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Emergencies and disasters may occur anywhere in the world, with no population immune to their effects. Vulnerable populations, including individuals with physical disabilities, are more at risk and lose the ability to maintain crucial occupations in the event of an emergency or disaster (Rutkow et al., 2015). Currently occupational therapy services have a strong presence in post emergency situations, in a recovery capacity. Despite Safety and Emergency Maintenance being an Instrumental Activity of Daily Living, a gap exists in the literature regarding what occupational therapists may do when engaging in emergency and disaster preparation with individuals who have a physical disability.

The purpose of this capstone was to expand the literature of occupational therapy’s involvement in emergency preparation with the population of individuals with a physical disability. To gain a holistic end product a needs assessment, which included observations and informal interviews, was used to support the findings of an Internal Review Board approved research survey given to occupational therapists. The results produced educational material to help guide occupational therapists when participating in emergency preparation with individuals with a physical disability.

Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Disabled Persons, Disaster Planning, Occupational Therapy, Surveys and Questionnaires


Occupational Therapy | Public Health


Poster presented at the Fall 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, December 9-10, 2021.

Occupational Therapy’s Role in Emergency and Disaster Preparation for the Population of Physically Disabled Individuals