Becoming an Occupational Therapist is no easy task. It typically requires at least six years of college with in-depth medical courses and training. Once they graduate, Occupational Therapists spend their career assisting patients recovering from a physical illness or injury, to help them achieve the highest level of mobility possible. As part of their training, Occupational Therapy students are learning how assistive technology can help aide the patients they will serve one day.
MobilityWorks own Regional Marketing Manager, Craig Harlow, has been teaching Assistive Technology classes around the Philadelphia area since 2011. Every semester, Craig teaches a guest course at Temple University and The University of the Sciences on wheelchair accessible equipment. He brings in both rear entry and side entry accessible minivans and demonstrates how each different style of ramp operates. Students also hear from a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) about the training and certification that is required for someone to learn how to drive with hand controls.
The best part about teaching this class for Craig is the engagement and enthusiasm he receives from the students. Most of them have never seen a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and are very interested to learn how they are made. One of the required projects of the Assistive Technology course at Temple University is for students to design a piece of their own adaptive equipment. While teaching his class, Craig has seen several innovative designs that can help people with physical limitations. Students have come up with everything ranging from mechanical arm devices to safety equipment.
Once an Occupational Therapist graduates, they are still required to take courses known as Continuing Education Unit (CEU) to maintain their certification. Craig also teaches one-hour classes throughout the country as part of the CEU program, which takes place at MobilityWorks locations and rehabilitation facilities. As a certified National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association (NMEDA) instructor, he gets the opportunity to work with established Occupational Therapists several times throughout the year.
If you are interested in learning more about Occupational Therapy you can visit The American Occupational Therapy Association website at www.aota.org