The Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI) and the Paper Technology Unit organized an eight-day workshop on “Appropriate Paper-Based Technology” in November 2017.
Thirteen participants, including eleven SAARC students from the Masters in Rehabilitation Science programme, attended the workshop. In addition, one participant from the Parents Forum for Differently Able, PFDA-Vocational Training Center, also attended. Janet Ivin and John Carter, both from England, conducted the training program. They were ably assisted by Shathi Rani Das (APT technician, CRP).
The objective of the training was quite straightforward; to learn how to make APT items for indoor or outdoor use in dry countries or for use in any community room. The program was very relevant to the participants, as the devices made by the trainees not only had therapeutic value but also were valuable in terms of recreational activities for the children. “Appropriate Paper-Based Technology” (Apbt or APT) is a cost-effective way of producing personally designed assistive devices and other useful objects. Materials that can be recycled in this process are waste paper, thin cards and corrugated cardboard boxes. Flour is used to make the paste and waterproof paint is helpful to coat the completed items. The only other things needed are a kettle or a pan to boil water, a suitable receptacle to make the paste, knives and a smooth stick. Once the technique is mastered, endless varieties of equipment can be made easily.
The workshop was a very successful method of transferring the technology into practice, and the participants all agreed that they will be able to use their new skills in their different areas of work in their own countries.