Occupational Therapy News & Events

OT Masters to Doctorate

The Rockhurst University Department of Occupational Therapy is currently in the process of transitioning from a masters to a doctoral-level program, pending final approval by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The new, entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program will build on the successes of its Master of Occupational Therapy program and is designed for those who wish to enter the profession with the highest level of preparation. Our high-quality program will boast an engaging, rigorous curriculum whereby students experience interprofessional teams and engage in a variety of service-learning opportunities with community partners. The program is designed for students to develop skills in advanced practice, promote leadership skills and enhance research endeavors. The first OTD cohort is scheduled to start in the summer semester of 2021.* Rockhurst University is scheduled to graduate its last Master of Occupational Therapy cohort in May of 2022.

*The Rockhurst University entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has been granted Candidacy Status through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The program must complete an on-site evaluation and be granted full Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). ACOTE is a part of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite. 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-AOTA (2682) and its web address is acoteonline.org.


Faculty, Students Play Santa, Delivering Accessible Toys to Ability KC’s Young Clients

Accessible toys for young client

For many children, unwrapping presents on Christmas means discovering all order of blinking, beeping, moving things to annoy the adults in the room.

However, those with developmental or neurological disabilities can have trouble with the fine motor skills needed to push or pull the corresponding controls on those sorts of toys.

That’s why students and faculty from Rockhurst University’s exercise sciencephysical and occupational therapycommunication sciences and disorders, nursing, and engineering departments teamed up to modify toys, bypassing the smaller switches and instead installing one big “jellybean” button. On Tuesday, just in time for the holidays, a number of faculty and one of the students who helped make those modifications brought the toys to Ability KC to distribute to the organization’s young clients. Read more


Playing, With a Purpose — Short, Intensive Therapy Helmed by OT Faculty, Alumna, Yields Dramatic Results

Through the tunnel. Pick out a hat. Return to the tunnel. Repeat, this time with socks.

That was the game – and the challenge — for a group of children participating in summer therapy programs at Ability KC, an organization that provides medical, therapeutic and educational services for children and adults with disabilities.

It all sounds like fun and games — it is! — but all of these activities come with a very particular purpose. The children taking part all have one arm wrapped in a cast, part of an intensive monthlong constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) program held each year at Ability KC by Katie Ryan-Bloomer, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational therapy at Rockhurst University, where she works alongside therapists including Bethany Tackett, a 2013 Master of Occupational Therapy graduate and occupational therapist at Ability KC, and current Rockhurst University OT student volunteers. Read more