Matthew, a participant, and Natalie, an OT student, during the "After School Respite Program," which provides opportunties for adolescents with intellectual disabilities.
Queen’s students often go beyond campus boundaries in an effort to participate in and contribute to the local community. On April 22, Masters candidates from the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s Occupational Therapy program will present their end-of-term practicum projects, which were done in partnership with 28 agencies and organizations in and around Kingston, at their annual Community Development Forum.
“We’re interested in any project that makes the community a more welcoming place for anyone, regardless of their age or ability,” says Mary Lou Boudreau, the program’s fieldwork coordinator.
This is the third year the school has run the program. Each student spends 175 hours working with a community organization on strategies to help individuals who have difficulty performing their occupations due to physical and mental health, or other challenges.
This year’s projects tackle issues like bullying, behavioural disabilities, accessible customer service, healthy living, and healthy aging for seniors. Organizations that are involved include The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston, Kingston School of Dance, Dawn House, H’Art School of Smiles, and Almost Home.
“The agencies not only offer our students a wonderful educational opportunity, but also benefit from the students’ energy and expertise,” says Boudreau.
The forum, which will include presentations and displays of the students’ work, will take place on Thursday, April 22 from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. in the Biosciences Complex. Poster boards will be set up in the main atrium, and presentations will be held in room 1102. All are welcome to attend.