Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Shana Cerny
Dr. Christina Marietti
occupational therapy, inclusive classroom, inclusive environment, inclusive education, inclusive strategies, school-based occupational therapy
The aim of this capstone project was to educate teachers on inclusive practices and strategies to create an inclusive classroom environment for students with disabilities and at-risk needs. An educational workshop including eight hours of asynchronous pre-recorded modules and four one-hour synchronous sessions was created. The workshop covered the following topics: Introduction to inclusion, accommodations and modifications, assistive technology, supporting sensory needs, supporting physical needs, supporting academic and learning needs, supporting social, emotional, and behavioral needs, virtual inclusion, empowering students, and creating an inclusive classroom environment. Optional inclusive classroom coaching sessions were offered to promote implementation of inclusive practices and strategies learned during the course in participants’ classroom environments. To determine the effectiveness of the educational workshop, the results of pre-test and post-test scores were compared and the results of the feedback survey were analyzed. The results of the pre-test and post-test comparison indicated that 13 out of 15 workshop participants demonstrated an increased from pre-test to post-test and the mean change in score was an increase of 3.8 points. Some of the strengths of the workshop based on participant feedback included that the workshop content was valuable and meaningful, the workshop was organized and easily accessible, the workshop format was beneficial to participant learning styles and schedules, and the instructor was knowledgeable and prepared to facilitate the workshop. To assess the effectiveness of the coaching sessions, participant progress towards their goals and the results of feedback surveys were analyzed. All coaching session participants made progress toward their goals between the initial coaching session and follow-up coaching session two weeks later. Some of the strengths of the coaching sessions based on feedback were that the coaching sessions added value to the participants’ role in supporting students, the coach was knowledgeable and prepared to fulfill the purposes for each coaching session, and all respondents reported they would recommend the coaching sessions to others. These findings indicated that the educational workshop and optional coaching sessions were effective in promoting the creation of an inclusive classroom environment. Occupational therapists are prepared to educate others on inclusive strategies and creating more inclusive environments. Continuing to promote inclusive strategies and advocate for educational inclusion can make a significant difference in the outcomes and future for not just children with disabilities, but for all children.
Hagen, Leah, "Creating Inclusive Classroom Environments Through Education and Coaching" (2021). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 43.