Way to Play
Sacred Heart University graduate occupational, physical, and speech therapy students will work through the Way to Play program to provide families of young children with disabilities in the Bridgeport area resources to promote their children's growth and development. Way to Play is an innovative program that serves two purposes - to promote interprofessional collaboration and learning for the Sacred Heart students and provide a unique community service learning experience.
Way to Play offers interprofessional teams of occupational, physical, and speech therapy students the opportunity to collaborate to develop appropriate parent-child play activities for a specific young child with a disability who is receiving early intervention services in the Bridgeport area. Each student team from Sacred Heart will work with one to two children with special needs and their families. They will receive information about the child’s needs and goals from the child’s early intervention team and will work together, with a faculty mentor, to choose an appropriate toy and create multiple activities to meet the child’s needs. SHU students will meet with the families in November to provide training and instruction so families can duplicate the activities in the home.
This project is partially funded through a Sacred Heart University grant, but in order to provide SHU students with the necessary resources to help the children with disabilities, we hope the SHU community of alumni, family, and friends will help raise the additional funds needed so that families can visit campus for the initial services and continue the activities at home.
ABOUT THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM AT SACRED HEART
Founded in 2000, Sacred Heart University’s Graduate Occupational Therapy Program was the first in Connecticut to meet the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education’s (ACOTE) requirement that all entry-level occupational therapy education programs award a post baccalaureate degree. The occupational therapy program is housed within the College of Health Professions along with physical therapy, speech-language pathology, athletic training, exercise science, healthcare informatics, and physician assistant studies graduate programs. Sacred Heart University is Connecticut’s only university that offers educational programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology; the three core rehabilitation professions considered critical to restoration of patient’s functioning. Occupational Therapy participates with the other College of Health Profession’s programs and the College of Nursing to provide students with distinctive interprofessional learning opportunities that replicate the treatment team.