YV joins the 400th anniversary celebration of University of Sto. Tomas

Young Voices participated in the exhibit entitled, “OTzibit 2010: The First Ever Assistive Device-Making Contest” organized by Occupational Therapy Students Assembly (OTSA) in cooperation with University of Sto.. Tomas, Manila. UST celebrated Occupational Therapist (OT) Day, with the theme, “Spotlight: A Focus on the Occupational Therapy Profession”, held last February 26, 2011 (Saturday) from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

In the morning, there was a Fun Run activity which was called “ OTakbo”, wherein guests and participants ran around UST campus. The said event was joined by different disabled people organizations (DPOs) in Metro Manila and together with representatives coming from different universities, like the University of the Philippines.

FUN RUN. UST celebrated their 400th anniversary. UST had been founded in 1611, and is considered as the oldest university in the country. Throughout their 400 years  of service, persons with disabilities (PWDs) had been part of their mission, in terms of providing educational support and community services. They are very active in engaging in  PWD activities. In the fun run, Young Voices participated in the mini-competition together with Autism Society of the Philippines, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan and other DPOs. Two (2) Young Voices members won in the game namely, Jefferson Biteng (2nd runner up) and Clifford Trocino (3rd runner up).

OT Exhibits. Occupational Therapists (OT) are focused on assisting PWDs to engage in daily life activities that they find meaningful and purposeful. OT treats impairments and limitations in physical and/or mental functioning through the use of purposeful activities. By participating in the event, the Young Voices already gained wider knowledge of OT, and how they help PWDs. That’s why Young Voices was quite thankful  that they organized these events, like the  Exhibits on Assistive Device Making Contest, wherein they encouraged OT students from different schools to think of a better ideas of  inventing devices that will be very helpful for PWDs. As we dropped by each of the exhibit booths one by one, we came to know that students made an effort to invent the following:

a.)     My MVP – device which has a thoraco-lumbar support, which is made of aluminum to address postural and trunk control problem. The device has straps which are padded to provide support on the client’s upper and lower trunk and one strap goes around the chair as the client assumes the sitting position. It is a dual purpose device, the client can use it while walking and this promotes independence as you do activities on the table not needing maximal supervision on simple activities. Age range for patients  in their adolescence  to late adulthood.

b.)    Whee-rror: Portable Wheelchair Side Mirror – is a portable side mirror that is designed to aid wheelchair dependent individuals to be able to manipulate the wheelchair safely and independently during reverse propulsion. This device aimed to help the target population when manipulating the wheelchair in a limited space (i.e. comfort room, etc.) This device would allow a clear rear and side view, without turning one’s head or one’s trunk. The materials used are mirror, clamp that would be attached to the wheelchair and finally rod connected to the clamp to hold the mirror in place.

c.)     Press and Go –            Those who can use this device are those who have bilateral trans radial amputee, wrist disarticulations, amputation of digits and also for non-disabled people. This device aims to establish some degree of independence and lessen the feelings of frustration. It is made up of plywood,  formed like a regular rectangular bookshelf. It is a shelf has five (5) individual trays where the books are to be placed and the book out of the shelf. A press button is placed under each tray which is continuous as a lever at the back of the shelf so that when you press the button, a stick will push the book out of the shelf. To use this device, client chooses a book that he wants to read then he/she will press the lever aligned with the book. Press until the book comes out of the shelf and the client may grabs the book using both forearms. In returning the book, client must grab the book using the forearms and the client carries the book and goes to the bookshelf. Client places the book on the tray and pushes the book forward.

d.)    The Hipsters – is an all-around modified reacher for bathing, personal hygiene and grooming of the lower extremities. This assistive device is intended for use by elderly persons with hip fractures. The device is made up of the stainless steel taken from the pole of a used umbrella. The length is about 26 inches, depending on the head to be used. The reacher was modified in such a way that one end of the pole has the handle,while the other end has a kind of hole that will serve as the male adapter into which the female adapter, attached to the bottom part of the different heads, will be appended. The Hipsters include a set of 8 heads. The reacher is adjustable. The main stem of the reacher was taken from an umbrella so that locking mechanism of the reacher is that of an umbrella made up of sleeve tubes with various inside diameters and connected in series. The first sleeve tube is provided with a bowed resilient element inside. There is a groove formed on the umbrella runner, corresponding to the bowed resilient element. When the umbrella is opened, the resilient element rises into the groove of the umbrella runner so that the runner is held in position. The hipsters is intended for use by elderly, ages 60 and above, with hip fractures. The hipsters’ set of heads will be used for different purposes (all for the lower extremities). Two heads for bathing: loofah for applying soap and scrubbing, & towel used for drying after bathing, 3 for personal hygiene & grooming: 2 for scrubbing the foot (foot file & brush), & spatula for applying lotion, & 3 for dressing: hook for pulling up pants/shorts, shoe horn for donning, & doffing shoes & socks, & a sock horn for donning socks.

e.)     Thumb Replacement Tripod – This modified design gives you a highly versatile grasping management, that can be easily used to provide the occupant with the required tripod grasping pattern. From a Thermoplast splinting material, this splint can be formed easily by using a heat gun or soaked it boiled water. It is a 2-finger splint that serves as a replacement for the thumb that leads to perform a tripod grasp. It has a tube where you can attach objects you need to use. Diversities within the objects being placed in the tube can vary according to the recommendation of the therapist. This can be used in grooming (combing hair and brushing teeth), feeding and communication management (writing). This device is easy and safe to use, affordable, and customize to fit the client’s finger.

OT Day Cultural Performance. Young Voices rendered a cultural dancing on wheels performance, to the tune of “Carinosa”. YV was able to promote the Leonard Cheshire Disability aims and mission, including its programs and services in the Philippines. YV also mentioned their activities especially in creating social awareness on UNCRPD which gave the students, parents, teachers, children with disabilities (CWDs), administrators, management, visitors and participants an idea of how YV works. The performance entertained the audience very much, as this was their first time to watch a dancing on wheels in a cultural way. Truly, PWDs have lots of abilities, and society should focus on people’s abilities than on disabilities. Before the parting time, the Occupational Therapist Student Assembly (OTSA) promised to once again invite next year the Young Voices including the CWDs and their parents. People will not be aware of the abilities of PWDs if PWDs will not be visible in the communities.