Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., ATP, Speaks at World Occupational Therapy Day in Doha Qatar

Dr. Therese Willkomm, a Clinical Associate Professor at the Institute on Disability, was a keynote presenter at the Hamad Rehabilitation Institute's World Occupational Therapy Day event in Doha Qatar. The institute invited Dr. Willkomm to speak at their event after seeing her presentation at the Gulf Region Education Assistive Technology (GREAT) Conference in 2017. 

In recent years, occupational therapy has undergone a remarkable transformation in the Gulf region. In light of the challenges the population face in accessing treatment services, several rehabilitation facilities in the area have invested in new therapeutic techniques and state-of-the-art medical instruments and equipment. 

"Qatar has been one of the leaders in providing Assistive Technology services in the Gulf region," said Dr. Willkomm. "This community is very supportive of helping people obtain assistive technology, but they frequently depend on commercial devices." 

Over 85 occupational therapists attended Dr. Willkomm's presentation at the Hamad Rehabilitation Institute. Through educational activities, attendees learned about her tools and solutions for creating assistive technology solutions on the fly. Participants seemed to particularly enjoy making the “iLeans”--portable, collapsible devices for leaning or holding a book, tablet, or other materials in an upright position. An “iLean” and variations of it is a useful tool for individuals who experience low vision, communication, and physical impairments. 

"It was a tremendous honor to be invited as a keynote speaker and share my approaches for low-cost rapid fabrication and deployment of assistive technology devices," said Dr. Willkomm. 

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