Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Raji Swaminathan

Committee Members

Elizabeth Drame, Phyllis M. King, Nancy Rice, Winnie Dunn


Best Practice, Collaborative Consultation, Disability, Occupational Therapy, School-Based, Special Education


Background: Occupational therapists in school-based practice make daily service delivery decisions about when, where, and how to provide interventions to children with disabilities. The services provided by these occupational therapists have the potential to support or limit a child’s access to general education curriculum and environments which, in turn, impacts vocational, financial, social, and community life outcomes. Service delivery decisions about pulling children out of classrooms, pushing services into classrooms, and / or providing consultation are made based on the ways therapists define and differentiate their role from that of other school personnel, how they interpret Individual Education Plans for children, and conceptual ideas they hold about the needs of children with disabilities.

Purpose: To uncover the layers of interacting factors that therapists navigate in making service delivery decisions. Methods: Data were collected using qualitative semi-structured interviews with fourteen therapists in metropolitan areas in a Midwestern state.

Keywords: Occupational therapy, best-practice, school-based, special education, inclusion, collaborative consultation