The Experience of Student Occupational Therapists with Disabilities in Canadian Universities

Bonny Jung, Sue Baptiste, Shami Dhillon, Tasha Kravchenko, Deb Stewart, Sandra Vanderkaay


Background. Canadian health professions strive for inclusivity in practice and it is imperative to extend this philosophy to health science students with disabilities. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of student occupational therapists with disabilities enrolled in Canadian universities. Methods. A phenomenological approach was used to conduct fourteen open-ended interviews. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed to develop themes. Findings. Two themes emerged: participants recognizing strengths and needs plus participants navigating the environment. Both themes contain various sub-themes. Implications. Applying relevant practice elements, such as client-centred practice, when working with student occupational therapists with disabilities may facilitate a sense of fit for them within occupational therapy educational programs in Canada.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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