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Occupational Therapy Innovation Showcase!


First-year occupational therapy students will display their own creative takes on therapeutic materials and adaptive equipment during the OT Innovation Showcase from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. The showcase will be held in the Madison foyer is open to all.

As part of an assignment in a neuro course they are finishing this week, first-year OT students used basic household materials to create products that can be used as therapeutic activities or adaptive equipment for individuals with neurological conditions. Given the name of a household item like a sponge or an egg carton, each OT student was the provided with a description of a client with a neurological condition impacting occupational performance and instructed to use the item to design and create a product to be used with the client as part of an OT intervention.

Dr. Stephanie Lancaster, EdD, OTR/L, ATP, who is an associate professor in the UTHSC Department of Occupational Therapy as well as the program director, got the idea from things she encountered during her 22 years of clinical experience in the field. “I frequently needed to create or adapt a product in order to meet the needs of a client,“ she said. “To help people gain or regain as much independence as possible in their occupations – or whatever occupies their time in a meaningful way – and with an eye on challenges with third-party reimbursement and the expense of adaptive equipment on the market, OT practitioners use innovation in their daily work. For that reason, the OT students at UTHSC learn how to think outside the box and to design and fabricate materials that can be used as therapeutic materials in working with clients and by clients as adaptive equipment.”