From South West Sydney to South Korea

Posted 17 October 2013

Emma Friesen has returned from the 2013 International Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (iCREATe) in Gyoneggi-do, South Korea. iCREATe brings together students, academic researchers and clinicians working in Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology fields. Although the delegates are primarily from the ASEAN nations, many research collaborations featured during the conference include North American and European research centres.

iCREATe is a sister organisation to the Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association (ARATA), the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) and the Association for Advances in Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE). Emma Friesen is a volunteer board member of ARATA and has been involved in both rehabilitation engineering and Assistive Technology since 2005.

Emma presented two papers and a workshop at the conference. The first paper documented ARATA’s development and dissemination of an evidence-based Policy Statement and Background Papers on Assistive Technology. ARATA used these papers in a targeted advocacy strategy during initial consultations around the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The second paper, presented on behalf of the Primary and Community Research Unit (PCHRU), provided a case study of novice practitioner research being supported through PCHRU’s Researcher Mentoring Program. The case study highlights how, with the right support, practitioner researchers in Community Health can undertake clinically-relevant research and disseminate it to local, national and international audiences. The workshop, called “From an idea to a researchable question … a short course”, built on this theme by exploring ways to progress research ideas. 

The workshop drew around 30 participants from across the world. Participants were a little shy initially, but soon engaged with others to discuss their research ideas. By the end, each participant had some concrete “next steps” such as identifying one or two sources of literature to explore, or identifying two-three people with whom they could discuss their research idea. Participants were also encouraged to consider presenting the results of these ‘next steps’ at either iCREATe 2014 in Bangkok, or ARATA 2014 in Canberra.

For more information...

Abstracts from the conference are at: