A Curtin University occupational therapy graduate has been awarded the 2012 Count Me In national scholarship by Disability Services Minister Helen Morton.
Mr Scott Langmead, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) in 2004 with honours, received a $15,000 scholarship which he will use to study how international best practices in early access to powered mobility for children with disabilities could be applied in Western Australia.
The nation-wide Count Me In initiative focuses on facilitating welcoming communities and providing better accessibility and inclusion for all.
Mr Langmead, who now works at The Centre for Cerebral Palsy, won the scholarship for his project ‘First Wheels: supporting access, assessment and training for 0-3 year olds in the use of powered mobility devices for participation’.
As part of this ongoing project, Mr Langmead has linked with an organisation in the UK to import the first early intervention specific device, the ‘Wizzybug’ into Australia for use with children with mobility impacting disabilities.
Scott hopes his research will lead to full inclusion of young children with disability and that local resources and community stakeholders will be developed to produce mobility devices.
As of this collaborative research Mr Langmead will be travelling to America, Canada and the UK to observe how disability services function in these countries and to develop best practice guidelines to use in WA.
“I plan to report back everything I have learnt to the disability sector to help keep WA at the forefront in the delivery of best practice in disability services,” Mr Langmead said.
Professor Lorna Rosenwax, Head of Curtin University’s School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, said that Curtin was proud of Mr Langmead’s achievement.
“Many of our graduates, like Scott, make a real difference in the disability arena here in WA,” Professor Rosenwax said.
“Scott’s research will ensure that WA is leading in best practice in terms of delivering disability services, and has the potential to impact positively on many people’s lives, particularly promoting lifelong participation and independence for people with disabilities. I look forward to Scott publishing the findings from this important research.”