19 episodes

This podcast is for school-based occupational therapists and other educators who are invested in creating a more inclusive world for their students.

OT for Inclusive Occupations: Stories of Not Just Being Invited to the Party but Dancing Savitha Sundar

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 24 Ratings

This podcast is for school-based occupational therapists and other educators who are invested in creating a more inclusive world for their students.

    Authentic Inclusive Education at Bridgeway Preparatory Academy- Dr. Natalie Davenport Ph.D , Founder and Superindendent

    Authentic Inclusive Education at Bridgeway Preparatory Academy- Dr. Natalie Davenport Ph.D , Founder and Superindendent

    Dr. Natalie Davenport not just believed in inclusive education but decided to show the world that it can be done.  After years of experience as an educator, school psychologist, entrepreneur, and assistant professor of Education and School Psychology at Texas A&M University, Dr. Davenport founded the Bridgeway Preparatory Academy, a public charter school at Farmers Branch, TX. Through this courageous venture, she has realized her commitment to all students, despite their unique needs or ability to pay, to receive a rigorous, innovative education. Her goal is to ensure that each student actualizes their full potential while developing the self-advocacy skills that enable them to become fully engaged contributors in all aspects of society. Dr. Davenport shares her life's journey in education and the story of how inclusive education actually works best for ALL. Contact Dr. Davenport at ndavenport@bridgewaypreparatory.org Visit Bridgeway Preparatory Academy- https://bridgewaypreparatory.org/

    Podcast Transcripts With Audio at Otter.ai

    Podcast Website






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    • 39 min
    The Power of Peers: Including Individuals with Extensive Support Needs- Dr. Erik Carter, Ph.D

    The Power of Peers: Including Individuals with Extensive Support Needs- Dr. Erik Carter, Ph.D

    In this episode, Dr. Erik Carter, Ph.D., a distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN,  shares his personal story,  insights, and wisdom from over 30 years as an educator, researcher, and ally to individuals with Extensive Support Needs (ESN). Dr. Carter's life's work has focused on promoting authentic inclusion and meaningful relationships for individuals with disabilities in schools, higher education, employment, and faith-based communities. Dr. Carter enhances our understanding of peer-mediated interventions and shares the encouraging trend where peer mentors are burgeoning in higher education and employment to support individuals with ESN.  With over 250 publications and 7 books in educational and transition services for children and youth with disabilities, Dr. Carter continues his calling to strive towards a flourishing future for individuals with Extensive Support Needs.  

    Dr. Erik Carter's Website: https://www.erikwcarter.com/

    Peer-Mediated Intervention Guides-https://publications.ici.umn.edu/ties/peer-engagement/practice-guides/introduction

    Podcast Transcript and audio at Otter.ai

    Podcast website


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    • 46 min
    Shifting Focus: A Strengths Based Approach to Authentic Inclusion

    Shifting Focus: A Strengths Based Approach to Authentic Inclusion

    Dr. Kristie Patten Ph.D., OT/L, FAOTA, recipient of the highest academic achievement award of the American Occupational Therapy Association- the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship for this year- 2022, is our esteemed guest in this episode. 

    Dr. Patten is an exemplary OT whose research is focused on using a strengths-based paradigm as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals to understand and impact interventions in public schools for children on the autism spectrum in inclusive settings. Dr. Patten is the Principal Investigator of NYU Steinhardt's ASD Nest Program, an inclusive program for children and adolescents with autism in the New York City Department of Education. She is currently Co-PI of an NSF grant entitled "IDEAS: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum" that leverages STEM interests of middle school students with autism to develop social competence and potential career pathways. Dr. Patten teaches professional and post-professional courses in the area of pediatric intervention, school-based practice and inclusion, and strength-based approaches for individuals with Autism. Dr. Patten has published and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to examining the efficacy of public school interventions and examining autism from a strength-based or abilities-based model. 

    Articles Referred to:

    Shifting Focus From Impairment to Inclusion: Expanding Occupational Therapy for Neurodivergent Students to Address School Environments 

    "A different environment for success:” a mixed-methods exploration of social participation outcomes among adolescents on the autism spectrum in an inclusive, interest-based school club 

    Book- Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman 

    Check out the website for episode transcripts- www.inclusiveoccupations.com


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    • 36 min
    "All Means All"- Perspectives and Stories from a Stanford Researcher, Special Education Teacher and Inclusion Specialist

    "All Means All"- Perspectives and Stories from a Stanford Researcher, Special Education Teacher and Inclusion Specialist

    Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian is passionate and devoted to the cause of enabling and empowering K-12 schools to successfully include students with all abilities including those with extensive support needs. She is a lecturer and researcher at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA in the department of special education. Prior to this, she worked as a special education teacher and inclusion specialist in a large school district in the Bay Area, CA for 14 years. During this time, she spearheaded the design and implementation of inclusive education programs at the school district in grades K-12. She also serves as a professional development facilitator nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to inclusive education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
    Contact- blakshmi@stanford.edu
    The book referred to in the conversation, written by Ferose VR (Our guest in episode 6 of Inclusive Occupations titled Rippling of Good Intentions)- "The Invisible Majority- India's Abled Disabled"
    Works of Dr. Balasubramanian:
    What peers, educators, and principals say: The social validity of inclusive, comprehensive literacy instruction:                                                     Kozleski, E. B., Hunt, P., Mortier, K., Stepaniuk, I., Fleming, D., Balasubramanian, L., ... & Munandar, V. (2021). What peers, educators, and principals say: The social validity of inclusive, comprehensive literacy instruction. Exceptional Children, 87(3), 289-306.
    Implementing comprehensive literacy instruction for students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms:                                      Hunt, P., Kozleski, E., Lee, J., Mortier, K., Fleming, D., Hicks, T., ... & Oh, Y. (2020). Implementing comprehensive literacy instruction for students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms. Exceptional Children, 86(3), 330-347.


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    • 27 min
    Breaking Attitudinal Barriers Towards Disabilities in Education- The Tripartite Intervention

    Breaking Attitudinal Barriers Towards Disabilities in Education- The Tripartite Intervention

    Dr. John Freer, Professor at St. Clair College Ontario Canada and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor,  is our special guest in this episode. Addressing attitudinal barriers to social inclusion is the focus of his research. 

    He developed the Tripartite Intervention, a 12-week program addressing all the 3 domains of attitude, namely the affective (how one feels about disabilities), behavioral (how one acts towards individuals with disabilities), and cognitive (the thoughts and stereotypes one has) domains.

    From personal experience with Epilepsy as a child to working as an educational assistant in K-12 schools and from extensive research on attitudes of people towards disabilities, Dr. Freer developed the TI program. He offers this to educators to take it on and implement it in their own communities. 

    Few takeaways: Interventions well-grounded in best evidence are important. It is possible that some of our interventions could be based on our own presumptions about disabilities and could potentially cause harm. 

    Some findings of  Dr. Freer's latest systematic review- Factors associated with positive attitudes towards disabilities-  Improved contact with individuals with disabilities, females have more positive attitudes than males, more positive attitudes towards visible disabilities, more positive attitudes when students have more knowledge about disabilities. Interventions were effective in improving attitudes towards disabilities.  

    Contact Dr.Freer at jfreer@stclaircollege.ca  Dr. Freer is willing to consult with and/or offer professional development to educators or school boards looking to learn more. 

    Works of Dr. John Freer: 

    The Tripartite Intervention: Breaking Down Attitudinal Barriers in Education Students’ attitudes toward disability: a systematic literature review (2012–2019) 

    The effects of the Tripartite Intervention on students' attitudes towards disability A picture is worth 1000 words: examining students' understanding of disability in definitions and drawings

    Students’ attitudes toward disability: a systematic literature review (2012–2019)


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    • 39 min
    In Inclusion, Every Moment Counts!

    In Inclusion, Every Moment Counts!

    Our first guest of season 2 is the highly renowned Dr. Susan Bazyk, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor Emerita of Cleveland State University. She shares about the journey of Every Moment Counts, a multi-tiered framework that guides the provision of a range of services and supports geared to meeting the mental health needs of children and youth with and without disabilities and promoting mental health in schools. We discuss several issues and perspectives related to current school-based practice and how OTs can support inclusion and occupational justice through the EMC initiatives. 

    Her important takeaway for occupational therapists is to be true to our professional calling by going back to our foundation- helping children and youth participate in occupations that promote physical and mental health. She urges us to take on an active role in ensuring occupational justice for students with disabilities in schools, so they can fully participate in life's health-promoting occupations.

    Every Moment Counts (EMC) website- www.everymomentcounts.org

    Check out EMC’s Initiatives:


    Making Leisure Matter- Making Leisure Matter - Every Moment Counts
    The Comfortable Cafeteria-Comfortable Cafeteria - Every Moment Counts
    Calm Moment Cards-Calm Moments Cards - Every Moment Counts
    Refreshing Recess-Refreshing Recess - Every Moment Counts
    Building Capacity/Creating Change Leaders-Creating Change Leaders - Every Moment Counts

    Some Related Publications of Dr. Bazyk:

    The Comfortable Cafeteria Program for Promoting Student Participation and Enjoyment: An Outcome Study (nih.gov)

    Building Capacity of Occupational Therapy Practitioners to Address the Mental Health Needs of Children and Youth: A Mixed-Methods Study of Knowledge Translation (nih.gov)

    What does IDEA say about the Role of OT in schools as a related service provider?

    Sec. 300.34 Related services - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    " Occupational therapy:

     (i) Means services provided by a qualified occupational therapist; and

    (ii) Includes—

    (A) Improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation;

    (B) Improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and

    (C) Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function."



    If you wish to be part of the ESSA advocacy network, learn more: - 1_ABOUT_ESSA OT Advocacy Network (1).docx - Google Docs



    Check website www.inclusiveoccupations.com for podcast transcripts.


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    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

@kate8 ,

Worthwhile listen

Savitha is an inspiration. I had the privilege of learning from her as an OT student some years ago. Savitha reminds us to strive to support meaningful occupations and focus on creating inclusive environments within school and in the community for our students to thrive. This is a wonderful podcast and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from Savitha and her guests.

Laura1324 ,

Great podcast!

I worked with Savitha in a school district. She is passionate and incredibly innovative. She is a role model for school occupational therapists, and other special education and even general education school personnel. This is a great podcast for all school OTs to listen to

scmountains ,

Inspiring

I finish each of these podcasts inspired to go out and change the world of inclusive practices! A must listen for school based OTs Special Education teachers and school administrators!

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