On recent trips to Belize and Barbados, faculty and students from the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis explored the culture of global occupational therapy.
Faculty members, Kristi Hape, Jennifer Fogo, and Candy Beitman, traveled to Belize and supported the practice areas of geriatrics, pediatrics, and community based practice with eight Level I MOT students. They completed home based visits with wheelchair modifications, community mental health, community retirement center, early intervention, and school based interventions within the emerging area of OT practice in Belize.
The occupational therapy students voiced that this was a life changing and transformative learning experience and that they gained respect for other health cultures and systems. Future connections were also made for new and exciting collaboration on future student field work experiences in Belize.
Becky Barton visited four different health care and educational sites in Barbados while supervising 24 UIndy undergraduate students on a spring term trip. There is a fairly strong presence of occupational therapy on the island in educational and medical model settings for individuals with developmental, physical, and psychiatric problems. Becky was able to meet with practicing occupational therapists to discuss current practice in both Barbados and the United States. Potential partnerships with a couple of these settings are being discussed for international fieldwork opportunities for UIndy SOT students.