- Promoting self advocacy and development of self determination skills for children and young adults with moderate to severe disabilities
- Promoting and advocating for emerging roles for occupational therapists within school based practice (i.e. collaborative service provision, universal design for learning, common core standards, participation based intervention)
- Creating and managing a Professional Learning Community for Illinois School Based Occupational Therapists with the goal to promote evidence based practice in this setting and recruit and retain school based occupational therapists.
- Empowering school based occupational therapists to demonstrate everyday leadership skills in order to overcome barriers to best practice and best demonstrate the value of occupational therapy in schools.
- Successful transition from school to meaningful activity (i.e. employment, college, volunteering, leisure) for young adult students with autism and intellectual disabilities
Potential Project Topics
Find the right advisor to match your interests
As a part of your application you should identify which faculty member is a strong match to your area of interest and practice.
Find out more about their individual interests, potential project topics, and how to contact them.
Contact Theresa at:
- Participation-Focused, Self-management interventions for people with disabilities
- Task-oriented/Occupation-based interventions after stroke
- Advocacy and disability rights
- Primary care
Contact Heidi at:
- Implications of policies for occupational therapists and people with disabilities, such as implications of the Affordable Care Act, teaching therapists about policy issues, case studies of how policy affects OT practice, OTs role with advocacy
- Development of the role of occupational therapy in primary care settings like physician’s offices or community health centers
- Develop case examples of using the Residential Environment Impact Scale (REIS), a group home assessment, or pilot test the REIS in other settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and day programs
- Theory-based practice: use of the Model of Human Occupation and other models in practice; developing cases and other teaching materials to assist OT faculty in teaching about occupation-focused models
You can contact Gail at:
- Participatory action research on empowerment with people with disabilities
- Community participation assessment
- Interventions to improve participation (home, community, work) with people with disabilities (stroke, intellectual and developmental disabilities) and environmental barriers and supports
Contact Joy at:
- Community mental health: transitioning individuals from institutional settings to the community (assessment of needs, curriculum development, etc.)
- Juvenile justice: curriculum development with Juvenile Detention Center
- Psychosocial challenges in neuro-rehab
- Occupational therapy services with UIC students with mental health challenges
Contact Celeste at:
- Developing and testing two caregiver questionnaires that are designed to provide comprehensive and feasible assessment of children’s participation in activities and environmental supports and barriers to children’s participation
- Applying these caregiver questionnaires in health services and longitudinal research to examine links between diagnosis and function in pediatric populations
- Building and testing a web-based intervention planning guide to help caregivers build on their baseline assessment for care planning towards participation-level outcome
Contact Mary at:
- Evaluating everyday technology use among older people with and without disabilities (validation of the ETUQ in a new context) – quantitative approach
- Exploring content validity of the ETUQ (with specific focus on e-health services) among older people with and without disabilities – cognitive interviews (qual/quant approach)
- Creating video-cases that can be used in training and education in relation to occupational performance and everyday technology use.
- Exploring content validity of the new Fieldwork Performance Evaluation among clinical supervisors using cognitive interviews/think-aloud methodology (with Kathy Preissner)
Contact Anders at:
- Needs assessment/development and evaluation of community-based services to promote Health prevention/wellness with both well elderly and elderly with disabilities
- Special focus on Asian-American elderly, Asian immigrants
- Low vision
- Teaching/developing curriculum related to productive aging (e.g. aging theories) and leading groups in the community (e.g. Functional group model)
- Application of MOHO in practice
Contact Jenica at:
- Empowerment of Latino families who have a child with an autism spectrum disorder
- Addressing disparities for minority caregivers and diagnosis and treatment disparities for Latino and Black children with an autism spectrum disorder
- Cultural context of families who care for persons with disabilities and mental illness and the experiences of parents who have disabilities
- Using community health workers to provide health education and to enhance OT services
Contact Sandy at:
- Health care access barriers for people with disabilities
- Expanding access of performance based and patient reported outcome measurement tools
- Most current research: Developing patient navigator services for people with disabilities to help them negotiate the social services systems. All these efforts are in the early stage of development and may provide students with the opportunity to help guide the efforts.
Contact Susan at:
- Health and disability disparities among refugees and immigrants settled in the U.S.
- Social determinants of health and healthcare access
- Delivery of disability-related health and rehabilitation services for underserved and under resourced populations in local and international contexts. Examples of OTD projects include developing models of care and occupational therapists’ role in non-traditional practice settings such as medical homes and federally-qualified health clinics (local) and global health teams (international).
- Clinical communication with non-English speaking patients. Examples of OTD projects include development of educational resources (such as online trainings and case simulation videos) for clinicians practicing in a variety of settings.
- Community-engaged research and practice
Contact Mansha at:
- How to design and evaluate fall prevention programs for older adults, especially community-based older adults or vulnerable populations)
- How to develop, deliver and evaluate continuing education initiatives for occupational therapists
- How to teach/educate occupational therapists and occupational therapy students effectively.
- How to create effective administrative processes for an entry-level occupational therapy program (e.g., strategic planning, program evaluation procedures) and evaluate the effectiveness of those process.
Contact Elizabeth at:
- Educational programing/self-management programs for clients or caregivers, especially in the area of multiple sclerosis.
- Continuing education for occupational therapists working in neurorehabilitation.
- Continuing education for fieldwork educators/supervisors
- Programs to help students prepare for and be successful during fieldwork.
Contact Kathy at:
- Promotion of family-centered and culturally sensitive practice with young children and families in the Early Intervention setting; advocacy for occupational therapy’s role in Early Intervention; exploration of transdisciplinary teaming (primary provider approach)
- Developing Community of Practice at local, state and national levels with multidisciplinary pediatric stakeholders; use of effective teaching strategies including health literacy related to developing resources, webinars, and presentations for families and pediatric team members
- Assessing and addressing participation in preschool-age children and their families, focusing on immigrant and disability specific (ASD) disparities; further develop the Spanish and English versions of the Preschool Activity Card Sort
- Teaching theory and Sensory Integration theory: developing video cases and other teaching materials to assist OT faculty in teaching Sensory Integration concepts to Master’s level OT students
Contact Ashley at:
- Addressing health disparities and promoting healthy lifestyles among African Americans and Latino youth with disabilities and their families
- Cultural Competence and diversity issues in health professions
- Rehabilitation outcomes for Latinos and African Americans with disabilities
- Empowerment and participatory approaches to evaluation and community capacity building
Contact Yolanda at:
- Client-therapist communication (Intentional Relationship Model)
- Model of Human Occupation
- Cancer Fatigue