Thursday, 17 May 2012

Linking to blogs

Below is a copy of a communication I had with one of my attached blogs.

Re: [Therapeutic Landscapes Network] Comment: " Planting Seeds for Culture Change - Hort. Therapy for Elders"
filiz satir []
Sent: Friday, 27 April 2012 6:41 p.m.

Hi Mary:

I'm an editor for the TLN blog. So I don't have additional information about the upcoming workshops. So I recommend that you contact the Hort. Institute to find out if they will post the presentation, or content related to the workshop on their site. Here's there contact information: or call 303.388.0500. 

Thank you!

Filiz Satir

On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 7:18 PM, Mary <> wrote:
New comment on your post " Planting Seeds for Culture Change - Hort. Therapy for Elders"
Author : Mary (IP: ,
E-mail :
URL    :
Whois  :
Hi I am an Occupational Therapy Student who has an interest in garden with the elderly as for many of this group gardening is very much part of who they are.

Will you be uploading any of the presentation from the workshop of those of us who are unable to attend the workshop.



You can see all comments on this post here:

Trash it:
Spam it:

My list of 5 blogs are to the right of this posting. I chose these blogs as I have an interest in gardening in theraputic settings, especially in the occupational therapy setting.  The communication above is an example of this.

About the TLN Blog

The Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog provides news, information, and a forum for communication about healing gardens, restorative landscapes, and other green spaces that promote health and well-being.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Occupational Engagement

Doing is the obvious and tangible part of human occupation which forms the essential part of lives making it possible to meet their human needs (Watson & Swartz, 2004). Images 4,7,8,13,15 depict the doing of gardening.

Being is a sense of self that is based on beliefs and values including cultural and spiritual identity. Being influences doing and doing refines and changes being. (Watson & Swartz, 2004) An example of this is by gardening you become a gardener. I am being a student by doing study, if a pass my study I will continue to be a student. Image 3,5,6,10,11,12 show raised garden beds which enable gardeners to remain gardeners. Image 3 is from my fieldwork 2. It was an aged care facility which provided this raised garden for the residents use. It was very well taken care of by the residents.

Becoming is a journey that is influences by being and realized by doing. By the doing we are being and so we become (Watson & Swartz, 2004). Image 9,10,11,12 show a school garden. The school garden is gaining in popularity and the will put some students on a life long journey by doing gardening to becoming a gardener.

Belonging as described by Reberio, Day, Semeniuk, O'Brian, & Wilson (2001) as the necessary contribution of social interaction, mutual support and friendship, and the sense of being included to, to occupational performance and life satisfaction. Images 13,14,15 are of the local community garden that provides all the above. Image 21, 22 show the Botanical Gardens been used for occupations and there is a sense when you are in the Garden of belonging. This is connect to the fact that it is a public space with a long history in Dunedin.

 Hammell,K. (2004). Dimensions of meaning in the occupations of daily life. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy,71(5).

Watson, E. & Swartz, L. (2004) Transformation through occupation: Human occupation in context.London U.K.:Whurr

Monday, 30 April 2012

The internet and online communities

I have chosen gardening from my fieldwork experience to consider online communities. Below are the three online gardening communities I have chosen as examples.
My first online community is Garden Stew the web address for this site is Here is the information for the Garden Stew site that gives details about the purpose of the community. There is also details of how and what the members can contribute to it. This community has a long history in community online terms, has many members and with posts been added everyday. This tells me that this community is very interactive and well administered.

My next online community is Plant Swap the web address for this site is Here is the information for the Plant Swap site the give details about the purpose of the community. There is also details of how and what the members can contribute. The privacy policy and other legal requirements are also listed. This community has a focus on the swapping of plants which is done at pre arranged plant swap meetings. This are advertised on the site calender, member register and supply name of guests they may wish to bring. The members can also post wish lists which other members can agree to bring to the swap meet.

My last online community is You Grow Girl the web address for this site is Here is the information for the You Grow Girl site that give details about the site and Gayle who is the creator of the site and its main author. I thought long and hard about using this site as it is not very interactive, there is no members and the only way contributions can be made is commenting on Gayle's posts. Gayle did uses the word community on the home page of the site. I did decide to use it as the content is very interesting and the site is very professional with great photos. The main reason is that this site inspires like minded people and has a good size following, going on the amount of comments and likes on face book.

Why do people choose to contribute to these communities. Registering as a member is required for the first two which reflects that those who join are serious about gardening. The members of these communities seem to be mainly experienced gardens who have lot of information to share and a desire to learn more. The 2nd one is interesting, this site gives a reason for members to meet face to face to swap plants so there may be some added social benefits. The last site on which viewer comment regarding the content seems to be about inspiration and even the artistic nature of the content on the site. I read comments mentioning been inspired and other comments around the artistic merits of the gardens, pictures and writing.
All contributor to online communities, according to our online lecture, participate to get back. The contributor expects to gain a response, increased recognition, sense of efficacy & community. Ethical considerations for online communities and in particular these online communities is the need to regulate how the member interact and how the site protects its members and there shared content.

The Garden Stew community have a web page which deals with usage rules and another one detailing its privacy policy. Terms and conditions are also covered.

The Plant Swap site has a page disclosing affiliates and one covering its privacy policy. Informing members and viewers of the affiliations of the site is important for online communities as this brings to light possible conflict of interest and objectives of the administrators of the site. Increase transparency will help members trust the community and encourage membership and contributions.

You Grow Girl does not have pages that deals with these issues, probably because the members to not register and Gayle has total control over the content. She does note when she is receiving something if say a book is purchased through Amazon due to her review. She also is very open about how she chooses the books she reviews.

Online Communities are only accessible to those who have the equipment and the knowledge. There is a term that refers to this, "digital divide", here is the definition. Strangely enough from the digital version of an encyclopedia. " The term digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen." (Retrieved, 1 May 2012), from It is interesting to note that wikipedia is an online community.

This divide results in occupational deprivation which is a relatively new term that describes a state in which people are precluded from opportunities to engage in occupations of meaning due to factors outside their control. As we face the new millennium, it seems likely that, due to widespread social and economic change as well as increasing civil unrest, occupational deprivation will be experienced by increasing numbers of people globally. (Whiteford, G., 2000, p.200)

The lack of resource due to social and economic change could continue to widen the gap between those who engaging in occupations in the digital world and enrich there realities from accessing information and resources online and those who cannot.

Recent history has shown that social networking been part of online communities are increasing driving social, political and economic changes. Occupational deprivation in this area in the future will increase social divides and isolation for people.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is integral to the practice of Occupational Therapy. I will provide definitions of Assistive Technology with comments and interpretation in my own words.

If you have a disability or injury, you may use a number of assistive devices. These are tools, products or types of equipment that help you perform tasks and activities. They may help you move around, see, communicate, eat, or get dressed. Some are high-tech tools, such as computers. Others are much simpler, like a "reacher" - a tool that helps you grab an object you can't reach.

This definition uses the term assistive devices which is inter changeable with assistive technology.

I like this definition because is comprehensive and uses simple language.

Assistive technology is any service or tool that helps the elderly or disabled do the activities they have always done but must now do differently. These tools are also sometimes called "adaptive devices."

This definition includes tools and services which is widens the scope of what is assistive technology considerably.

The reading supplied states that "assistive technology refers to a broad range of devices, services, strategies, and practices that are conceived ..."(Cook & Hussey, 1995, p. 45).

Cook, M. & Hussey, S. (1995). Assistive technologies: principles and practice.St Louis, Missouri: Mosby.

My finding of these definitions and the class provided reading have revealed to me how complex is this field. Here are a article about a different device that is an application that has been developed to assist deaf people. This type of assistive technology holds huge potential for the future and will be part of the revolution in assistive devices that will also hold promises for the wider population.

The final article is an informative homage to the ultimate assistive technology, the human hand.

This brings me to my chosen assistive device which is The Cripper. Is is a reacher or grabber for quadriplegics who have extension wrist function. It is specifically designed for C5-C7 quadriplegics. Here is a video of this tool in action.

No grip or finger movement necessary.
No straps - easy on/off
Choose between lightweight (will pick up 1.4kg) or heavy duty (will pick up 4.5kg) and short or long.
All Crippers weigh between 280g and 410g depending on length and whether it is lightweight or heavy duty.

Here are some photos from the manufacturer in the USA, the same website gives instructions for measuring for correct fit. The US price is $130 t0 $150, it is available in New Zealand for about $100 more.

I like this device because it give a provides big benefits for the price. It is very functional and gives the user more independence. It also can help overcome the occupational disruption caused by spinal cord injury.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Video Production

 This one minute video has a theme of occupational disruption centred on Granny who was unable to perform her farming tasks as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident.

The production crew consisted of Jesse, Lisa, Amy, Caroline and myself. We had two hours to complete both filming and editing of this video. The video production task had been set two week previous in a tutorial and groups formed. Our group had a nucleus of members who had considered this task beforehand and had a suggestion of using inanimate objects to tell our story. This gave us a great start point and we quickly sketch out what scenes we would be shooting to convey occupation disruption. We had access to the toys thanks to Jess's daughter and the farm was on location in the grounds of Otago Polytechnic. The group held one more meeting the morning of the shoot in which scenes, location and timing were finalised. The actual shoot went smoothly as was the editing with contributions from all group members. I enjoyed this experience and learnt much about video production as this was my first exposure to using this media. I would like to thank my group and to make special mention of our tutor, James, who was on hand to give advice.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

My First Post

Hello world.

My first posting will consider Information Technology & Information. A definition will be provided from several sources, and I will then add my interpretation of these definitions.

information technology


  1. the technology of the production, storage, and communication of information using computers and microelectronics IT(Collin Dictionary, n.d.)


[mass noun] the study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information: (Oxford Dictionary, n.d.)

Collins, W. & Sons. (n.d.). English Dictionary. Retrieved March 6, 2011                                     from http://www.collindictionary/dictionary/english/information-technology.

My interpretation of what is a definition of Information Technology would include system based information gathering, data collecting and storage but I will have have focus on the communication and interaction with humans.
"Is a tool for humans to collect and store data and information it also includes the means to communicate knowledge and ideas between others."

This form of technology is increasing  prevalent within all aspects of our society. This is especially true in the area of education beginning from a child's first year of school or even younger. Whilst the use of computers in the lives of adults during the productive years has been with us for two decades increasing the penetration of technology has expanded to include senior citizens.

My own experiences of technology date for a logic class in high school. There was no computer in sight and I certainly did not have one in my house but I clearing remember having it explained to me the teaching of maths logic had to do with computers. Many years later I worked for a financial institution which was using computers but again apart from a very boxy screen and a keyboard there was was no relationship to Information Technology today. I worked for that bank for nearly 15 years and I would say that as a mature person this exposure has helped me today function in an Information Technology driven world. At the moment that world is one of education in the adult setting of a tertiary institution. This again has continued my exposure to the fast changing technological revolution. Whilst I would say I am comfortable using technology I am aware of the underlying debates of privacy, ethical use of technology and the even the possible way that it is changing the way we think. As a student of history all these concerns have been raised before around the improved literacy of the masses, the industrial revolution and many other human endeavours. Personally my main concern is the speed of change and disadvantage of those left behind.

The result of my evolving use of technology is that I own a personal computer, a laptop and an iPad all of which are used daily. These uses include productive, leisure and self care. I am writing this on my laptop, will read the paper on my iPad and if I will find information or buy a product that relates to self care on my personal computer. Can I do all this without technology, of course but that may be an advantage of my age, having been part of the world pre- technological revolution. Would I want too, no the positives far out weigh the negatives. Could my twenty's children function without, well that's another debate.

My fieldwork experiences have included community visits & wheelchair and seating. In both these setting the supervising occupational therapists use technology for example mobile phones to contact clients and each other. The wheelchair occupational therapist used a pressure mapping device when doing seating for a young man who could not communicate. This was very interesting and involved placing a plastic map with a grid and sensors located with in it on the seat of the wheelchair then placing the client on top of it. This sensors then project the grid on to a laptop screen which revealed the spread of pressure and help pin point potential problems. This was then saved for use by the therapist for use later on when the seating components for the new chair would be considered. This information could also be shared with other agencies etc who where not present at the time.

On my 2 placement, which was in a recreation room in a aged care facility, technology was used to produce client profiles, daily timetables and other word processing tools. A digital camera was used to record special occasions as posted on a photo board. Other photos where used to make life story boards.

I believe that a great understanding and use of technology will help me in my practice to help others be enabled in occupation. Technology is a great tool with lots of on going potential. The future of the practice of occupational therapy will have a lot to do with information technology and assistive devices. As the occupations of the human world are affected by technology so will the occupational therapy involvement with technology. As the technological world expands so will the possibilities for there use in interventions. This will increase the occupational capacity of our clients widen their occupational scope make their lives richer.