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This program aimed to address the disparity in access to early intervention (EI) occupational therapy (OT) services which exists in certain communities abroad. This project worked with The Inspiration Center (TIC) in Belize, a community identified through needs assessment as having limited access to OT services, to expand current programming to include EI OT services, to increase understanding of the role of OT, to advocate for the OT profession within Belize, and to increase access to EI services for families with children with disability and/or developmental delay within the country. An emphasis was placed on caregiver coaching and culturally responsive approaches to improve sustainable and ethical program development. Needs assessment involved observations of OT sessions delivered to EI populations in American Samoa and Belize via telehealth, literature review, attendance of a cultural training program, and interviews with providers with experience in international service delivery. Program development included a culturally immersive service learning trip to Belize, advocacy for EI and OT, education on the role of OT, and supporting TIC for further program expansion. Program results included increased understanding of the role of OT among TIC staff, improved access to OT for EI populations, and community advocacy for the OT profession.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


early intervention, international service delivery, advocacy, coaching, culturally responsive, program development

Medical Subject Headings

American Samoa, Belize, Disabled Children, Developmental Disabilities, Early Intervention, Educational, Caregivers, Needs Assessment, Program Development


Disability and Equity in Education | Occupational Therapy | Special Education and Teaching


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14.

Early Intervention Occupational Therapy Program Development Abroad