Mahoney, Wanda, PhD, OTR/L

Clinical Interests

Dr. Mahoney’s clinical interests focus on fostering participation with children, youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in home, school and community settings.

Research Interests

Dr. Mahoney’s research involves interpreting and enriching occupational contexts through two lines of scholarly activity. She works to understand and support how individuals with developmental disabilities engage in occupation, often with an emphasis on supportive social contexts and ascertaining the views of individuals with developmental disabilities. She also studies the historical context of people and events in occupational therapy, including LGBTQ issues.

Teaching Roles

Dr. Mahoney teaches occupational therapy theory, evaluation and intervention with children and youth, and other content.


2018: MA in history, DePaul University
2018: Graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies, DePaul University
2008: PhD in occupational therapy, Nova Southeastern University
1999: MS in occupational therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Occupational Therapy
1997: BA in biology (honors), Saint Louis University


Since 1999, Dr. Mahoney has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan in home, school, and community settings in Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico and Illinois. She earned her doctorate in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2008 and transitioned to academia full time. She worked at Chicago State University and then Midwestern University, and her teaching responsibilities focused on occupational therapy theory, occupational therapy history and its implications for current practice, professional reasoning, evaluation and intervention with children and youth, and student research mentorship. She has continued to provide services with children and youth with developmental disabilities on a limited basis since transitioning to academia. To further develop her historical scholarship, Dr. Mahoney pursued a master’s degree in history and graduate certificate in women and gender studies, which she completed in 2018. She has been actively engaged in a variety of professional organizations including the American Occupational Therapy Association (Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section and Pediatric Transitions Community of Practice), Society for the Study of Occupation, Network for LGBTQIA+ Concerns in Occupational Therapy, and Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education. Dr. Mahoney joined the faculty at Washington University in 2018. 

Selected Publications

Blaskowitz, M., Johnson, K. R., & Mahoney, W. J. (2021). Evidence to inform occupational therapy intervention with adults with intellectual disability: A scoping review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(3), 7503180010. 10.5014/ajot.2021.043562

Mahoney, W. J., Blaskowitz, M., & Johnson, K. R. (2021). Scoping review of occupational therapy related assessments for adults with intellectual disability. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(3), 7503180100. 10.5014/ajot.2021.046342

Mahoney, W. J., Villacrusis, M., Sompolski, M., Iwanski, B., Charman, A., Hammond, C., & Abraham, G. (2021). Nursing care for pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorders: A cross‐sectional survey of perceptions and strategies. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, e12332. 10.1111/jspn.12332

Mahoney, W. J., & Kiraly-Alvarez, A. (2019). Challenging the status quo: Infusing non-Western ideas into occupational therapy education and practice. Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 7(3), 1-10. 10.15453/2168-6408.1592

Johnson, K. R., Blaskowitz, M., & Mahoney, W. J. (2019). Occupational therapy practice with adults with intellectual disability: What more can we do? Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 7(2), article 12. doi: 10.15453/2168-6408.1573.

Mahoney, W. J., Ceballos, J., & Amir, N. (2019). Occupational therapy practitioners’ perceptions about older adults with developmental disabilities in traditional healthcare settings. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(3), 7303345010. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2019.029835

Peters, C. O., Martin P. M., & Mahoney, W. J. (2017). The Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy: A centennial lesson. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 1(1), 1-18. doi: 10.26681/jote.2017.010108

Mahoney, W. J., Peters, C. O., & Martin, P. M. (2017). Willard and Spackman’s enduring legacy for future occupational therapy pathways. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(1), 7101100020p1-7101100020p7. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2017.023994

Mahoney, W. J., Roberts, E., Bryze, K., & Parker-Kent, J. (2016). Occupational engagement and adults with intellectual disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(1), 7001350030p1-7001350030p6. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2016.016576

Mahoney, W., & Roberts, E. (2009). Co-occupation in a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Occupational Science, 16, 170-179. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2009.9686659

Book Chapters and Other

Mahoney, W. J. (2020). History of occupational therapy education. In S. Taff, L. C. Grajo, & B. Hooper (Eds.), Perspectives in occupational therapy education: Past, present, and future (pp. 13-28). Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Mahoney, W. J. (2020). Intellectual disability and occupational therapy. In K. Bryze (Ed.), Occupational therapy for adults with intellectual disability (pp. 1-9). Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Mahoney, W. J. (2020). Promoting participation and occupational engagement. In K. Bryze (Ed.), Occupational therapy for adults with intellectual disability (pp. 87-98). Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Martin, P. M., Peters, C. O., & Mahoney, W. J. (2018). Willard and Spackman’s occupational therapy: The book that captured a profession. In B. A. B. Schell & G. Gillen (Eds.), Willard and Spackman’s occupational therapy (13th ed., pp. xxxvii-xlix). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Mahoney, W. J. (2018). 100 years of occupational therapy then and now. The ILOTA Communique, Issue 1, 27.

Mahoney, W. (2017, August). Farewell from the DD SIS chairperson. SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 2(3), 31.

Mahoney, W. J. (2017). Occupational therapy centennial birthday celebration. The ILOTA Communique, Issue 2, 14.

Mahoney, W. J., & Murphy, T. (2017). Teaching occupational therapy history: Their stories are my stories. The ILOTA Communique, Issue 1, 1-5.

Villacrusis, M., Mahoney, W., & Bruneau, L. (2016). Adults with developmental disabilities: Strategies to address a population trend. The ILOTA Communique, Issue 2, 12-13.

Mahoney, W. (2015). April: Autism/private separate day school. In S. Cahill, & P. Bowyer (Eds.), Cases in pediatric occupational therapy: Assessment and intervention (pp. 73-76). Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Mahoney, W. (2015). Carlos: Duchenne muscular dystrophy/hospice. In S. Cahill, & P. Bowyer (Eds.), Cases in pediatric occupational therapy: Assessment and intervention (pp. 170-173). Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Mahoney, W. J. (2015). Developmental disabilities. In A. Wagenfeld (Ed.), Foundations of theory and practice for the occupational therapy assistant (pp. 357-374). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Bennett, C., & Mahoney, W. (2015). Network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender concerns in occupational therapy. In Multicultural, Diversity, and Inclusion Network Toolkit. Retrieved from

Mahoney, W. J., Soares, P. D., Yoder, W. L., Lewis, A. T., Hristodoulopoulos, J., Osisioma, P., & Ayala-Castellano, E. (2015). Through the eyes of a child: Using photography for occupational profiles with young children. OT Practice, 20(3), 11-13.

Mahoney, W. (2014, December). Welcome from the new chairperson. Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Quarterly, 37(4), 1.

Mahoney, W. (2014). Practice perks: Developing occupational profiles for younger children. OT Practice, 19(15), 18.

Mahoney, W. J., Yontz, R., Warlick, J. C., Lynch, E., Villacrusis, M., & Wesley, R. (2013, September). Enhancing participation by fostering positive relationships with adults with developmental disabilities. Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Quarterly, 36(3), 1-4.


2022: Service Commendation, Commission on Education member, American Occupational Therapy Association
2021: Invited keynote speaker, Eastern Kentucky University Occupational Therapy Research Day
Inducted into Academy of Educators, Washington University School of Medicine
2018: Tenure, Midwestern University
2018: LGBTQ Studies Annual Creative and Scholarly Works Award, DePaul University
2018: Excellence in Service Commendation (for mentorship of new faculty member), Midwestern University
2017: Calibrated Rater, Evaluation of Social Interaction
2017: Service Commendation, Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Chair,  American Occupational Therapy Association
2016: Inducted into Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, DePaul University
2014: Service Commendation, Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Professional Development Coordinator (Forums), American Occupational Therapy Association
2013: Calibrated Rater, Assessment of Motor and Process Skills
2011: Certificate of Distinction in Assessment, Chicago State University
1998: Inducted into Pi Theta Epsilon Occupational Therapy Honor Society, Washington University School of Medicine
1995: Inducted into Golden Key International Honour Society, St. Louis University

Mahoney, Wanda

Mahoney, Wanda, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: (314) 286-1632
Fax: (314) 286-0631


Interpreting and Enriching Occupational Contexts



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