Therapy is my ‘thing’ and teaching has always been my passion, so I enjoy spending time with the Occupational Therapy Assistant students at Roane State Community College. I’ve been invited to offer a guest lecture/hands-on lab for this group every fall for the last 4 years and it’s become one of my favorite things to do. I believe that “adaptive equipment” and “assistive technology” are the SAME thing, just named differently because of the times in which they were defined. People often ask me, “What’s the difference between the tools for OT and AT?” My answer… “Not much at all!” Assistive technologies are simply newer, more technology-based forms of adaptive equipment and the goal for both is always to improve independence.
TheRSCC Overview 2014 I showed this week looks at AT as it applies to the accommodation for dysfunction and disability. I set up a hands-on learning lab and we looked at student profiles in an interactive exercise, offering the OTA students an opportunity to look at what’s available and think creatively when choosing AT for specific needs. On my home page, there is a link to the Assistive Technology Lending Library list2. The list includes photos and information about specific tools or programs and can be a great resource for becoming more familiar with what’s out there.
When evaluating students with physical disabilities for AT needs, a checklist can be an invaluable tool. Dr. MariBeth Coleman at the University of TN (Department of Education) has created a wonderful UTK Curriculum Access Checklist that guides the process and i shared this with the students, as well.