Taff, Steve, PhD, OTR/L, FNAP, FAOTA

Clinical Interests

Cognitive rehabilitation, visual perception, school-based pediatrics

Research Interests

Dr. Taff’s research interests include the role of occupation as a core concept in OT curricula, graduate student mental health and support, faculty development and teaching excellence, higher education outcomes and evaluation, qualitative investigation of the OT student experience, comparison and efficacy of instructional and assessment methods, and continuous improvement practices in higher education.

Teaching Roles

In the MSOT program, Dr. Taff teaches the qualitative research section of Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Practice. In the OTD program, he teaches OT Practice Model I and II and the Doctoral Seminar in Education Strategies. In the PhD program, Dr. Taff guides the Teaching Practicum.


2005: PhD in education and educational psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
1997: MS in occupational therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy
1989: BS in microbiology, Missouri State University


Dr. Taff earned his bachelor's degree in microbiology in 1989 from Missouri State University, his master's degree in occupational therapy in 1997 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and his doctoral degree in education and educational psychology in 2005 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After graduating from the Program in 1997, Dr. Taff worked as a pediatric occupational therapist at Special School District (SSD) in St. Louis County for more than six years before accepting a management position as the director for the occupational therapy, physical therapy and adaptive physical education department at SSD, where he served from December 2003 until June 2010. Dr. Taff has also served as adjunct professor in St. Louis University’s School for Professional Studies, teaching courses in special education, human growth and development, classroom management, and teaching methods. Dr. Taff has continued interests in curriculum development; program evaluation and continuous improvement models; educational research and the scholarship of teaching and learning; alternative learning theories; and the historical, philosophical, and sociocultural aspects of education and occupational therapy. He also is heavily involved in School of Medicine diversity and inclusion, inter-professional education, and leadership initiatives.

Selected Publications

Babulal, G.M., Selvaratnam, A., & Taff, S.D. (2018). Existentialism and occupational therapy: Implications for practice, research, and education. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare, 1-19

Taff, S.D., Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Bilics, A., & Price, P. (2018). Traversing hills and valleys: Exploring doing, being, becoming, and belonging, experiences in teaching and studying occupation. Journal of Occupational Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2018.1488606

Hooper, B., Gupta, J., Bilics, A., & Taff, S.D. (2018). Balancing efficacy and effectiveness with philosophy, history and theory-building in occupational therapy education research. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6 (1), 1-9.

Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Price, P., Taff, S.D., & Bilics, A. (2018). Curriculum-level strategies that U.S. occupational therapy programs use to address occupation: A qualitative study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72 (1), 1-10.

Price, P., Hooper, B., Krishnagiri, S., Taff, S.D., & Bilics, A. (2017). A way of seeing: How occupation is portrayed to students when taught as a concept beyond its use in therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (4), 7104230010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.024182

Krishnagiri, S., Hooper, B., Price, P., Taff, S.D., & Bilics, A. (2017). Explicit or hidden? Exploring how occupation is taught in U.S. occupational therapy curricula. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (2), 7102230020p1-7102230020p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024174

Taff, S.D., & Blash, D. (2017). Diversity and inclusion in occupational therapy: Where we are, where we must go. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 31 (1), 72-83.

Hooper, B., Mitcham, M.D., Taff, S.D., M. Krishnagiri, S., Price, P., & Bilics, A. (2015). Energizing occupation as the center of teaching and learning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69 (Suppl. 2), 6912360010. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.018242

Gupta, J. & Taff, S.D. (2015). The illusion of client-centered practice. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22 (4), 244-251.

Taff, S.D.,
Babulal, G.M., & Bakhshi, P. (2014). The accountability-wellbeing-ethics framework: A new philosophical foundation for occupational therapy. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81, 320-329. doi: 10.1177/0008417414546742

Book Chapters and Other

Taff, S., & Hoyt, C. (2012). Going global in Guatemala: Supporting emerging occupational therapy practice in developing nations. OT Practice, 17 (21), 14-19.

Danforth, S., Taff, S., & Ferguson, P. (2006). Place, profession, and program in the history of special education curriculum. In E. Brantlinger (Ed.) Who benefits from special education? Remediating (fixing) other people’s children. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Danforth, S., & Taff, S.D. (Eds.) (2004). Crucial Readings in Special Education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.


2012: Graduated in inaugural class of the Academic Medical Leadership Program for Physicians and Scientists (WU School of Medicine, Olin Business School and BJC Healthcare)
2008: Excellence in Teaching Award, St. Louis University, School for Professional Studies

Taff, Steve

Taff, Steve, PhD, OTR/L, FNAP, FAOTA

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine
Director, Division of Professional Education
Director, Teaching Scholars Program,
Washington University School of Medicine

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 286-0043
Fax: (314) 286-1601


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