Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Stephanie de Sam Lazaro


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Background. There are various benefits, supports, and barriers which contribute to participation in outdoor play for children with disabilities. Rainbow Tree Therapies (RTT) and its community face various accessibility challenges that limit outdoor play participation.

Purpose. The purpose of this project was to develop educational materials and resources for families of children with disabilities who have experienced accessibility concerns.

Approach. The approach of this project can be divided into 4 activities: (1) evaluation of RTT, (2) creation of accessible garden planters, (3) development of educational materials, and (4) analysis of survey results.

Outcomes. There were seven survey responses, all of which identified themselves as parents. Respondents noted the desire to increase community accessibility, specifically including playgrounds as an area of need. Parents ranked high confidence levels in understanding accessibility, advocating for their child, and teaching their child self-advocacy skills following educational lesson participation.

Implications. Making community spaces truly accessible and inclusive is a big undertaking that requires collaboration from leaders, professionals, and families. OT practitioners can and should undertake advocacy when considering accessibility, inclusion, and universal design.