Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Guest Contributor - Access to Cell Phones

Today we have a guest contributor - Kimberly Hreha. Kimberly is an Occupational Therapist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

Access to Cell Phones

The ability to successfully access a cellular phone is an essential part of life for both able-bodied individuals, and for those with functional mobility deficits following an injury or illness. Being an occupational therapist that works in an inpatient acute rehabilitation hospital, I am frequently asked the question “can you help me use my cell”???

I have made many adaptations (some small, others large) to cellular phones based on the functional movement my clients have. I try to use the least extensive modifications and utilize commercial options however at times I do need to use other means secondary to poor design features, product complexity, or because of very limited upper extremity function.

A company entitled, SAJE Technology, has two products called Easy Blue and Zoomate, that I have had good results with. These adapted Bluetooth devices allow the user the ability to access the device (Bluetooth or speaker phone) with any kind of ability switch. Thus, this option gives more clients the ability to access the phone because once it is on, the Bluetooth system will allow one to navigate through their contact list and make a phone call with the click of a button.

To learn more on the Easy Blue or the Zoomate, click HERE.

I believe it is the responsibility of a trained clinician, like an occupational therapist, to assess a client’s individualized goals and apply knowledge with clinical expertise to assist in selecting the most effective cellular phone option. To learn more about this topic and read about a specific case study that outlines the process of fulfilling a spinal cord injury patient’s individual goal for autonomous cell phone access, pleas click on the below link.

Click Here to read the article - "We All Can Call: Enhancing Accessible Cell Phone Usage for Clients with Spinal Cord Injuries", originally published in the Assistive Technology Journal, 23: 2, 76-80.

Author Posting. (c) 'Copyright Holder', 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of 'Copyright Holder' for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Assistive Technology, Volume 23 Issue 2, June 2011.


Kimberly Hreha has been an occupational therapist for 5 years and works at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation as a senior clinician. She has had poster presentations at NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium (NECC) in 2009, on her work on unilateral spatial neglect and at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 2011 on medication management. Kimberly spoke at the Pennsyvlania & New Jersey Occupational Therapy Annual Conferences (POTA/NJOTA) in 2009 & 2010, both on the topic of cell phone adaptations for the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) population. She has been published in Advance for OT Practitioners & the Assistive Technology Journal. Kimberly held office as public relations chair for NJOTA from 2006 to the present time. One of her most proud moments was this past year when she was presented with the Service Award at the NJOTA conference. The award recognized her efforts in developing a 5K run for occupational therapy awareness. She raised $4000 dollars at the event, which went toward Chernobyl Children’s Project International. Kimberly is also currently enrolled and pursuing her doctorate in Movement Science and Occupational Therapy at Teachers College, Columbia University

Thanks Kimberly! Would you like to be a guest contributor on our blog? Just send me an email at with your topic idea. We are happy to highlight other professionals working in the field of AT.

1 comment:

  1. Now a days I believe Bluetooth Speaker Companies never compromised over quality of any product.Speaking about Bluetooth Speaker I can spend few bugs more no worries if it is related to quality I see cool Bluetooth Speaker and I believe it's real cool to have one for PC or for listening music. have few Bluetooth Speakers not branded but reasonably worthy and best quality sound.