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The design of the built environment plays a key role in occupational participation. When the built environment is poorly designed, it severely limits accessibility for an individual with a disability. In contrast, when the built environment is well designed, it can support the occupational performance of individuals of all ages and abilities. Interprofessional collaboration between occupational therapists and architects can improve environmental barriers to occupational participation within home and community settings. Interprofessional collaboration between occupational therapists and architects has involved direct input through consultations, interprofessional education experiences, and the formation of interprofessional organizations. However, barriers to interprofessional collaboration have included the architect’s preference for autonomy, differences between each profession’s terminology, and lack of understanding of each profession’s skill set and scope of practice. This doctoral capstone project sought to bring awareness to and advocate for the inclusion of occupational therapists on design teams to incorporate universal design in new homes and community buildings to increase accessibility. A variety of learning experiences, such as interactions with professionals in both the home modification and architecture fields, conducting interviews and surveys, and attending in-person and online events, contributed to the development of advocacy skills and an understanding of universal design and the architectural culture.

Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2023


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


universal design, accessibility, interprofessional collaboration, built environment, aging-in-place, visitability, home modifications

Medical Subject Headings

Universal Design, Architectural Accessibility, Built Environment, Occupational Therapy, Interprofessional Education


Accessibility | Environmental Design | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Spring 2023 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 4 and April 12, 2023.

Collaboration between Occupational Therapists and Architects to Incorporate Universal Design to Increase Accessibility