Strategic working relationship with Washington University’s Occupational Therapy Program in St Louis

For four years now, SDHI has been providing doctoral researchers from the Occupational Therapy (OT) program at Washington University in St Louis with opportunities for a study exchange to learn about the Scottish NHS and rehabilitation and disability-related research in Dundee. A visit in January to St Louis has further strengthened the collaborative research and training partnership between SDHI and St Louis. During the visit research collaborations were explored with regard to environmental accessibility, physical activity, outcome assessment, and assistive technologies for people with physical disabilities. The OT program in St Louis does not only provide students with comprehensive practice opportunities but also with an innovative and creative research environment. Moreover, the close working relationship between the OT program and the independent living organisation Paraquad illustrates how service user led services can incorporate the expertise of rehabilitation professionals to promote independent living, disability advocacy and self-direction.