Community member engagement in occupational therapy education

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Introduction/Rationale: Accreditation standards for health programs, including occupational therapy, state that the perspectives of consumers, referred to here as community members, who access health services will inform the design, delivery, and evaluation of curricula. This aligns with the rights of community members to be involved in shaping health services/systems and research. However, there are no guidelines on how their perspectives can meaningfully inform education programs.

Objectives: This poster will showcase the process of developing a partnership between community members who access health services and occupational therapy educators. This partnership focuses on the co-design of authentic and coordinated community member engagement in occupational therapy education.

Method/Approach: Various strategies to promote community member engagement have been trialled within the occupational therapy program including involvement in simulation activities, client tutoring, and invitational speaking. However, the need to foreground the voices of community members more overtly and creatively within the program was identified. It was also evident there was a need to expand the number of community members involved to increase diversity of experiences embedded in educational activities and to reduce the burden created by frequently drawing on the same people.

Results/Practice Implications: This project has culminated in the establishment of a Community Member Advisory Group that collaboratively explores and trials co-designed, innovative and authentic projects that inform the occupational therapy program.

Conclusion: Developing, delivering, and evaluating curricula informed by community members requires a creative, flexible, and co-designed approach and a willingness to engage in respectful and genuine collaboration between community members and educators.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023
EventOccupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition 2023 - Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 202323 Jun 2023 (Proceedings)


ConferenceOccupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition 2023
Abbreviated titleIgnite your passion
OtherOTA was excited to welcome delegates to Cairns Convention Centre for our 30th National Conference & Exhibition (OTAUS2023) on 21 - 23 June. The conference represents the pinnacle of Australian OT excellence, showcasing opportunities, innovations and strategies informed through research and practice that can shape future practices, policies and educational approaches to facilitate the growth of occupational wellbeing worldwide.
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