Credentials Display

Katie A. Coakley, MOT, OTR/L
Kimberly Bryze, PhD, OTR/L


Background: Supported employment provides individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) the support needed for community work. ID work is an integral occupation of adult life, facilitates social interaction, and fosters a sense of accomplishment and independence. The purpose of this study was to explore the unique contribution of occupational therapy to supported employment of adults with ID.

Methods: Case study methodology incorporating qualitative and quantitative data were used to examine two supported employees. Qualitative data were collected from interviews and administration of the Occupational Self-Assessment (OSA) and Work Environment Impact Scale (WEIS). The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) was used to measure change. The Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model (OTIPM) was used.

Results: Both supported employees demonstrated improvements in work performance, as demonstrated by improved motor and process ability scores, after intervention. The job coaches at this supported employment agency felt OT could add value to their team.

Conclusion: The OTIPM was effectively used to address work performance of supported employees. The value of OT was seen in the adaptation of tasks and environments for enhanced work performance. OT’s skill in observation and targeting intervention was the most significant contribution in this study.


The authors report no conflicts of interest to disclose.