• I worked once in an inpatient post-acute rehabilitation service that had developed an excellent model of staggered discharge. As people receiving rehabilitation progressed through the program they were increasingly supported to move back into the community. This would start with short trips, followed as appropriate by whole days, gradually moving to overnight stays and then more than one day at a time, until eventually they were ready for full discharge. Their rehabilitation support would then be fully handed over to the community based team, who had begun to work with them as well during this process. At the time I joined this service, the funders had noted that bed occupancy rates were below their target. Pressure was being applied to the service to increase occupancy rates, which primarily required us to pull back from this best practice approach, to focus on providing rehabilitation that resulted in our patients being back in their hospital beds at the end of the day... Read more »

  • If we consider that disability is a social construction being located in environmental barriers to active community participation, then it follows that disability is a breach of our right to full community participation (a fundamental human right according to the UN Charter). Read more »

  • NZRA Cartoon#12 - click on link below for a visual description

    William Levack has been doodling again. Doesn't he have anything better to do with his time? This week: Strawberry Shortcake in Year 2025. Read more »

  • The Lokomat at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington DC

    This month I visited the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC, and posted video blog about the facilitaties available to therapists at this center. Read more »

  • NZRA Cartoon#11 - click on link below for a visual description

    William Levack has been doodling again. Doesn't he have anything better to do with his time? This week: Wheelchairs of the Future. Read more »

  • Image of Mark Ylvisaker

    Mark Ylvisaker, philosopher, speech-language pathologist, and advocate for children and adolescents with brain injury, died on 24th May 2009 and he will be greatly missed. Read more »

  • The Disability Parking Sign

    Claire Mackie examines recent social marketing campaigns to change attitudes towards people with disabilities, or at least towards disability parking spaces, and find some wanting... Read more »

  • Since I came out as a gay man at 19 years old, I've been a user of home-based support, needs assessments, wheelchair assessments, physiotherapists as well as other health professionals and services, even rehabilitation at times. Every service provider, in my experience, has assumed I am heterosexual. Unless I actually say, ‘I'm a gay man', people assume I'm straight. That assumption operates at all levels of the organisation - from management, to administration, to individual staff. Read more »

  • Cartoon - see text for visual description

    Doodles from William Levack's desk. Is he funny? Who knows, but at least he fills a space... This week: Diabetes management during Easter holidays! Read more »

  • 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin

    2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his seminal book ‘Origin of Species’. The theory of evolution is one of the most important biological discoveries, period. However, evolution has also been mis-used to promote thoroughly bad ideas such as eugenics and social engineering. In the area of disability, the theory of evolution is tainted with these notions and terms such as ‘survival of fittest’ and ‘natural selection’ are quite offensive and gives the theory of evolution a bad name (which I think it might not deserve). There are two threads of thinking that I want to very briefly explore to show that the theory of evolution need not be seen as the ‘enemy’, and may actually be helpful in understanding human behaviour. Read more »


Rehabilitation conference logoThe 2009 Rehabilitation Conference will be held in Queenstown on 21–25 July. More about the conference.