Ohio Occupational Therapist Study
Make a difference in helping students with disabilities be independent and have productive lives after graduation! Join a study with three or more of your students with disabilities* who are eligible. The goal is to examine over two years the impact of occupational therapy services on 14- to 16-year-old students with high incidence disabilities.
Postsecondary employment and life skill outcomes for students with disabilities are poor. Evidence shows that, in adult rehabilitation, occupational therapists have a key role to support return to work, life skills and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Yet, occupational therapists in U.S. schools are largely uninvolved in services to help a student to transition to life after high school. Research on the benefits of occupational therapy in high school can improve the transition for all students with disabilities. The Office for Exceptional Children in the Ohio Department of Education is sponsoring this study.
Approximately 50 students will be in the study along with 20 occupational therapists. The students will complete two tests of transition readiness – the Arc’s Self-determination Scale and The Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised. The results will inform the plan for the student’s transition. The two tests will be repeated at the end of two academic years. Participating therapists will provide information about the interventions used and their successes and barriers.
How do occupational therapists participate?
Send an email to Cathy.Csanyi@education.ohio.gov about your interest in this study.
Therapists participating in the study will attend a workshop in mid-August to become familiar with the two tests being used. Then, all three students will complete the two tests at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. The results will inform the team developing the plan for each student. Each student receives the occupational services in the plan. Therapists participate in monthly 1.5 hour online meetings and submit monthly reflections.
*Students must be 14 years old during the first month of the 2013-2014 school year, enrolled in an Ohio public school, have an IQ greater than 60 and be able to complete a test in English. Additionally, the student must have one of the following disabilities – learning disorder, Asperger Syndrome, high level cognitive disability, emotional disorder or other health impairment such as a traumatic brain injury or an attention deficit disorder.