Jul 21 / Vera Gallagher, OTD, OTR/L, BCP

Sensory-motor Smart School Environments from and Occupational Therapy Perspective

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Welcome to guest blogger:

Vera Gallagher, OTD, OTR/L, BCP

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Aspire OT is always excited to celebrate OTs, OTAs, and students who make an impact. 

Vera Gallagher, OTD, OTR/L, BCP is a pediatric board-certified practitioner with over thirty years of experience in school-based practice. She is passionate about leadership and advocacy roles as central themes for occupational therapy providers. 
As a student, did you have a favorite place in school?  Perhaps it was the quiet of the library or the dynamic space of a gymnasium.  Did the music room bring out your creative juices or was that reserved for family and consumer science?  Every space in a school is different and can have a unique impact on students.  The occupational therapy practitioner (OTP) values the importance of environmental design.  OTPs play a key role to assess and create a sensory-motor smart environment.  Activity analysis and the interplay of person-environment-occupation dominate our thought process. 

What is a sensory-motor smart environment?  It takes into account sensory input, processing and output combined with performance skills that include motor and physical aspects.  It facilitates active engagement in occupation and supports health and participation. Our distinct value adds strategies to implement in a classroom to improve participation.  One example is an accommodation for a student during far-point copying skills.  I have spent over 25 years working as a practitioner in schools, focusing on the K-12 population.  My primary goal has always been to enhance student outcomes by engaging them in occupation-based activities.  

I hold high regard for knowing the historical perspective, legislative background and research of our role in education.  Who doesn't want to be in a nurturing place to learn?  Having a positive and inclusive environment is essential for student success.  By creating sensory-motor smart environments rooted in evidence-based practices, we can ensure that all students have the opportunity to thrive.  It's all about constantly improving and adapting to ensure that everyone can reach their full potential.  Our surroundings have a significant impact on our ability to learn and grow.  By designing sensory-motor smart environments, we can create spaces that support all individuals in their educational journeys.  

Discover a practitioner perspective on design to create an environment that facilitates learning for all individuals. 
check out Vera's Upcoming course

Creating Sensory-smart Environments in OT School Settings

Self-paced course coming soon in October!
Check our Webinars and Workshops Page for more scheduled dates. 
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