Photo of Carla Walker with client

SCI/D Health and Participation Program

The Spinal Cord Injury/Disease (SCI/D) Health and Participation Program is run within the Stephen A. Orthwein Center at Paraquad at 5200 Berthold Ave. Students collaborate with Dr. Walker to conduct the spinal cord injury/disease (SCI/D) Health and Participation Program, which consists of a combination of groups and one-on-one OT sessions serving persons with spinal cord injury and disease who are un- or under-insured. The program includes a pre-assessment session, four groups, optional individual sessions and a post-survey. Group topics include bowel/bladder management, community mobility, advocacy, transportation, promoting intimacy, adaptive parenting and finding resources. Students are involved in recruiting participants, co-leading group sessions, treatment planning and implementation for individual sessions, and development of topic-specific materials.

General Description of Student Activities

Doctoral students who select Dr. Walker as their mentor will have the opportunity to work with clients with spinal cord injury and disease through the SCI/D Health and Participation Program, participating in groups and individual sessions. They may be involved in program improvement through the development of new materials or processes for the program. Students may also have the opportunity to volunteer in the Paraquad Health and Wellness program through assisting participants with a variety of disabilities to access adaptive exercise equipment.

Students will need to arrange their own transportation to be able to transition between 4444 Forest Park Ave. and the Stephen A. Orthwein Center at Paraquad at 5200 Berthold Ave. and to attend group and individual sessions and lab meetings unless specified as remote attendance.

Examples of Projects

  • Implementation of a self-management program for parents with SCI/D
  • Development of telehealth options for programs serving persons with SCI/D
  • Occupational therapy interventions for bowel and bladder management, skin and pressure management, and positioning for persons with SCI/D
  • Increasing the accessibility of resources for prospective adoptive parents with disabilities to understand and utilize their rights in the adoption process
  • Program evaluation and development of resources on sexuality/intimacy for clients with spinal cord injury and professionals serving them
the Stephen A. Orthwein Center at Paraquad


Carla Walker, OTD, OTR/L, ATP
Instructor in Occupational Therapy and Medicine

Phone: (314) 273-7011
Fax: (314) 286-1601

Ranked as the Number Three OT Program in the Nation