I’m in the hotseat for the #occhat Twitter discussion tonight- and it’s been a while since I was able to facilitate, so I am looking forward to it and feeling anxious about it in equal measure!
Why are we looking at equipment?
One of our core skills as OTs is the prescription of environmental adaptations including adaptive equipment, so of course, we’re always interested in gadgets and things to make life easier.
As a disabled woman, I’m very grateful for some of the equipment that has become part of my everyday life, like my mobility scooter, or my bed stick. But equipment is much broader than just the stuff you can get through your local equipment store.
I consider my eye-Pad to be one of the best bits of adaptive equipment I have. It’s a multi-functional entertainment system, so if I’m ill, I can watch TV in bed, or catch up with my friends on social networks. If I have light sensitivity, I can alter the settings to make using it more comfortable. If there is nothing for it but to keep my eyes firmly closed, I can switch to listening to radio comedy or drama. This is brilliant for keeping me entertained and distracted from the pain when I am ill!
My children are able to use the features of the tablet to pinch, select, turn and type emails to their family, using a simple email app. They also play with their Moshi Monsters, dance to films on YouTube, and draw and make videos. They can do all this with me in my bed, when I’m ill- there is no bit of kit in the equipment store that you could say that about! So a tablet computer can help me to perform the life role of “Mum”, even when I have a disability that makes some activities very difficult indeed.
I know people who use Siri as speech recognition software- where they have spasm or pain in their fingers, for instance. (p.s. if you have Siri, do ask him/her “Who let the dogs out?”- it’s very funny!)
But this isn’t an advert for Apple, and yes, other tablet computers are available (my partner loves his Google Nexus). We’re thinking about equipment in it’s broadest sense, and how it enables us to perform occupations and life roles.
COT partnering with Boots
We’re also prompted to consider this topic in the light of the recent announcement by the COT of the new partnership they have developed with Boots- please see http://www.cot.co.uk/homepage/new-partnership-puts-occupational-therapy-high-street
Do we think this promotes the benefits of OT to a wider audience?
Are there concerns related to this?
Does it help or hinder the public perception of OT to be linked so explicitly with equipment provision- after all, we do so much more?
I know you will have lots of brilliant examples of how equipment helps you to live life your way. You may also have opinions about COT partnering with Boots. To join in the conversation, please join us for our Twitter chat tonight at 8-9pm.
Just add #occhat to your tweets, so we can all see them. And do please remember your responsibilities related to your HPC registration when you Tweet.
See you there!