Supporting children with special needs in schools: A stakeholder-guided knowledge translation intervention to optimize collaboration between occupational therapists and teachers

Ce projet est également présenté en français à la page suivante.

Participation of children with disabilities integrated in mainstream education is restricted. While rehabilitative services, such as occupational therapy, are provided in inclusive school settings, services are often limited. Interprofessional collaboration is regarded as an effective and efficient form of partnering between school team members for shared decision-making and accountability to achieve goals on behalf of the student.

This study aims to :

  • Examine the perspectives of occupational therapists and elementary school teachers in regard to collaborative practices
  • Determine the knowledge needs, the barriers and facilitators regarding interprofessional collaboration in schools
  • Develop a knowledge translation intervention guided by the “Knowledge-to-Action Framework” involving existing school teams (consisting of occupational therapists and teachers)
  • Determine to what extent does such an intervention improve participants’ knowledge, attitudes and their behaviours towards collaborative practices to support students with special needs integrated in mainstream schools

Project characteristics :

  • Phase 1 – Focus groups: This phase will consist of a needs assessment, where two focus group discussions will be organized with 8 occupational therapists and 8 teachers
  • Phase 2 – Intervention: This phase will consist of a 12- to 18-week intervention. Four school teams (each composed of 1 occupation therapist and 2 elementary teachers) will participate in 6 training sessions related to collaborative practices.
  • Participation in Phase 2 will take place in collaboration with school service centres and school boards who have agreed to participate in the project.

Recruitment (currently Phase 1) :

  • Occupational therapists:
    • School-based occupational therapists with at least 1 year of experience working in inclusive education settings
    • In the greater Montreal area
    • Experience with the role of « collaborator » or consultant with teachers and/or school staff
    • Therapists working in private practice may participate, provided they have experience in a school environment
  • Teachers
    • Elementary school teachers (pre-K to Grade 6)
    • In the greater Montreal area
    • With at least 1 year of experience working in inclusive education settings
    • Previous experience collaborating or consulting with school health professionals (preferably with occupational therapists but not obligatory)

If you are interested in participating in this project or have any questions, please contact:

Financial partners: