Members Article – 29 June 2014

Diversional Therapy Australia member article submission
TAFE Adelaide Campus Certificate IV Leisure & Health project June 2014
Break Technology barriers with sensory devices

TECHNO FUN – Research of new Technology assisting those who experience barriers, to engage in Leisure and improve their quality of life.
A recent project completed by the TAFE Certificate IV Leisure & Health students, at the Adelaide Campus may assist other Diversional Therapists. Our Lecturer Joy Wuttke provided a brief to consider “Different types of technology to assist people who experience barriers and facilitate engagement in Leisure, to improve their quality of life”.
Student research located was demonstrated in class to 13 invited guests from Aged Care and Community facilities throughout Adelaide. Participant’s perspective was key to the demonstrations, using readily accessible equipment that enabled interaction such as:
• Skype – maintain contact with family/friend & Distance Learning
• Reading devices – Kindle and interpretive reading programs
• Language programs – interactive language translator, assisting CALD participants from diverse backgrounds
• Music – “Spotify” to enable individual playlists of songs or “Learn to play an musical instrument” program for participants
• Devices – large mouse / hand grips to assist with computer use
• Ipad – online games & puzzles that are easy to play and portable
• Interactive Games – Wii Sports, Wii Balance and Alzheimer’s Australia “The Forest Project” available later in 2014.

Individual needs were addressed by each group presenting. Many with a multi sensory approach incorporated a sense of fun and an opportunity for social connection. My area of research was “Games” and I have provided part of my power point presentation with useful links to websites with more detailed information.

Upon completion of my studies I hope to work as an Assistant Diversional Therapist in Adelaide. It will be rewarding to incorporate this research assisting participants who experience barriers to facilitate engagement in a fun and interactive way, improving their quality of life.

TECHNO FUN with Games
Break Technology barriers with sensory devices
The Forest Project Alzheimer’s Australia Vic partners with Opaque Multimedia
The Forest Project utilizes new technology to create an immersive experience in the form of virtual worlds. As well as helping patients with temporary reprieves, the technology also aims to help improve overall care by providing support teams with simulation to better understand how their patients see the world.
•Turn a lounge in a care centre into an enchanted space
•Viscerally stimulating the senses/engages by interactivity
•Users influence various parameters of the hyper-realistic environments through gestures
•Weather, time or wildlife selections that roam the experience
•By Alzheimer’s Australia for dementia care facilities in Australia later in 2014

• Video games used to assist in rehabilitation of injury in a fun way
• Activity or music is modified to the needs or preferences of participants
• Fast stepping games also help prevent falls
• Suitable for Joint replacement, Cerebral Palsy, Obesity or Stroke rehab

Developed by the University of Notre Dame, USA
•Stroke patients use Wii Balance boards to play versions of Wii Sports games
•Remotely located Therapists provide patients with continuous monitored therapy
•WeHAB is a Wii Balance board used as an at-home recovery tool, changing the future of stroke therapy
•Plug WeHab system to your TV where it automatically connects to the Internet
•You are connected to your therapist who video chats with you to answer any questions
•Your therapist can see you and the readings from your screen

TECHNO FUN Circus Challenge
Developed by Newcastle University, UK
•Patients digitally throw pies, tame lions & juggle to build strength and regain motor skills
•Motion controlled games make stroke rehabilitation fun and accessible
•Playable on PCs, laptops and tablets later in 2014
•Provides at-home therapy allowing therapists to monitor patient progress remotely

TECHNO FUN other programs
Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
NeuRA is currently working on a “SureStep” program currently in R&D phase to assist with the prevention of falls eventually for people to be able to use in their own homes. It combines exercise training and computer games increasing complexity, interest and enjoyment by adding challenging mental tasks. It is also a valuable tool for fall risk assessment and a way to improve balance while having fun.

•Individual needs addressed by multi sensory programs presented
•Incorporating fun to learn new skills for leisure
•Opportunity for social connection
•Assisting those who experience barriers to facilitate engagement
& to improve quality of life

Researched by Santina De Nicolo
June 2014

NOTE: Images not supplied as copyright may apply to certain websites.
Submitted by: Santina De Nicolo
TAFE Certificate IV Leisure & Health student, Adelaide Campus

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