Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy
Kimberley Persons, DHS, OTR/L, CLA
Alyssa Klenotich, MS
Steven Wandler, PhD
Introduction: The increasing presence of students with disabilities in higher education necessitates improved faculty support and awareness of on-campus support services and accommodations. Occupational therapists can play a vital role in promoting inclusion and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles by collaborating with faculty to enhance the academic experience and success of students with disabilities.
Purpose: The primary aim of this project was to evaluate and educate faculty on student support services at the University and share knowledge on Universal Design for Learning to enhance the existing literature on the significance of OT in higher education.
Approach: I completed an extensive literature search, needs assessments, and conducted various semi-structured interviews with professionals at St. Catherine University. A faculty resource survey was created to gather information from faculty on support resources that would benefit the campus community.
Outcomes: Overall, the faculty showed positive attitudes towards Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as the top priority. Common themes identified from the faculty resource survey were knowledge of accessibility, communication, knowledge of student resources and faculty resources, staffing, and ease of locating resources.
Recommendations: The Student Accessibility and Accommodations (SA&A) office and the occupational therapy profession can continue collaborating to support faculty, staff, and students. A future capstone student could create a UDL program for faculty and evaluate faculty resources.