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 contrast to the medical model, which sees disability as deficits or deviance 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 used The Disability Attitude Implicit Association Test (DA-IAT) and the Symbolic Ableism Scale (SAS), which measure implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) disability attitudes, respectively. We also conducted a series of annual qualitative interviews to examine the students’ attitudes towards and understandings of disability.
Qualitative analysis using theoretical thematic analysis was completed for the following data: interviews; reflections; and, qualitative survey answers. After immersion in the data, the data was examined for patterns across the data and initial codes will be generated. These codes were grouped into themes, which were presented in terms of major and minor themes. Quantitative analyses were 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