Inclusive Approaches to Occupational Therapy
Ariel Wallace develops leadership skills while promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion values within occupational therapy.
Ariel Wallace, a master’s student in occupational therapy, attended a national program sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association and American Occupational Therapy Foundation called the Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy. This program was created to promote the research pursuits of occupational therapy students.
“This was a great experience in understanding what steps I would need to take in being a scientist in the field,” Wallace says.
Following her experience at the institute, Wallace worked on a research project with Amanda Littleton, academic fieldwork coordinator and clinical assistant professor, to understand students’ experience at the event and their desire to pursue occupational therapy research in the future. Wallace will be presenting this research at the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Wallace has also helped revitalize the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) chapter at Towson University. Her key role as a co-chair in this organization has allowed Wallace to “develop her leadership skills while promoting JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) values within our profession.” The TU COTAD chapter actively engages students, faculty and community members in initiatives that promote justice-informed and inclusive approaches in occupational therapy education and practice.
While she is unsure of what practice area she will ultimately pursue, Wallace remains open to exploring the many different facets of occupational therapy. Wallace says the occupational therapy master's program has offered her many meaningful experiences that she will carry into future practice. She is eager for her upcoming level II fieldwork experiences and hopes that it will help her narrow down which practice area she’ll want to pursue in the future.
“Overall I am most excited to enter the workforce as an OT and make a difference in the lives of my clients.”