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OTHY203 Occupational Therapy Interventions for Physical Conditions AND OTHY302 Children Youth and Families AND OTHY304 Neurological Rehabilitation 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

Assistive technology is any device, system, design or environmental modification used to enable participation in occupations that a person wants to or needs to do. Provision of assistive technology is a core competency for occupational therapists in partnering with people to determine the optimal person, environment and occupation fit. The students will build on their understanding of disability, occupational rights, their familiarity with a range of assistive technology products, and occupational and environmental assessments from previous learning to develop, design, implement and evaluate effective assistive technology solutions to optimise a person’s participation. Students will consider ethical issues and apply the capabilities approach to enhance people’s opportunities, occupational rights and equitable access to assistive technology that addresses their valued needs and outcomes.

Overall this unit aims to develop students’ knowledge and practice to uphold the autonomy of the assistive technology user and their central role in all stages of the assistive technology process.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Apply knowledge of practice models, products, features and design principles. (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Demonstrate effective interprofessional and collaborative practice in providing assistive technology solutions. (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7)

LO3 - Justify and evaluate assistive technology solutions/home modifications to meet client needs and enable autonomy, capability and human rights. (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Create and report on a sustainable assistive technology solution which incorporates an evaluation of client needs, comparison of a number of potential solutions, justification of a client’s choice, a reliable and valid trial, and an efficient provision process. (GA1, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

Australian occupational therapy competency standards (AOTCS) 2018

Australian occupational therapy competency standards (AOTCS) 2018 developed with in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1 - Professionalism

An occupational therapist practises in an ethical, safe, lawful and accountable manner, supporting client health and wellbeing through occupation and consideration of the person and their environment.

An occupational therapist:

1.1. complies with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia’s standards, guidelines and Code of conduct

1.2. adheres to legislation relevant to practice

1.4. recognises and manages conflicts of interest in all client and professional relationships

1.5. practises in a culturally responsive and culturally safe manner, with particular respect to culturally diverse client groups

1.7 collaborates and consults ethically and responsibly for effective client-centred and interprofessional practice

1.9 identifies and manages the influence of her/his values and culture on practice

1.10 practises within limits of her/his own level of competence and expertise

1.14. recognises and manages her/his own physical and mental health for safe, professional practice

1.15. addresses issues of occupational justice in practice

1.16. contributes to education and professional practice development of peers and students

LO2, LO3, LO4

Standard 2 - Knowledge and learning

An occupational therapist’s knowledge, skills and behaviours in practice are informed by relevant and contemporary theory, practice knowledge and evidence, and are maintained and developed by ongoing professional development and learning.

An occupational therapist:

2.1 applies current and evidence-informed knowledge of occupational therapy and other appropriate and relevant theory in practice

2.2 applies theory and frameworks of occupation to professional practice and decision-making

2.3. identifies and applies best available evidence in professional practice and decision making

2.8. reflects on practice to inform current and future reasoning and decision-making and the integration of theory and evidence into practice

2.9. maintains knowledge of relevant resources and technologies, and

2.10. maintains digital literacy for practice.

LO1, LO3

Standard 3 - Occupational therapy process and practice

An occupational therapist’s practice acknowledges the relationship between health, wellbeing and human occupation, and their practice is client-centred for individuals, groups, communities and populations.

An occupational therapist:

3.1 addresses occupational performance and participation of clients, identifying the enablers and barriers to engagement

3.2 performs appropriate information gathering and assessment when identifying a client's status and functioning, strengths, occupational performance and goals

3.3 collaborates with the client and relevant others to determine the priorities and occupational therapy goals  

3.4 develops a plan with the client and relevant others to meet identified occupational therapy goals

3.5 selects and implements culturally responsive and safe practice strategies to suit the occupational therapy goals and environment of the client

3.6. seeks to understand and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples· experiences of health, wellbeing and occupations encompassing cultural connections

3.7 reflects on practice to inform and communicate professional reasoning and decisionmaking

3.8 identifies and uses practice guidelines and protocols suitable to the practice setting or work environment 

3.11 evaluates client and service outcomes to inform future practice

3.12 uses effective collaborative, multidisciplinary and inter-professional approaches for decision-making and planning

3.13 uses appropriate assistive technology, devices and/or environmental modifications to achieve client occupational performance outcomes

LO3, LO4

Standard 4 - Communication

Occupational therapists practise with open, responsive and appropriate communication to maximise the occupational performance and engagement of clients and relevant others.

An occupational therapist:

4.1 communicates openly, respectfully and effectively

4.2 adapts written, verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to the client and practice context

4.4 uses culturally responsive, safe and relevant communication tools and strategies

4.9 uses effective communication skill s to initiate and end relationships with clients and relevant others

4.10 seeks and responds to feedback, modifying communication and/or practice accordingly,

4.11 identifies and articulates the rationale for practice to clients and relevant others

LO2, LO3, LO4


Topics will include:

Consumer engagement

  • Enabling autonomy, choice and control for participation
  • Capabilities Approach
  • Disability and occupational rights
  • Consumer decision making and dignity of risk
  • Ethical, legal and social considerations

Design and development and prescription of assistive technology

  • Materials science and product development
  • Universal design
  • Technical drawing
  • Home modifications
  • Australian and international standards and legislation
  • Assistive technology solutions mainstream and customised 

The assistive technology process

  • Communication
  • Anthropometry
  • Practice models for provision of assistive technology/home modifications
  • Funding schemes
  • Feature matching
  • Trials
  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Evaluation

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

OTHY415 is taught as an intensive 6-week block. Guided by blended learning, students will participate in face to face workshops supported by online learning materials.

The Team Based Learning TBL pedagogy described by Sweet and Michaelson (2012) will be used. Students will be organised into teams and asked to work collaboratively on case study projects. Each team will be expected to create solutions for problems and present them to their peers for feedback. Students will be expected to engage with lectures prior to tutorials, complete formative quizzes each week, take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities. Learning activities have been designed to develop practical skills in assessment, enabling choice, feature matching, trialling and evaluating assistive technology/home modification solutions. . This unit also includes an online inter-professional NDIS learning module. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with ACU assessment requirements.  The assessments have been designed to develop, justify and evaluate assistive technology/home modification solutions and the assistive technology process including evaluation of client needs, assessment, feature matching, implementation and training that is ethical, legal, evidence based, cost effective and develops the capabilities of the client.

In assessment 1, students will critique an assistive technology provision case study against a range of criteria including human rights, ethics, person – occupation – environment and occupational fit, and sustainability.

Assessment 2 will be a multiple-choice assessment based on lecture content. This will assess factual knowledge of assistive technology practice models, products, features and design principles.

Assessment 3 is an NDIS funding request describing an evidence-based intervention plan including client problem analysis, assessment, feature matching, assistive technology solutions, training and implementing with an example of a weekly session plan. 

A hurdle interprofessional learning module will assess a range of interprofessional issues associated with the delivery of assistive technology

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Group Written Assignment – Students work collaboratively to critique an assistive technology case study.


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment 2: Multiple-choice assessment to assess knowledge.



GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9

Assessment 3: Individual report.

Demonstrate report writing that addresses requesting funding for assistive technology as well as the time and resources to effectively implement the solution for the client


LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10


Interprofessional Learning Module: Completion of an interprofessional learning module will enable students to demonstrate interprofessional skills in the delivery of assistive technology



GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

Cook, A., Polgar, J., & Encarnacao, P. (2020). Assistive technologies: Principles and practice (5th ed.). Mosby.

Ainsworth, E., & De Jonge, D. (2019). An occupational therapist's guide to home modification practice. SLACK Incorporated.

National Disability Insurance Agency. (2015) Assistive Technology Strategy.

World Federation of Occupational Therapists. (2019). Occupational therapy and assistive technology.

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