30 Dec 2007

Removing architectural and attitudinal barriers!

I am copy/pasting this e-mail to this blog, with permission. I haven't really personally encountered someone with a job like Keith's, and his work sounds very valuable and interesting. Just thought you all might find it neat too! And by the way, if you do want to share your experiences with Keith as he requests below, please comment or e-mail so I can pass it on to him!


My name is Keith (Last name edited out),  and I just found your blog yesterday. It's great!

I have had Arthrogryposis since birth, and use a motorized wheelchair. Besides being a former Occasional Torture recipient (just kidding), your blog and OT interest me for a couple reasons. First, I work for a Center for Independent Living, which is a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities. Part of my job involves public speaking about the need to remove architectural and attitudinal barriers, and I frequently guest lecture to undergrad and grad OT classes. We also collaborate on joint projects. One year, a group of seniors conducted accessibility surveys of polling sites to make recommendations for changes in time for the presidential election.
Here's one that was fun: I met with a fairly small class of 5th year master's students. We divided them into pairs, and each pair would survey the accessibility of a restaurant of their choice. The kicker was that one student in each pair had to use a manual wheelchair, from the point of the parking lot to completion of the survey. They also had to check out restrooms. It was very enlightening!

When I met with the class, I asked if they encountered any attitudinal barriers. For instance, did the wait person asks the able bodied person what the person with the disability would have (happens much more often than you think), were they overly solicitous, etc. It was a fun discussion.

The second reason OT interests me is that I have OT students who are personal Care attendants. PA has a statewide program where a consumer can hire their own attendants after the consumer's been assessed for a certain number of hours of care per week. I've had students from a nearby university coming to my office at noon, weekdays, to help me with my lunch, for several years. They get paid, I get to eat, and they listen to my ramblings about disability issues. Seriously, they learn about my organization and our efforts.
Anyway, enough of my rants. I'd like  to hear your experiences  with volunteering/working with people with any kind of disability, and what area you're interested in. Have a great holiday, and I hope to hear from you.
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

30 Dec 2007

Prep courses for NBCOT Exam

I just got an email that says “that 95% of first time test takers who took our course passed the exam.” Wow! I guess if you have enough money (the course is expensive), you have a pretty good chance of passing the national licensing exam! Hmmmm, interesting.

(Can y'all tell I'm cleaning out my e-mail box right now?)

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

30 Dec 2007

Yay! No certification needed for OTs doing specialty wheelchair evals!

Amy Lamb, Chairman of AOTPAC, sent out a newsletter that includes this great tidbit! Wheelchair certification and the therapy cap were going to be major deals for occupational therapists, but with the AOTPAC and AOTA advocating for us, the problems are being worked out. See, this is why membership in AOTA is so crucial – they need our help to mantain OT quality of life!!

(Below is a direct quote)

AOTA has been busy working for us with many issues and achieving results: including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) dropping a proposal to require RESNA certification for occupational therapists who perform specialty wheelchair evaluations, and Congress providing a six month extension to the therapy cap and increasing the physician fee schedule.  There is a great amount of resources for practitioners and students on these initiatives on AOTA’s Web site at http://www.aota.org to find out more!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Dec 2007

Environmental modification & OT & Levers


I recently read an article entitled “Market for doorknobs slowly losing its grip: Levers expected to gain upper hand one day”, by Frank Greve.

A few months ago, us OT students did a project on environmental modification. We were assigned rooms and a disability, and had to find out the proper environmental modifications and cost. We even had to draw up the before & after floor plan and follow two budgets – a low one and a high one. It was a fun experience. We learned about a ton of assistive devices and ways to help people function better within their own houses. One of the most basic devices that could help most people was a lever handle instead of a doorknob! Think about it – doorknobs involve twisting your arm, which can be painful and/or difficult for someone with arthritis or minimal hand function.

On the other hand, levers require very little movement to open – you don’t have to have finger function, and it’s a lot easier for people with arthritis.

There are a ton of other environmental modifications, but I only woke up about ten minutes ago, and my OT brain is rusty…so…yeah.

Next post will be how to make pom-pom ornaments and why it is applicable to OT! Apparently all old people already know how to make this, but I’m young and innocent and my peers will be excited…. 😉

I’m driving back into Memphis in about an hour! Yay I love spending 3.5 hours with lots of giant trucks while in my small car!!!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

29 Dec 2007

My OT life is OVER!! OVER I TELL YOU!!

I typed in ot student and then ot students into Google..which used to put me in the first page of searches..and now I am nowhere to be seen! Yet another blow to my OT pride!! ::sobbing::

I think I'm going to go drown my sorrow in a dark chocolate truffle kiss.


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Dec 2007

Pictures from the trip..OT class starts soon…

I have lots to catch up on! I’m just starting to have my head above water! I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Memphis, soon! We start back in OT school on January 3rd. The few posts below are some random pictures from the trip. I’d caption them but Blogger is NOT COOL and is not behaving. As always.

Anyway…hope everyone had a wonderful holiday…looking forward to have OT stuff to talk about soon!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Dec 2007

Random Pictures Part 2

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Dec 2007

Random pictures Part 1

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

26 Dec 2007

Happy Holidays…

My San Diego trip is winding down and I'll be headed back to the mid-South soon! I didn't accomplish many of the goals I had set for myself, but I guess I just really needed the rest! I've slept more than anything!

January 3rd is our first day of real classes so I promise to get back into writing then!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

24 Dec 2007

Merry Christmas Eve …

I've been enjoying La Jolla…taking lots of naps, sitting outside in the sunshine, visiting family…I had a wonderful fondue dinner with my grandfather the other night…and wonderful carne asada fries with my grandmother…and yummy pancakes w/ chocolate cake in them with my mom and dad…etc. A lot of eating!!

We decorated the tree the other day, and there were all these homemade yarn pom-poms. My mom says they are easy to make. They would be a great craft to use in OT – so I am hoping Mom will have time to teach me before I go. I also realized I should probably learn to wrap presents properly, if for no other reason than that would be another good OT activity. So…I guess I have never been motivated to learn to do things myself, but I'll learn for my future patients!!!

Right now my mom and grandfather and I and a kitty are chilling out in the sun-drenched living room…my sister is still asleep…we're going to work out, then do GINGERBREAD QUILTING!!!!!!!!!!! then go to Dad's for a prime-rib dinner with extended family.

Tomorrow we will have our annual Christmas picnic at some park!! Mortadella-Brie-Doritos sandwiches are the BEST!!

Gingerbread quilting – like a gingerbread house, only a flat surface, for architecturally challenged people like me.

Merry Christmas Eve and stuff!!!

PS as always: I'm again behind on e-mail. I'll try to get it all wrapped up within the next few days!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS2: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2