Abstract

This article is a work of collaborative ethnography about teaching and learning disability studies within the context of an occupational therapy graduate program. In spring 2004, 14 occupational therapy students were introduced to disability studies by their cultural anthropologist (nonoccupational therapist) course instructor. During the one-credit course, they were expected to complete readings, watch films, attend guest lectures, and make a site visit. The occupational therapy students were required to write a journal to record personal reactions and new insights gained from these experiences. This article focuses on a thematic analysis of the students’ journaled responses to the film “Dance Me to My Song,” and a site visit to a local Independent Living Center. Students were expected to analyze these experiences from both disability studies and occupational therapy perspectives. The article addresses philosophical and practical differences between occupational therapy and disability studies and identifies opportunities for collaboration between occupational therapists and independent living specialists.

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