Graduation Date


Document Type

Capstone Project

Project Type

Qualitative Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L

Faculty Advisor

Caroline Umeda, PhD, OTR/L


Background: Occupational therapy (OT) consultation within cultural arts is a growing practice, as organizations seek assistance to develop and implement inclusive programs that accessible to diverse populations including the disability community. Occupational therapists’ (OTs) scope of practice includes the provision of organization-level consultation to to support access to community participation experiences. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the lived experiences of occupational therapy consultants working within the cultural arts realm at an organizational level.

Method: A qualitative phenomenological study design was used to examine occupational therapists’ perspectives and experiences. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews of six licensed OTs across the U.S. working in cultural arts. Authors separately identified central themes through thematic analysis of interview transcripts before collectively concluding results which resonated between participants.

Results: Five themes emerged from the thematic analysis: (a) diverse backgrounds, similar visions; (b) education and advocacy build the foundation for OT consultation; (c) clinical and theoretical expertise in sensory integration and activity analysis ground success for OT consultation; (d) forming strong partnerships is vital to successful OT consultation; and (e) overcoming barriers to success can be a constant challenge.

Conclusion: OT consultation with cultural arts organizations promotes inclusive programs through implementing adaptive strategies while forming strong partnerships with families and organizational staff, thus increasing community engagement and participation. Further research regarding OT consultation in cultural arts will support and broaden the understanding of OT and its role in consultation for diverse organizations.

IRB Number


Available for download on Monday, December 02, 2024