Date Presented 04/20/2023

OTs do not receive sufficient exposure and training regarding public building accessibility. This study examines the educational effect of a self-paced learning protocol and reports the interrater reliability of a new accessibility assessment tool.

Primary Author and Speaker: Qussai M. Obiedat

Additional Authors and Speakers: Roger O. Smith

Contributing Authors: Jaclyn K. Schwartz, Suzanne Burns, Rochelle Mendonca

Accessibility assessment of the built environment, especially of public buildings, is complex and multifaceted. Although no single profession is solely responsible for making these assessments, occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) may stand as key role players in the process due to the distinct training that they receive (Mendonca et al., 2022). However, many OTPs do not receive sufficient exposure and training, nor learn about tools to perform such assessments. The purpose of this study is to examine the educational effect of a self-paced learning protocol designed to teach OT students about community accessibility, and to report the interrater reliability of a new assessment tool. 150 students across 6 MS-OT programs completed the training. Students performed 2 video-simulated (V-S) evaluations of 3 restaurants using the AccessTools assessment (R2D2, 2021). Students completed a knowledge quiz to measure their knowledge of community accessibility at baseline and after completing the training and building evaluations. A dependent t-test was conducted to study the differences between students’ knowledge scores, and the Gwet’s AC1 agreement coefficients across all raters for each of the three assessed restaurants were calculated. Students’ knowledge scores after completing the training were significantly higher than the baseline scores (p < 0.0001), with an average of 20.27% increase. The overall AC1 agreement coefficients the 3 assessed restaurants were 0.461, 0.559, and 0.574. The findings of this study revealed that novice raters were able to achieve a ‘Moderate’ level of reliability while performing V-S assessments using AccessTools, and students gained significantly higher knowledge on general accessibility issues after completing the training. Although using videos for building assessments is not optimal, these findings suggest that using V-S assessments could be an effective approach as part of raters’ training to measure building accessibility.


Mendonca, R., Burns, S., Schwartz, J., & Smith, R. O. (2022). Inclusive Environments: Home, Work, Public Spaces, Technology, and Specialty Environments within Occupational Therapy Practice [Position Statement].

R2D2 Center. (2021). AccessRatings for Buildings Project (ARB) | Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability.