Individuals with disabilities often benefit from temporary or permanent modifications to their home, school, or work place so that they can be more independent. Modifications may include simple changes such as
- rearranging furniture and/or
- removing throw rugs.
More complex needs may include:
- building a ramp,
- widening doorways or
- replacing a tub with a roll-in shower.
A visit to a person’s home or work place may be needed to evaluate a client’s accessibility needs and make recommendations for necessary modifications. WWRC Occupational Therapists are able to complete home and worksite evaluations which are often done in collaboration with rehabilitation and computer systems engineers to achieve optimal solutions.
Ergonomic assessments can also be provided at a client’s worksite. The principles of ergonomics are applied to improve a client’s efficiency and reduce the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries. Additional knowledge and considerations are required when modifying worksite. A wide variety of ergonomic products and chairs are available for evaluation through the Occupational Therapy (OT) Department. Loans of products are sometimes offered to allow an extended evaluation of possible solutions. Collaboration with rehabilitation engineers and computer system engineers is available when necessary.
Smart Home Technology
In recent years, great strides have been made in the development and commercialization of technology designed to improve safety and independence for individuals with mobility related impairments. This technology, such as
- automated lights,
- remote-controlled appliances and
- reminders linked to computers,
can also provide functional solutions for individuals with cognitive impairments. Through a research grant funded through the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative, the OT Department has furnished a transitional living cottage with this type of technology to become a “Smart Home.”
Clients with acquired brain injury who are enrolled in a WWRC OT Program and who are appropriate for a cottage based independent living trial will be given the opportunity to stay in the Smart Home to evaluate the effectiveness of the equipment in increasing their safety and independence.
|Occupational Therapy (OccupationalTherapyInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov)|
|Phone||800-345-9972, Ext. 7117 or 540-332-7117|