Appropriate Paper based Technology

Our Erasmus students from Ivan Franko University joined an Appropriate Paper based Technology  (APT) course under the supervision of Marjolijn Vergote.

APT is a technology using engineering principles to transform recycled paper and cardboard materials into strong personally designed equipment such as furniture or adapted devices for children with impairment. The technic is an application to adapt to each person’s needs, in a low budget way with a big impact. The created devices are strong, useful, attractive and low-cost.

APT is often used  to make adapted equipment for example children with cerebral palsy. Children who experience difficulties in lying, sitting or standing are in need of the right equipment to facilitate them in developing their skills and taking part in social life.

During this week we learned the APT engineering principles, how to make an APT dryer, paste and cardboard panels and made different tools.

Left on the picture we see a booster seat, table and an adapted chair (with abduction block, trunk support, head support and tray). This offers a more physical comfort and prevents the installation of bone malformations and muscle retractions.

Right on the picture, you see a stool and deco craft item that can be useful in each home context.

To start with this technique, it is important that the occupational therapist starts by identifying the needs of the person. The measurement of the child is very important to get a good result. The occupational knowledge makes the occupational therapist able to produce other types of APT devices for children with a disability. In practice the family of the person with special needs is involved in the process of creating positioning chairs, the OT is supervising the process. There’s a wide range of applications possible such as walking frames, hand braces, special chairs/tables, canes, toys and other home gadgets. This technique is an effective way to support  to live more independent lives.