Leah Cardi, MSOT/S '16
Clinical/Community Track: Low Vision Laboratory
Why did you choose WUOT for your occupational therapy education?
I knew I wanted a program that balanced academic coursework with applied clinical experience, and I am happy that I have received that at WUOT. From the beginning, the faculty, staff and other students have been so welcoming and encouraging and it has been a great experience collaborating with them throughout my two years here.
Why did you choose a community/clinical track experience for your degree?
I chose a clinical track experience because I wanted to see OT service delivery in a non-traditional setting. The clinical track has been a great supplement to the skills I have learned in the classroom. It has also been rewarding to go out in the community and work directly with people.
Briefly describe your agency.
My lab team and I are involved in working with individuals in the community who have low vision. We have worked with adults who have a variety of visual conditions, including but not limited to: macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Describe your involvement with the agency (programs/services).
My lab members and I organized and led a self-management program for individuals in the community with low vision. Our primary focus has been to help participants develop skills to manage their vison loss so they can participate in the activities that are important to them.
How do you think this work has enhanced your clinical skills?
This work has enhanced my clinical skills by challenging me to think outside the scope of traditional occupational therapy service delivery. It has also given me the opportunity to connect with clients who have diverse backgrounds and valuable experiences to share.
How did you feel about the guidance provided by your faculty mentor?
It has been a valuable experience to work with a mentor who has extensive experience not only in community practice, but also in the areas of low vision and productive aging. From the beginning, Dr. Monica Perlmutter has created an atmosphere of collaboration and support, and I could not have asked for a better lab experience.
How would you describe this experience to prospective students who may be interested in community practice?
The community practice track is a great opportunity for students who are interested in exploring a non-traditional side of OT. It is a good fit for students who are flexible and may not know the kind of setting they want work in after graduation.
How will these experiences affect or influence your career direction after graduation?
My lab experience has provided me with a toolkit of useful strategies for helping clients with low vision, which I know will be useful no matter what setting I work in after graduation. I also know that I enjoy community work and can see that being a part of my future practice as well.
Anything else you would like to add?
Enjoy your time and all of the experiences WUOT has to offer. It goes by fast!
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Current, future, and accepted applicants are encouraged to visit. We also welcome people who are exploring career options and considering occupational therapy. Dr. Kathy Kniepmann, one of our faculty members, opens our visit sessions with an informal presentation and discussion, followed by a tour that’s led by one of our current occupational therapy students.
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