Building adaptive tools to solve daily-life problems for people with disabilities prompted second-year Occupational Therapy Assistant students to show their work to beginners in the program.
New students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program observed demonstrations of adaptive equipment at an expo held in the corridor of the Health Professions building Sept. 21, said OTA Director Tom Kraft.
Lauren Ramos, Student Occupational Therapy Association president, likened the expo to a science fair.
“We all created a piece of adaptive equipment for people with any kind of disability to use,” Ramos said.
Ramos said the purpose of the expo was to expose first-year students to things they will encounter in their field work, Ramos said
“We set this up so we could give them an idea of what they are getting into as far as the program and the jobs they are looking at,” Ramos said.
It was a student’s idea to offer the presentations in the form of an expo similar to some of the professional conferences the students will attend once they finish school, Kraft said.
“With each piece we explain what it is used for, how much it cost, how we made it, why we made it, and we give them time to ask questions and interact and get a hands-on look,” said Kory Patterson, second-year OTA student.
First-year OTA student Mickey Strauss said he was impressed by the expo.
“I think it is really cool to see how the second-year students have utilized what they learned in the first year by creating adaptive equipment for people with conditions like cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis or working with developmentally delayed children,” Strauss said.
He said he liked that students were given the opportunity to create their own adaptive equipment to use in clients’ homes and during therapy sessions.
“They have just taken what they learned from their first year and what they learned by going on their field work,” Strauss said.
In next year’s expo, Ramos said, she hopes SOTA can invite the entire school to see the adaptive equipment the students have made.