for a total of up to 96 messages. It can be used by all ages.

It is about keyboard size with 8 squares (7x7cm) that can have pre recorded messages that match corresponding pictures and play when touched. It is able to be programmed to record and playback 48-96 independent messages.

Graphic overlays (picture cards) can be changed easily by sliding though a slot in the housing grid. It is also possible to have an optional four output jacks for external connections to control toys, appliances, etc. and 4 input jacks for switch access available.

The price is dependant on the actual model and level. Prices range from $699-$1958 + GST.

How does this piece of equipment increase functional capacity for the user?

This device helps with increased communication and communication development. It allows its users the ability to make simple requests and responses. Many of these are for basic needs e.g. to answer “yes/no” or “ Can I have breakfast”, “I would like to have a wash”

Posting YouTube Videos and Flickr Badges to Blog

Tutorial Seven:

Task one: Step by Step process required to embed You Tube Videos into your blog.

Step 1 - Log onto You Tube and look up the video you wish to post to your blog.
Step 2 - Log onto your own Blog site
Step 3 - To post the You Tube video onto your blog all you need to do is copy the URL code from the video (URL codes can be found next to all video footage on
Step 4 - Paste the URL code into a new post for your blog.
Step 5 - Give your posting a heading and a description on what the video clip is about.
Step 6 - Save changes to your new posting.
Step 7 - Publish your post.

Task two: Explain the step by step process required to embed a Flickr Badge into your Blog.

Step 1 - Log onto your Blog account.
Step 2 - Log onto your flikr account.
Step 3 - Click on tools at bottom of page.
Step 4 - Follow the step by step instructions until end where the URL code comes up.
Step 5 - Copy the URL code.
Step 6 - Click on customize.
Step 7 - Click on add elements.
Step 8 - Click on script.
Step 9 - Paste URL in box provided.
Step 10 - Give your Badge a name e.g. Photo Badge, Pictures etc.
Step 11 - Save changes to your new posting.
Step 12 - Publish your new Post.

The Internet and Online Communities

Tutorial Six:

Online community investigated:

Disabled Online –

The brief focus of this community:

Disabledonline is dedicated to providing the best content/information to people with disabilities, their families and friends. Its primary purpose is to offer barrier free opportunities for those who may face physical and mental obstacles on a daily basis. It offers a wide range of topics from education to shopping from websites that have been approved.

What services are provided? How interactive is this site? How can people contribute?

It provides a variety of interactive tools. It has online public community forums where people can post topics and respond to questions from other disabled users, family, co-workers etc. It also has chat rooms for people to engage in and an online classified section.

Why people may choose to comment on this community. What is it they are seeking?

People are able to connect with like minded and those with similar experiences. It is a great resource, almost like a one stop shop for support and information from those that understand.

People are likely to get helpful answers, solutions to what they need to know, and access material that would otherwise be difficult to find. People have a chance to express themselves and share experiences which in turn can educate those who are not disabled and wish to support their friends and loved ones.

An example of the type of topics being discussed.

News and Articles on various informative or interest topics for people with disabilities.

The following is an excerpt from Robin from the UK on public toilets for wheelchair users

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:41 pm Post subject: The Importance of Correct WC Facilities for Disabled People

As a disabled person, I find it disturbing that many hotels, restaurants and shops that offer disabled WC facilities are not only failing under their duties of the Disability Discrimination Act but are in fact putting disabled people at risk of accident or injury.

Disabled WC’s have very specific requirements under the DDA. These requirements are not pie in the sky over the top rules and regulations implemented by those upstairs in government.

A disabled WC compartment has to meet the needs of all disabled people and offer safe transfer both on and off the WC for wheelchair users. The serious lack of facilities such as drop down grab rails and support rails not only makes using these facilities difficult if not impossible, it makes them dangerous and puts the disabled person as risk. Further more it puts the company that offer such facilities responsible and ultimately to blame should any claim of injury arise!

Potential ethical issues that may arise in this community e.g. lack of identity and accountability.

This site has a code of conduct. To join the interactive areas of the site you must become a member, be older that 13years old and agree to the terms and conditions. Expression and a sharing of views are encouraged but any misconduct will not be tolerated. It can be reported and the site endeavours to remove anything offensive and keep it a safe environment. Reviews can be made anonymously which address the right of ones privacy.

The benefits this community holds over traditional notions of community e.g. communities reliant on geographic proximity.

People of this community definitely do not have to worry about access or mobility when it comes to meeting up with their fellow posters. Information can be shared on a greater scale as it is not confined to one area or country. The pool of knowledge can therefore be greater and people are more likely to find those who are experiencing similar issues. It is often easier to be opinionated and express, without fear of discrimination when one cannot be identified the same by being online.

What this community lacks or cannot provide that a traditional community can.

This community lacks the personable factor of face to face interaction. Access is limited to those who have the facilities or access to computer and internet. The content of what is posted has to be accepted as being open to the public for viewing and can be commented on.

To the Story Board

Task five: Planning the short film.

Planning a short film with the use of a storyboard helped to keep ideas in order. It was a useful visual aid of all the photos/video shots that we wanted to use. Once the theme of the video clip had been decided, the story board planning was a reference that helped the project stay on track and keep the filming/footage to a minimum. This was important given the time restraints of the project. The story board planning gave all members of the group chance to contribute to with various ideas.

Once the photos and video recordings were completed, they were edited in the classroom. The group then came up with the name O.T. World.

On the Tube

Video Production Sessions

Task four: YouTube services summary.

YouTube is a video sharing website. Once registered, users can upload, share and view video clips. Videos can be commented on and/or logged as favourite. A search is available that will bring up any clip that matches the description. They can be almost anything from serious to humorous, educational or entertaining. They can be video clips, movie clips, TV clips, music clips and more. Non-registered users can still view and download most video clips but cannot upload, or make comments etc. YouTube can be accessed to load clips onto other sites, like the blogs.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Blog Blog

Tutorial Three: A brief summary of the services offered by Blogger.

Blogger is an online/ website service that allow people to blog. Blogging is like an online journal that allows one to share ideas, thoughts, new, and anything that may be thought of interest. Blogger offers this and a means to post images, videos (from the likes of YouTube) and links to other sites. Entries may be edited and others can be allowed to also comment and make postings.

Other blog host examples are “myspace” and “facebook”.

Digital Cameras - the modern way to snap

Tutorial Two: Digital Camera use and applications

A new technology is rarely superior to an old one in every feature". Briefly discuss this statement in relation to digital camera technology. What would you consider to be some of the pluses and minuses digital camera technology holds in relation to more traditional film based cameras?

For the average user, new technology may not necessarily make it superior. It can just add to the confusion of how to get the best shot. More features usually equals greater expense, yet too many features are likely to be ignored for the user who just wants to point and shoot, as they used to do with the old cameras that required film. The basic components of a film camera have not changed much, yet with digital cameras, new features and technologies are being developed so quickly that often what you buy is often already outdated in some way even before you get it out of the shop.

Digital technology has in someway eliminated the excitement and anticipation of what the “snaps” may reveal once developed. The positive is that we can almost ensure that the final product will be what we want. We have the chance to view the image and delete it and take the shot again if we didn’t like it the first time. Maybe we end up posing many times more now.

Digital images can be stored in so many different ways. It opens up new and faster opportunities for images to be shared around the world. This however requires additional technology. Same people may still prefer the good old-fashioned photo album that they can pass around.

List some of the ways that digital images can be stored transferred and manipulated using other communication technology?

Digital images are stored in the memory card inside the camera, the capacities of which are variable. They can then be transferred to the hard-drive of the computer or onto cd or dvd. They can also be stored on USB sticks or devices such as ipods. Digital images can also be stored on the mobile phones and transferred via internet or email to mass storage sites on the internet like “flickr”. They can also be transferred onto blogs or social networking sites.

It is possible to manipulate the image-using image editing programmes. This allows one to reduce red eye, crop and even add or wipe out images.

Given the prevalence of image capturing devices, and thinking about the issues discussed in tutorial one, consider what sort of ethical issues may arise with their use?

Some image capturing devices are so small they could almost be used with out the subject knowing. Technology has enabled the capturing and production or posting of an image to be so quick and easy. Privacy issues may arise when someone has been photographed with out permission or consent sought. It can be seen as a violation of rights for an image that can identify someone, is posted without permission.

Briefly discuss some of the ways that digital images could, or are, being used in occupational therapy practice?
Digital cameras can be used to take photos of a client’s home or work environment to have a record of current set up and aid in the process of making changes or be added as evidence in reports for modifications.

Images and the video function can be used to record a client’s movement or action/activity to give them visual feed back on what is happening or to provide a baseline record to later compare to. It takes a recording that would perhaps be superior to plain observation and be a means for ensuring notes are accurate.

Provide a brief summary of the services offered by is a website that allow people to post and store there images. It is a way storing images and by doing so can give the option of freeing up space on your personal computer. Once registered, images can be posted and retrieved. Others can also view your images. This is a helpful way of sharing images without having to worry about sending large files through email. Flickr also enables images to be manipulated, enhanced, cropped etc.

Name one other photo storage website which offers a service similar to, snapfish.

Explain what the difference is between a digital and optical zoom.

Most digital cameras have both optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom works just like a zoom lens on a regular film camera whereby the focal length changes the optics of the lens magnifies the size of image. Image quality stays high throughout the zoom range. Digital zoom on the other hand comes at the expense of the resolution as itThe lens changes focal length and magnification as it is zoomed. Digital zoom crops the image to a smaller size, and then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame again. The remaining pixels filling the same space give the appearance of zoom. This results in a loss in the quality and clarity of the image. It may therefore be better to choose a camera with higher optical zoom and higher mega pixels to ensure good quality resolution with high magnification.

Explain what is meant by the term mega pixel?

A pixel is a tiny square of colour that makes up part of the digital image. A mega pixel is made up of one million pixels. The higher the mega pixel count a camera has, the higher the resolution and the better quality especially if the image is enlarged. Some cameras have as high as 14 mega pixels (MP). For the amateur user, a 3 mega pixel camera will give good quality shots for standard sized prints.