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Research Article  |   March 2000
The Experience of Being an Occupational Therapist With a Disability
Author Affiliations
  • Beth P. Velde, PhD, OTR/L, is Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor, East Carolina University, Belk Building—Occupational Therapy, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Physical Disabilities
Research Article   |   March 2000
The Experience of Being an Occupational Therapist With a Disability
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2000, Vol. 54, 183-188. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.2.183
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2000, Vol. 54, 183-188. doi:10.5014/ajot.54.2.183
Abstract

Objective. This study addressed what it is like to practice as an occupational therapist with a disability.

Method. Open-ended interviews using a phenomenological approach were conducted with 10 participants until data saturation was achieved. Each transcripted interview was coded for categories, and the common themes across transcripts were identified.

Results. These major themes were identified: “I am sensitive to their needs”;“The issue is how to cope with life”; and “Recognize your own strengths and limits.” Each theme had several subcategories.

Conclusions. Occupational therapists with disabilities approach their practice from a unique perspective and may be able to motivate and challenge clients in a different manner than therapists without disabilities. Therapists with disabilities perceive themselves as uniquely skilled persons who have developed successful strategies to cope with the experience of disability.