Health Sciences

Interactive Equipment Experience for ACU Occupational Therapy Students

The Occupational Therapy Program at ACU hosted an Interactive Equipment Experience on the North Sydney campus on 26 March and the Melbourne and Brisbane campuses on 27 March.

An initiative from the School of Allied Health, the Interactive Equipment Experience is an opportunity for suppliers to introduce their brand and products to first and second year Occupational Therapy students, allowing students to interact with the relevant equipment and assistive devices used in clinical practice.

As part of the first year unit Foundations of Occupational Therapy and second year unit Occupational Therapy Interventions for Physical Conditions, the purpose of the Interactive Equipment Experience was to familiarise students with a wide range of adaptive equipment and assistive technology used to enhance client’s occupational performance. Students were given learning objectives and associated workbook tasks to acquire the required knowledge.

A range of specific equipment was displayed including power and manual wheelchairs, kitchen aids, bathroom/toilet equipment, seating, pressure care, scooters, mobility aides, personal alarms, assistive technology and equipment for visual impairment.

Daniel Clohesy, Lecturer in charge of the first year unit Foundations of Occupational Therapy at the Melbourne campus reported.

For the first year students, it is a fantastic opportunity to become familiar with the equipment that they will eventually become experts in prescribing to clients. For the second year students they can start to apply what they have learned in the course to find equipment solutions for specific clients. We get lots of really positive feedback from the students; they love to get hands on and interact with the equipment".

Ruth Swanton, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the North Sydney campus said.

The equipment expo is a highlight for the students. They really enjoy the opportunity to try out equipment for themselves and figure out who you might be able to use this with in practice". 

Roseanne Sorensen, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the Brisbane campus said.

The field of adaptive and assistive equipment is constantly evolving with new devices being developed and introduced to the marketplace. Exhibitors expressed pleasure at being given the opportunity to demonstrate a broad variety of devices to our students, who will be the Occupational Therapists of the future".

Steve McLeod from Power Mobility said. 

The expo was extremely well organised and we appreciated the opportunity to be involved. Rotating the students was a great idea and enabled us to interact with many students over the entire day".

ACU’s Bachelor of Occupational Therapy is an innovative course, which commenced on the Melbourne campus in 2012, the North Sydney campus in 2013 and the Brisbane campus in 2014.