Monday, 18 April 2011

Tutorial 3: Blog creation task

In week 3 of this course we set up our blogger account, a google account and constructed our blogs. Then we posted content from week 1 and 2 tutorials. We uploaded photos from our Flickr account.
It was a bit frustrating but very interesting to have my own Blog !

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tutorial 8: Assistive technology

         Tutorial 8: Assistive technology

             This week we had a lecture and a tutorial about assistive technology. We also had an occupational therapist and Kev from Star mobility presenting a few assistive technologies. Starr mobility website is a place to go when you need to look for assistive technology, this is their website
In this post I will define assistive technology and I than will write about one assistive device that I have seen in the class presentation.
An assistive device is anything that can be implemented to improve or increase functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. These can be equipment, a product system or any item that is custom made, commercialised or modified to suit someone’s personal needs (Cook & Hussey, 2000).
During the tutorial, Kev introduced the talking photo album. This device is an A3 size album, which has many pages.  It has the feature to record on each page for 10 seconds and each individual recording can be played back. It has a large visual area to display photos, stories, recipes and types of messages, and it has a loud speaker as well.
We had the opportunity to display photos and record step by step how to make a banana shake. Each individual page recording can be played back, deleted or replaced.
This scenario would be helpful for a person who has problems with short term memory and want to be involved in an activity. By using this assistive device, an activity can be completed and self-esteem can also increase.
Here is a website where technical description is and provides a short video as well.
Cook, A. M., & Hussey, S. M. (2000). Assistive technologies: principles and practice, USA: Mosby.
 Star Mobility & Disability Centre, (2011), Retrieved, April, 09, 2011, From,      
   Talking photo album, (2011), Retrieved, April , 12, 2011, From,

Tutorial 7: Linking to blogs of interest and exchanging comments

This is a record of one communication I made on another blog.
This is a result of the above communication.
Jones, L. (2011). Week 4. Retrieved April 12, 2011. from

Week 6 : The internet and online communities

In this post I will discuss the topic of bipolar disorder that is under the mental health umbrella and is characterised by mood swings of highs and lows. I will refer to three online communities that relate to this topic. A brief description of each community will be included as well as what they provide on their site. Potential ethical issues that can arise will be also discussed, as well as the benefits over traditional geographical community and what these communities lack or can provide. This topic can be of interest in occupational therapy practice.
An online community is a virtual community that is created online; this has members that are interested in a specific topic. An online community can be formed for the purpose of a communicating system where anyone can post information, or one where there is a restriction on the number of people who can initiate posts. Chat rooms, forums are types of online communities where people that know each other can communicate (Retrieved on 05 April 2011 from
1)     This is the first site that I will present and this is one description of the site The WebMD bipolar disorder Community gives users the ability to safely and easily connect with leading experts and others to discuss bipolar disorder-related topics”.   This site has an online community and promotes “Better information. Better life”  this in relation to bipolar disorder. It presents medical references, latest news, features, videos, slideshows & images, health tools, overviews & facts, the symptoms & types, diagnosis & tests, treatment & care, home remedies, finding help and a variety of helpful information that people with this disorder or their families and friends can access and learn and share experiences. Support groups are also in place and this facility can deliver information just by pushing a button on the computer. Try it out and find out about this disorder that affects so many people. Here is an example of a member of this community discussing, expressing, sharing and motivating other members
There are people, who do not feel comfortable to publicise their disorder, therefore, an online community can be a good start for them where they can educate themselves about their problem. They can access websites that are not in their geographical area and can share their personal circumstances with people unknown to them. However, this can also be negative as people with this disorder need constant support from people that are part of their environment.
This site is overlooked by experts in this disorder and can be said that it is safer than other similar sites. Ethical issues are clarified by the experts in discussions. In one of the discussions the expert clarified that purpose of this site  “….. I just want to make sure everyone is aware that webmd medical postings are not substitute for formal diagnosis or treating. Dr. G”
There is also a possibility that members would track the experts (doctors) phone numbers. To stop potential ethical issues the managers of this site introduced clear boundaries such as “No outside contact please”. Retrieved on 06 April 2011 from,

2)     Another online community I found today 05 April 2011 is on a site that intends to raise awareness of bipolar disorder. This site gives the opportunity, to those suffering or those who know someone that suffers or has suffered from bipolar disorder, to show their support. . These sites briefly explain what bipolar disorder means and defend people with this condition by asking people not to judge or stigmatise them because of diagnosis of mental health.
Members communicate with each other and support each other on this site. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It is amazing what online communities can offer these days.
This site is in collaboration with Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) and has a link to their main website   This link gives support to people who suffer from this disorder. The mission of this site is to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders. It has peer experts and doctors that can be contacted and who can give support.

3)     This is the last online community I will look at today. This is a Facebook page.
This website has a discussion forum that does not appear to be overlooked by an expert that can give medical support. There are members with bipolar disorder, they encounter the same symptoms and experience the same problems. This can reflect a lot of negative information and can be unsafe for some of the members. People from any part of the world can access this site and can influence each other negatively or positively.  The type of communication that is exchanged on this site can be found through this link
On Facebook, members can write anything they wish and some people can be hurt. Ethical issues can arise when some members are threatened. On the following site a person with bipolar disorder explains her negative experience with a “friend”. She was harassed and got to the point of wanting to hurt herself. The state police stepped in and quashed the problem. However, according to the victim, Facebook is still a place where her “friend” can publish unpleasant information about her
This search gave me the opportunity to learn as an occupational therapy student to take in consideration what type of sites could be safe for my future clients to visit. I learned about the type of sites that could give adequate support and education to my future clients as well. Online communities can be positive and negative tools in occupational therapy practice and they need to be evaluated thoroughly before people become members.

Bipolar, (2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011 from,
Bipolar Disorder Awareness (2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011
Bipolor disorder, (2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011, from
Bipolar or borderline(BPD), (2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011, from
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, (2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011 from,
No Oustide Contact Please Read*, (2010), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011, from
Online community (2011), Retrieved April, 04, 2011, from
Peer connections (2011), Retrieved March, 28, 2011, from 
WebMd Better Information. Better Health.(2011), Retrieved, April, 11, 2011, from