Abstract

For occupational therapy students with disabilities, making the transition from the classroom to clinical fieldwork presents an interesting challenge to clinical fieldwork supervisors and academic fieldwork advisors. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws have changed the rules by requiring fieldwork sites and academic programs to make accommodations for students with disabilities. Occupational therapy’s basic philosophy combined with the occupational therapist’s training in task analysis, functional limitations of disabilities, modification of the environment and clinical reasoning skills, places the occupational therapist in a natural position to make these reasonable accommodations. The author presents the DIALOGUE system, a method of communication designed to make a smooth transition to ADA compliance in the fieldwork arena.

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