About the name of the blog

Do we need forks? is a name that reflects my philosophy about technology - the first question we should ask is "Do I NEED this?" Will it make my life and meaningful occupations easier, or better in some way?
As a student (first time around), I remember reading a scene from a play set in the 1600s, where French nobles were wondering what to do with a fork. The social context meant that forks were unnecessary. In that time, people would
bring a knife, use a spoon for liquids, and hands for everything else. In a different social context where people are concerned about hygiene, a fork seems relevant. Or you could just wash your hands really well before each meal.
This philosophy about technology relates well to frameworks of occupational therapy. We look at the person - do they really need this technology? - the occupation - how meaningful is this occupation and do they need technology to make it easier to participate in? - and the environment, which includes social factors - is this technology going to fit with their environment?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some thoughts about light...

I was inspired by this talk by Roger van der Heide, a lighting architect: Roger van der Heide at TEDxAmsterdam

When working with people who are recovering from a setback, environment is something OTs have to take into account.  A softly lit or dark room can help calm an anxious person or perhaps frighten another.  A walk in the sun can invigorate someone who is feeling down.  A trip to the theatre (an institution van der Heide credits with exploring light and setting the bar) can inspire and provide an intervention of participation in meaningful occupation.  A room with natural light will put our clients at ease.

So many things to think about for when we get to practice!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A little bit of colour and 3-D thinking...

This is use of information technology (youtube) to record another type of technology (creating art) using coffee cups and paint and a little bit of 3-D thinking.  I love it when people are not restrained by traditional methods of creating art and can come up with their own ideas.
My friend Terri posted this on facebook.  She is an artist, performer, and web communications guru.

Monday, March 21, 2011

1. Information Technology & Ethics - Part Two

Mainly about IT and OT...

Information technology is used in OT practice to help people become independent and to improve their occupational performance.

Verdonck, M. C., & Ryan, S. (2008). Mainstream technology as an occupational therapy tool: Technophobe or technogeek? (Electronic version). British Journal of Occupational Therapy.  Retrieved March 21, 2011, from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6805/is_6_71/ai_n31909080/

Verdonck and Ryan discuss the risks of using online tools being internet addiction and aggression.  Another factor OTs need to be mindful of is the use of the IT tool.  A new gadget or software may look shiny and exciting, but is it the best, most cost effective, and only way to facilitate the client's participation in their meaningful activity?  The other issue is understanding how the tool works.  An OT cannot effectively provide a client with an IT tool if the OT does not completely understand how it works.  Therefore, training needs to occur before implementing any system or tool.

IT as an OT tool of practice
Occupational therapists could use IT systems such as social networking sites to help clients reengage in using those sites as an occupation in itself.  Clients can join forums for people with similar conditions or concerns, or search for a job online.

This is a bit left field, but is definitely OTs using IT in practice.  Six Australian OTs got together to create a database of research to support evidence-based practice.  The result is the OT Seeker database, available to all for free: http://www.otseeker.com/default.aspx

This is an IT worker called Marc Rosette, reviewing an iPad app called 'Dexteria'.  The app was developed by occupational therapists to help with developing and assessing fine motor skills: http://www.vimeo.com/22428863

And this is the American Occupational Therapy Association using vimeo to advertise their 2011 conference to members:
Very cool animation!!!!!

And here is an OT unit using Wii for TBI rehab: Brain injury rehabilitation using Wii recreational therapy

A great understanding and use of IT helps us in our practice and daily lives, mainly because we are living in a society where these tools are normal.  The domain of expertise of an occupational therapist is the everyday, the mundane, the logging onto facebook to look at baby photos, the checking emails, playing Wii, or Grand Theft Auto, brain training on the Nintendo DSi, using an iPhone to decide which restaurant to eat at, or find your way to the movies.  As OTs, we have to know a little bit about everything, and there is no way we can escape having to know about all things techno if we want to engage with our clients and help them to enrich their lives.

Intellectual property - a definition

intangible property that is the result of creativity (such as patents or trademarks or copyrights)

intellectual property. (n.d.) Retrieved March 19, 2011, from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=intellectual%20property

In my own words, this is something that you have created, as an artist or inventor, or an occupational therapist.  It reflects an original idea.  As occupational therapists, we may need to think about getting a patent, trademark, or copyright for our own brilliant ideas.  We also need to think about acknowledging our clients' ideas and creations, for example, using client artwork in a brochure we create, or encouraging our clients to claim their intellectual property.

Social justice - a definition

We learned in first year that there is no one accepted definition of social justice.  I am going to go with Aristotle: that we should treat the equal equally, and treat the unequal unequally.

Miller, Fred, "Aristotle's Political Theory", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/aristotle-politics/>.

To me, this means we take each person on their merits.  Occupational therapists work with people who are often disadvantaged by policy, because of illness or disability.  As an OT, social justice means to me that I cannot say "All people with multiple sclerosis will behave in x manner".  I have to treat each person on their individual merits while being an advocate for them to participate in society, regardless of what extra resources that requires.

Informed consent - a definition

In the New Zealand political context, we have a codified definition for informed consent - Right 6 of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights:

Right to be fully informed
(1) Every consumer has the right to the information that a reasonable consumer, in that consumer’s circumstances, would expect to receive, including—
  • (a) an explanation of his or her condition; and
  • (b) an explanation of the options available, including an assessment of the expected risks, side effects, benefits, and costs of each option; and
  • (c) advice of the estimated time within which the services will be provided; and
  • (d) notification of any proposed participation in teaching or research, including whether the research requires and has received ethical approval; and
  • (e) any other information required by legal, professional, ethical, and other relevant standards; and
  • (f) the results of tests; and
  • (g) the results of procedures.
(2) Before making a choice or giving consent, every consumer has the right to the information that a reasonable consumer, in that consumer’s circumstances, needs to make an informed choice or give informed consent.
(3) Every consumer has the right to honest and accurate answers to questions relating to services, including questions about—
  • (a) the identity and qualifications of the provider; and
  • (b) the recommendation of the provider; and
  • (c) how to obtain an opinion from another provider; and
  • (d) the results of research.
(4) Every consumer has the right to receive, on request, a written summary of information provided.

For me, this means that as the patient, I cannot give consent to any procedure without all the relevant information, and that the health professional doesn't get to decide what is relevant, I do. In occupational therapy, this means letting our clients know what assessments and interventions we are carrying out and why.  This is a client-centred approach, in line with commentary from the former Commissioner of Health and Disability Services, Ron Paterson.

Paterson, R. (2003). Informed consent in New Zealand: Medical myths (Electronic version). The New Zealand Medical Journal, 116 (1183). Retrieved March 19, 2011, from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1183/628/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My clever cousin...

...has had a film accepted for the British Independent Film Festival!!!!!!!!

Le Dernier Duel

and check out his company at...

Sweet Pictures

Our movie

This is our sweet movie we made in class.  It is all about overcoming adversity, using creativity...enjoy!

We set about the task by coming up with a plot, creating a storyboard of 7 shots, planning props, allocating roles, then filming.  Filming was definitely made easier by having the storyboard prepared in advance, as we had a list of shots and locations to work through.  It also helped having one person as director, although we all had something to say, which must have made her job a bit more difficult!  It is really hard to sit back and just watch!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is the point of You Tube?

You Tube is a free online forum where you can upload videos.  Anyone can use it, provided they know how to create a digital video and can upload it.
Uses include education, humour, buying houses (virtual tour), communicating with friends and family (replaces the yearly Christmas letter) and just having a chat to the world with your opinions.  Musicians often load videos or singles and it is a massive forum for recordings taken during concerts.

5. Swamiji TV

This is a real life Swami - Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda of Panchayati Maha Nirvani Akhara, who has embraced digital technology and has a blog and videos to help his devotees stay connected while he travels around the world.
Swamiji TV

4. Al - Kiwi yogi bloke

This is a New Zealander who has uploaded about 20 interviews discussing what yoga is.  This can help people to learn more about the topic from a theoretical point of view.

Meet Al here...

3. Another yoga class

This video also provides a demonstration of a yoga class, this time with a real person.

Hatha Yoga class

2. Awakening practice for beginners

My second video is an example of a short class provided online.  It is 17 minutes long and made with an animated 'teacher'.  This type of video allows a person to practice the occupation (yoga) at home, and benefit from an experienced teacher, without having to attend a class.  The visual aspects can help with practicing the poses more accurately.
Link here

1. Tato Salad- "The Inappropriate Yoga Guy"

This is one of five videos we are required to post from five different sources, relating to a chosen topic. My topic is yoga. The point of this first video is that it reminds you not to take anything too seriously.

This is a light-hearted look at those people you meet no matter the occupation - who know everything about everything and have lots of unwanted advice to give you. I definitely have met a few Ogdens in yoga class.