St. Ambrose University
Occupational Therapy Assistive Technology Lab and Services
The Occupational Therapy Program’s Assistive Technology Lab began in 1998 and has been expanding since that time in individuals served and educational offerings provided. The mission of the AT Lab is to be a regionally recognized resource on technology and innovative living solutions offering education, services, and devices to promote participation in daily life. This mission is critical as our belief is that occupational injustice occurs “… when participation in occupation is barred, confined, restricted, segregated, prohibited, underdeveloped, disrupted, alienated, marginalized, exploited, excluded, or otherwise restricted.” (Kronenberg & Pollard)
This AT Lab mission is accomplished through two primary services.
- Education: Education related to assistive technology and, specifically, the fabrication of assistive devices that are individualized in order to promote participation in chosen occupation is the focus of the education offered by the AT Lab. This education is offered to MOT students through formal, required coursework as well as more in-depth individual training. Clinicians/faculty and community members can also take advantage of the educational opportunities in order to enhance their intervention options with clients or to develop personal solutions for clients or loved ones.
- Community Outreach: With each year, the outreach to the community has grown. While initially outreach was focused in the Quad Cities or Eastern Iowa, there are now assistive devices lent to people throughout the region and the country. A Lending Library is an integral component to the community outreach. Devices to promote occupational performance are individually constructed or modified and lent to individuals in need. Jim’s Place, a home/community resource opened in October of 2011,allows individuals to see, and try, low to high tech solutions for independent living.
Overall, whether through education or community outreach, the AT Lab is an information clearinghouse in which information, knowledge, and ‘know-how’ are shared in order to spread the availability of AT and thereby promote participation in occupation.