Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Susan MacDermott, OTD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Becki Cohill, OTD, OTR/L

Third Advisor

Erin Schwier, EdD, OTD, OTR/L

Medical Subject Headings

Leisure Activities, Camping, Social Inclusion, Occupational Therapy, Needs Assessment, Disabled Persons, Child, Adolescent


Opportunities for positive youth development (PYD) are promoted through both outdoor and camp experiences. The experiences provided by the outdoors and camps are ideal for developing physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. These areas of PYD are further generalizable to several aspects of occupational performance and participation, while continuing to have benefits throughout the lifespan. While the outdoors and camps provide these valuable opportunities for development, the environments and contexts of these opportunities are often limiting factors for individuals with disabilities. Utilizing an occupational therapy approach allows for further understanding of how to promote inclusion and accessibility practices in these settings and further support occupational performance and participation for individuals of all abilities. The application of an occupational therapy perspective combined with research, review, and collaboration within these communities determined appropriate project objectives to address these areas of need. Further development based on project objectives led to the creation of Access Outdoors Occupational Therapy and the associated website Access Outdoors Occupational Therapy is a cumulative result of fulfilling project objectives and aims to promote and advocate for inclusion and accessibility in the outdoors and camp programs while also expanding available knowledge. Areas of growth for Access Outdoors Occupational Therapy include expanding occupational therapy roles, community partnerships, on the ground advocacy and outreach, and individualized consulting for outdoors and camp programs.


Capstone project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy.