Interpreting and Enriching Occupational Contexts

Dr. Mahoney mentors students interested in Interpreting and Enriching Occupational Contexts. Enriching occupational contexts involves fostering resources and supports necessary for children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities to engage in occupations in health care, educational and community settings. Interpreting occupational contexts involves historical inquiry into issues in occupational therapy and how they developed and changed over time.

General Description of Student Activities

Students will use qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods or historical inquiry to investigate resources to support quality health care for individuals with developmental disabilities, conduct needs assessment and/or program development to support youth transitioning to adult life, or explore the historical roots of contemporary issues in occupational therapy. Students will work individually or in small groups to review relevant literature, provide input on designing the research study, and collect and analyze data. Students will contribute to scholarly work that leads to publications and presentations.

Examples of Projects

Enriching occupational contexts

  • Program development in partnership with community agency for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities to prepare for independent living
  • Perceived usefulness and effectiveness of resources to support quality occupational therapy services for adults with developmental disabilities in traditional health-care settings
  • Needs assessment of current services and resources for youth with developmental disabilities to transition to adult life

Interpreting occupational contexts

  • Occupational therapy history research with topic flexibility
  • Founding of the Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Concerns in Occupational Therapy
  • Gender, professionalism and the early development of occupational therapy
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the international expansion of occupational therapy

Ranked as the Number Three OT Program in the Nation

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We welcome inquiries from prospective students, potential collaborators, community partners, alumni and others who want to connect with us. Please complete the form below to begin the conversation.

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Schedule a Virtual Visit

Current, future and accepted applicants are encouraged to virtual visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our virtual visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion,  followed by a chat with a current student.

Upcoming VIRTUAL visit sessions*:

*At least two to three visit sessions are scheduled every month. All times are Central Standard Time (CST). Click here for more info.

Schedule a Visit Directions


Call Dr. Kniepmann at (314) 286-1610
or Robin Hattori at (314) 286-1653