Synapse Voices

Conversations about using inclusive technology to enable disabled people to pursue independence, health and wellness. Dissemination of technology-related research solely through traditional professional forums risks failing to keep pace with technology changes. Such forums also privilege knowledge gained from empirical research over experience gained in clinical application, and rarely give a voice to disabled people and their families. The Synapse Voices podcast facilitates conversation between disabled people and their families, researchers, clinicians, and policy makers regarding the role of inclusive technology in health, rehabilitation, wellness and beyond.

Maudie Biessel has the kind of practical insights that only comes from being a lived experience expert—someone who has personal knowledge of the topic they are talking about. At the NDIS “New World” conference on disability in the 21st century in Brisbane, Australia, she discussed the importance for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to re-ground themselves after experiencing flashbacks or dissociative episodes in the community. In this podcast, she shares a number of ideas for ways that a smartphone app could provide people with practical assistance in that process. Plus, Duncan announces the launch of his app Intro. See more at intro.fm.

APA reference for this episode:
Beissel, M. (Interviewee), & Babbage, D. R. (Interviewer/Producer). (2017). Synapse Voices 9: Maudie Beissel. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/9

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Kate Wood is a lived experience expert in using technology to manage memory and concentration difficulties. Kate discusses the issues faced in using existing apps to effectively manage information she needs to recall, tasks to complete, and the processes around getting to events well prepared, with the information at hand she requires, so that she leaves having achieved the best outcome.

APA reference for this episode:
Wood, K. (Interviewee), & Babbage, D. R. (Interviewer/Producer). (2016). Synapse Voices 8: Kate Wood. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/8

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When a 13 year old speaks at a major conference, I take note. It’s not every teenager who can take the stage. When that same 13 year old has the style do so in a trillby, I’ll admit he's got my full attention. And ultimately it was the substance, not just the style of this speaker’s presentation, that was the most impressive. The conference was the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) “New World” conference on disability in the 21st century in Brisbane, Australia. The Digital Dreams session presenters were a number of people with expert lived experience of using technology to manage and reduce disability. I was keen to introduce him to you. And thus, after an extended hiatus—three years—I am pleased to bring back the Synapse Voices podcast for you, to introduce Bailey Paior-Smith. And now that it's back, more episodes are going to follow... within the week. Subscribe, and stay tuned...

APA reference for this episode:
Pailor-Smith, B. (Interviewee), & Babbage, D.R. (Interviewer/Producer). (2015). Synapse Voices 7: Bailey Pailor-Smith. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/7

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Belinda Carr and Dr Natasha Lannin are both experienced Occupational Therapists. Belinda has specialised in her clinical practice in the field of traumatic brain injury and cognitive rehabilitation. Natasha's research focuses on rehabilitation for persons with acquired brain impairment after stroke and traumatic injury, and improved strategies for both generating and implementing research as a core component of clinical practice. She is one of the Principal Investigators of the Australian Stroke Clinical Register. They came together, with a number of Occupational Therapy colleagues, over the desire to systematically examine the use of handheld computing devices, supported by Occupational Therapy training, for memory and planning difficulties after traumatic brain injury. Belinda presented findings of their randomised controlled trial at the 7th World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation in Melbourne, Australia, in May 2012. After the presentation, we sat down to discuss their experiences in this research. At the time the research was conducted, Natasha Lannin was being employed by the Rehabilitation Studies Unit, University of Sydney, and Belinda was working at the Royal Rehab Centre in Sydney. Only one previous randomised controlled trial of mobile computing technology has been published in brain injury rehabilitation; the research discussed in this podcast is currently under peer review for full journal publication. Dr Lannin is now employed as an Associate Professor at the Alfred Clinical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University in Melbourne. Belinda Carr is the Professional Leader of Occupational Therapy at the Royal Rehab Centre, Sydney.

APA format reference for the research discussed in this podcast:
Carr, B., Allaous, J., Lannin, N., MacKenzie, B., Falcon, A., Tate, R., … Pearse, S. (2012, May). Efficacy of using handheld computers plus occupational therapy to compensate for memory and planning difficulties after brain injury: A randomised control trial. Paper presentation at the 7th World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, Melbourne, Australia.

The full author list was:
Carr, B., Allaous, J., Lannin, N., MacKenzie, B., Falcon, A., Tate, R., Schmidt, J., Irving, I. & Pearse, S.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2012). Synapse Voices 6: Belinda Carr and Dr Natasha Lannin. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/6

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Catherine Stirling, an Occupational Therapist, discusses using the Apple iPad to meet the needs of two of her Australian clients.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2011). Synapse Voices 5: Catherine Stirling. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/5

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Albert 'Skip' Rizzo is an expert in the use of virtual reality technology in mental health applications and with older adults. A Research Scientist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, Research Professor, USC Department of Psychiatry, Research Professor, USC Davis School of Gerontology, he conducts research on the use of Virtual Reality for exposure therapy in social phobia, for role-playing applications such as in anger management, and for acute pain distraction during at painful medical procedures and for discomfort reduction during chemotherapy. His latest project has focused on the translation of the graphic assets from the Xbox game, Full Spectrum Warrior, into an exposure therapy application for combat-related PTSD with Iraq War veterans. The common thread that drives all of these applications involves the study of how VR simulation technology can be usefully applied to serve the needs of the client in a manner that goes beyond what is available with traditional 20th Century tools and methods. VR and augmented reality have potential future application in brain injury rehabilitation, so I was fascinated to be able to talk to Skip about his work, after a keynote he gave at the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association Conference in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2011.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2011). Synapse Voices 4: Dr Skip Rizzo. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/4

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A conversation with Pat Hutchison. Trained for primary schools that cater for children aged five to eleven, she started teaching in 1967 in a four-teacher country school in the middle of New Zealand's King Country. She moved into special education in the late 1980s when her attention was captured by the concept of mainstreaming. She has a Masters degree in Education with a focus on teaching students with learning and behaviour support needs. She has been based at Tawa School in Wellington, New Zealand for the last 20 years, as an itinerant teacher of special needs and then in the more recent role as a resource teacher of learning and behaviour. And in that role, she is amongst other things exploring the use of technology.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2010). Synapse Voices 3: Pat Hutchison. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/3

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A conversation with Deacon Patrick Jones of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs. He is a brain injury chaplain, providing internet-based support and assistance to people worldwide. His is no ordinary ministry though, because he lives these issues from within... a series of brain injuries mean that each day presents him with challenges, in particular with ongoing disability in terms of memory impairment. His work to to rehabilitate himself has included making an iPhone his external brain.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2010). Synapse Voices 2: Deacon Patrick Jones. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/2

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In this inaugural episode of Synapse Voices, Duncan talks with Dr Gerald Craddock, Chief Officer of the Center for Universal Design, Dublin, discussing universal design principles, and asking about the progress in implementing cognitive universal design.

APA reference for this episode:
Babbage, D.R. (Producer). (2010). Synapse Voices 1: Dr Gerald Craddock. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.synapseproject.org/voices/1

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