Title of Work

Occupational Therapy within the Response to Intervention Team: Focus Group Identifies Opportunities and Barriers

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

March 2022




Evidence indicates that universal screening can support academic preparation. Response to Intervention (RtI) is a model that has been designed to identify student needs and support them within the academic setting. A focus group was held with 20 school-based occupational therapy practitioners to explore the existing role of occupational therapy within different tiers of intervention and identify barriers and further opportunities for collaborating on interdisciplinary teams. Four themes emerged identifying 1) Developmental, academic, and health-related needs, 2) Key periods for universal screening, 3) Communication and systematic barriers in interdisciplinary collaboration, and 4) Lack of identified roles for occupational therapy practitioners within RtI teams.Findings of the focus group indicate a need for advocacy using data to establish the occupational therapy role across all RtI levels. Through advocacy efforts, role release, and interdisciplinary knowledge sharing opportunities can support student during academic participation.