Date: Friday, July 15, 2022 10:30 AM- Friday, July 15, 2022 11:45 AM
Lead/Instructor: Jan Miller Polgar
Dr. Jan Miller Polgar
Jan Miller Polgar was a full-time faculty member in the School of Occupational Therapy at Western University from 1983 to 2018, where she taught the assistive technology course for several years. Her research focused on mobility technology (wheeled mobility and vehicular technology) involving users across the lifespan, and included product development and technology transfer, product evaluation at both the conceptual stage and after technology transfer and evaluation of different aspects of assistive technology use and outcome evaluation. Further, her work investigated consumers’ perspectives on technology use (both assistive and vehicular technology). She was a member of the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence since its inception, leading projects investigating different aspects of older adults’ perceptions and use of vehicular technology. She participated as a co-investigator on two Canadian Institutes of Health Research team grants: CanDRIVE investigating driving in older adults and CanWheel, investigating different aspects of older adults’ use of wheeled mobility devices. She was also a member of AGEWELL NCE, which focused on assistive technology to support the lives of older adults. She is the co-author of the last three editions of Assistive Technologies: Principles and Practices, the leading textbook on the subject, globally. With her co-authors, Dr. AM Cook and later Dr. Pedro Encarnação, she refined the Human, Activity, Assistive Technology model that is used to guide assistive technology development, evaluation and service delivery.
Selection and use of assistive technology go beyond the function that such products enable. Individual user's identity and the meaning that they give to AT are important determinants of how useful technology will be in their lives. This lecture draws on the presenter's clinical experience, research and other sources to explore the intersection of identity, meaning and assistive technology use.
Following the lecture, attendees will be able to:
1. Articulate the intersection of meaning and identity on the individual's choice and use of assistive technology.
2. Identify context-appropriate means of incorporating discussion of assistive technology meaning and its intersection with the individual's identity in the AT service delivery process.