OT students take part in exercise to develop products for disabled

OT master's students Amy Honeck (left) and Amy Chang.

Two UT Health San Antonio master’s candidates in occupational therapy, Amy Chang and Amy Honeck, participated in what’s known as a Makeathon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville in January.

The Makeathon is sponsored by Tikkun Olam Makers, a global movement that matches engineers, designers, therapists, carpenters, innovators and others with specific needs of people living with disabilities. The aim is to produce affordable solutions for everyday challenges.

The event had a total of right teams working on different issues. With four to six individuals, each team consisted of “Need-Knowers,” people who identified a need, and several “Makers,” people with a desire to help the “Need-Knowers” accomplish their goal. The processes of concept designs and implementations were documented in detail and made available worldwide so that ultimately, once the goals have been accomplished, the solutions can be replicated by anyone who may have similar needs.

“As occupational therapy representatives, we were able to bring our specific knowledge of ways to adapt to activities and the environment through the use of technology, ergonomics, body mechanics, and task analysis,” Chang and Honeck said. “This experience made us acutely aware of the many potential roles that occupational therapists can play in joining forces with different professionals.

“This opportunity allowed us to develop skills to work in dynamic, interprofessional collaborations and opened our eyes to the endless opportunities that occupational therapists have in working with professionals even outside of the medical field,” they added.

The Tikkun Olam Makers movement also assists in product development at affordable prices for the estimated 1.1 billion disabled people in the world.

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