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I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

iPortal To Change The Lives Of Wheelchair Users

iPortal To Change The Lives Of Wheelchair Users


hkpeck said...

I am very impressed by the iPortal. The iPod touch and iPhone have become considered a household item. For some it is a luxury, for others it is a functional tool, and for people with disabilities it can be both. This is a tool that can greatly enhance quality of life for an individual using a wheelchair and different types of upper extremity problems. Not only is this functional, it is also a very "hip" item! The touch screen could have proved to be difficult prior to the iPortal, but this allows access to something that was just seen as an annoyance before.

Amanda Marie said...

This is very innovative! New technology is constantly evolving, providing us with easier, faster, and better ways of performing everyday activities. This particular device is especially interesting because of how it is designed to assist individuals with a disability who utilize a power chair as their source of mobility. There are numerous pieces of equipment developed each year that focus mainly on the mainstream population i.e. individuals who do not have physical or cognitive disabilities. It is so refreshing to see how this iPortal has the potential to revolutionize life for individuals who have a disability and who rely on a power chair as their main source of mobility. The really cool thing about the iPortal is that the designers took a commonly used technological gadget and turned it into an AT device. Many of us walk around with iPhones and iPods and it seems so natural that this device cold be used to assist individuals using a power chair. How great that people now have this option of controlling their chair in a whole new way through the use of their cell phone (or iPod) instead of having to purchase a piece of expensive equipment. Individuals using a chair can now use an everyday item to help them become more actively engaged in life. Control and management of their chair can be made easier, thus allowing them to focus their time and energy on things that are more important to them.
Overall, I am very interested to see the new avenues that this piece of equipment allows people to go. I foresee it opening the doors to new and exciting things for many individuals. I can totally see the role of the occupational therapist in teaching individuals how to maneuver the chair through this piece of equipment. This is great post, thank you for sharing!

Anita Hamilton said...

Hi hkpeck and Amanda Marie, I was very excited when I saw it and I can see it has captivated you two as well! I just added the YouTube clip where they are interviewing a user and the developers. This really is a great step in mainstream technology becoming more accessible!
Cheers, Anita

hkpeck said...

The video was great! It really summed up what I was trying to say. One of the most important aspects, I feel, is that the iPortal is an "off the shelf" product. This is something that can be attained by anyone rather than having to go through a special ordering process that often proves to be a hassle. As well as the extra step that they have taken to give individuals who use power wheelchairs that extra element of independence by providing the feature they do, such as the GPS and even the on-deck charging shows the insight into this product. Thanks for sharing all this great info! I plan on sharing it with my classmates soon.

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