Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Brooke Locher

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


Public schools are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) include transition planning to prepare for life after graduation focusing on employment and independent living. Although these services are required, high school students with disabilities have lower rates of employment and independent living compared to their peers. OT services are reimbursed under IEPs, but there is a gap in service with under-utilization in transition planning. The purpose of this DCE was program development with the transition program, Project SEARCH, while also exploring the role OT has in transition planning for high school students with disabilities. The goal of this project was to improve work skills, self-advocacy, and independence of the students enrolled in this program. This was completed using objectives including, understanding the student’s perspective of their work performance, analyzing their work tasks, creating environmental modifications, providing direct support at internship sites to improve task completion and efficiency, leading group lessons and activities to support classroom learning, and assisting with instrumental activities of daily living such as community mobility and health management skills. These objectives were created to enhance the skill set of these students and ultimately their independence utilizing occupational therapy services.