Friday, April 26, 2013

Occupation Therapy in Assitive Technology

Occupational therapy (OT) and assistive technology (AT) are closely related and are considered symbiotic in nature when overcoming a client's medical and occupational barriers. OT is a profession designed to establish, maintain, and/or restore functional independence. The OT specialist must evaluate context, the person/individual (past experiences,values, beliefs, etc) to design tasks to target the functional performance goal. Assistive technology is to employ any product, equipment or software to establish, maintain, and/or improve functional independence.

Hanna Hyon, Fulbright Junior Researcher, presented on case studies in which occupational therapists play a role for providing assistive technology in South Korea. Occupational therapy is a profession that helps individuals with disabilities to establish, restore and/or maintain independence in meaningful day-to-day activities and occupations. OT began as a profession in Korea in 1953 and continues to develop rapidly, although Hanna is only the second Fulbright researcher to work and report in this field. (The other researcher did her studies about 50 years previous). Hanna compared the current US and Korean service delivery models and described their concerted efforts in the development of OT service provision models in Korea. She also discussed the benefits of assistive technology services that are becoming a necessity for all clients to achieve full independence in every day living and for increasing their quality of life, and yet because of financial constraints, are unaffordable. However, in many cases people just don't know they are or can be made available. Hanna's main focuses are on the political, social, personal and pragmatic considerations in creating client-centered services that are currently available and new service provision models that are emerging and much of her research was done at Angel's Haven Assistive Technology Center, located at the Seoul Rehabilitation Hospital.

Driving related assistive technology is not yet available in Seoul; however, this particular model is
 being reviewed and is under discussion right now

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