Independence First welcomed students from MATC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Each year, students from the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at MATC come to Independence First to experience hands-on training with assistive technologies.
One of the activities included a taped section of floor to define the average width of a hallway and 90-degree turn. Students attempted to make this turn in different-sized wheelchairs. This exercise allowed students to get a clear, physical understanding of what design barriers to access.
A student participates in an exercise using a wheelchair
Mark leads a class demonstration
Cindi leads a class of students demonstrating Assistive Technologies
A presentation and other hands-on activities allowed for further learning. Lorna Pecard, Independence First’s Community Outreach and Special Event Coordinator, audited the class and shares her takeaways;
“There's a misconception that using AT [Assistive Technology] like chair lifts can make a person lazy, like they're ‘giving in’ to their disability, when really AT does the opposite. For example, if someone has a lift chair and can stand independently, they're more likely to get up and move around!”
“AT can allow a person to live more comfortably in their home and can save thousands of dollars in home modification costs.”
“AT, like every accommodation strategy, is intensely person-specific. What works for one person won't work for others! Thinking creatively about solutions to individual problems allows for low-tech, low-cost solutions built to fit individuals.”
To learn more about Assistive Technologies at Independence First, visit: https://www.independencefirst.org/IndependenceFirst/Independent-Living-Skills/Assistive-Technology.htm