Inside The Occupational Therapy Study
Understanding the role different understandings of disability have on professional development will help OT be more social justice oriented – more clearly identify and meet the needs of the disability community. Educational programs have an obligation to understand how new knowledge is translated and integrated by future clinicians.
This study’s understanding of disability is grounded in disability studies’ social model; a socio-political reframing that theorizes disability as social, political, and cultural. In opposition to the medical model, which sees disability as due to deficits or deviance and portrays humans as “alterable” and society as “fixed,” the social model locates the problem of disability within society.
OT has acknowledged critiques from the disability community of the negative impact on clients with interventions driven by locating disability solely within the individual. OT has a growing emphasis on client-centered practice and social justice that aligns with the social model of disability that locates disability in social barriers.
The study uses survey methods, including The Disability Attitude Implicit Association Test (DA-IAT) and the Symbolic Ableism Scale (SAS). We also conducted qualitative interviews about students’ attitudes towards and understandings of disability.
Qualitative analysis using theoretical thematic analysis will be completed for the following data: interviews; reflections; and, qualitative survey answers. After immersion in the data, the data will be examined for patterns across the data and initial codes will be generated. These codes will be grouped into themes, which will be presented in terms of major and minor themes. Quantitative analyses will be conducted for all other data.
Occupational Therapy Education: Impact on the Ableism of Students
The aim of this study was to explore how occupational therapy students’ explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious) disability attitudes changed throughout their graduate education. To do so, we examined the disability attitudes of 67 occupational therapy students from 3 graduate programs every year of their graduate education.Continue Reading