Walker, Carla, OTD, OTR/L, ATP

Clinical Interests

Dr. Walker provides clinical interventions in the areas of parenting, wheelchair seating/positioning, sexuality and intimacy, and community participation to adults with disabilities. She is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and provides adaptive equipment in the home, clinic or community environment to promote independence.

Research Interests

Dr. Walker’s research interests include clinical outcomes in parenting self-management, spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D), community mobility and accessible exercise. She serves as a research interventionist in wheelchair propulsion training for manual wheelchair users and collaborates with Paraquad on community-based programming. Specifically, Dr. Walker leads the Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Health and Participation Program, which serves persons with SCI/D who are un- or under-insured.

Teaching Roles

Dr. Walker teaches OTD Mentored Scholarship I-III assisting students to build clinical competency working with clients with SCI/D. Students collaborate with Dr. Walker to conduct the SCI/D Health and Participation Program, which consists of group and one-on-one OT sessions. Dr. Walker is also a course director in OT681 Implementing PEOP in Practice and OT 629 Applied Strategies in Biomechanical Performance as well as a course assistant in MO1 642 Evaluation of Intervention: Adults and Older Adults I & II.


2014: Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD), Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Program in Occupational Therapy
2000: Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT), Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Program in Occupational Therapy
1994: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN


Dr. Walker earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. She worked as an occupational therapist in community-based settings and served as the director of assistive technology through Paraquad Inc. In that role, she directed the AT Reuse and Repair program, a model demonstration center funded through the Department of Education, and managed the Health and Wellness Program funded through the Missouri Foundation for Health. After working with parents with disabilities in the Family Participation Program, she returned to Washington University in 2011 to pursue an OTD with a focus on parenting and disability. She received a grant from the Community-University Health Research Partnership (CUHRP) to assess the needs of local parents with disabilities and subsequently established parenting clinical services and a student clinical track upon graduation in 2014. In 2015, she was funded by the Paralyzed Veterans of America to pilot a parenting self-management program for parents with SCI/D. In 2018, Dr. Walker launched the SCI/D Health and Participation Program, located in the Paraquad Health and Wellness Center to serve persons with SCI/D.

Selected Publications

Taff, S. D., Bachelani, S., Russell-Thomas, D. C., Tucker, S., Walker, C., & West-Bruce, S. (2023). Development and pilot of an educator training course for early career faculty. Education in the Health Professions, 6(2), 101-106.

Morgan, K.A., Taylor, K. L. Desai, R.H., Walker, K., Tucker, S., Walker, C.W., Hollingsworth, H., & Cade, W. T. (2024). Feasibility of a community-based structured exercise program for persons with spinal cord injury. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/10790268.2023.2293327

Rusek, C. T., Kleven, M., Walker, C., Walker, K., Heeb, R., & Morgan, K. A. (2021). Perspectives of inpatient rehabilitation clinicians on the state of manual wheelchair training: a qualitative analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1-9.

Walker, C. W.,
Holowatuk, M., & Dashner, J. (2020). Pilot Study of a Self-Management Program for Parents with Spinal Cord Injury or Disease. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(1), 7501205070p1-7501205070p10.

Morgan, K. A., Taylor, K., Walker, C. W., Tucker, S., Dashner, J. L., & Hollingsworth, H. Mobility disability and exercise: Health outcomes of an accessible community-based center. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 37.

Book Chapters and Others

Ellis, K., Walker, C., & Schmidt, E. Interventions for Intimacy and Sexual Occupations. Ellis, K., & Ungco, J. C. (Eds.). (2023). Sexuality and intimacy: An occupational therapy approach. AOTA Press.

Tucker, S. M., Walker, C.W., Taylor, K. T., Walker, K.A., & Morgan, K. (2017). Evaluation Considerations in a Community-Based Seating and Mobility Clinic, The American Occupational Therapy Association: SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 2 (1).

Walker, C.W., Pitonyak, J. S., Ramsdell, K., & Rogers, J.G. (2016). Advocacy Interventions With Parents with Developmental Disabilities: An Innovative Role for Occupational Therapy, The American Occupational Therapy Association: SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 1(1).

Walker, K., Walker, C., & Bean-Kampwerth, L. (2012). One Solution to Assistive Technology Barriers: Assistive Technology Reutilization. The American Occupational Therapy Association: Technology Special Interest Section Quarterly, 22 (3).


1994: Korsakov Psychology Award for academics and service, Rhodes College

Walker, Carla

Walker, Carla, OTD, OTR/L, ATP

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 273-7011
Fax: (314) 286-1601
[email protected]


SCI/D Health and Participation Program

WU Physicians Profile
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