SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.42 issue1The right to rehabilitation: From policy development to implementationExploring the tensions of sustaining economic empowerment of persons with disabilities through open labour market employment in the Cape Metropole author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.42 n.1 Pretoria  2012




School-based occupational therapists: An exploration into their role in a Cape Metropole full Service school



Amshuda SondayI; Kerry AndersonII; Catherine FlackII; Cathy FisherII; Jennifer GreenhoughII; Rachel KendalII; Carmen ShadwellII

IBsc Occupational Therapy (University of the Western Cape), Masters Early Childhood Intervention (University of Pretoria). Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town
IIBsc OT (UCT). Fourth year undergraduate students in Occupational Therapy at the time that that this research project was undertaken





School based occupational therapists within the South African context are faced with the challenge of extending their roles within inclusive education.
The following article describes a research study that was conducted by a group of fourth year occupational therapy students in 2006. The purpose of the research was to explore the current role and develop a future perspective for school-based occupational therapists in an inclusive education system in a full service school in the Cape Metropole area. A qualitative phenomenological approach was followed, where semi structured interviews and focus groups were the methods of data collection.
Data was transcribed and analysed inductively using content analysis.The article expands on the following two themes, namely the unclear existing role of the occupational therapist in inclusive schools and diverse and evolving attitudes towards inclusive education. The themes highlight the attitudes and perceptions of teachers, parents and an occupational therapist on inclusive education and explores the possibilities of emerging and transforming roles for occupational therapists willing to engage in this inclusive process.

Key words: Inclusive Education, Full service schools, Roles, Occupational therapist



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Department of Education. Education White Paper 6: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System. ELSEN Directorate, Pretoria, 2001.         [ Links ]

2. Engelbrecht P, Green L. Responding to the challenges of inclusive education in Southern Africa. Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers, 2007.         [ Links ]

3. Villa R, Thounsand J. The rationales for creating and maintaining inclusive schools. In: Villa R, Thounsand J. Creating an inclusive school. Alexandria, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005.         [ Links ]

4. Graves P Tracy J. Education for children with disabilities: the rationale for inclusion. Journal of paediatrics and child Health, 1998; 34.         [ Links ]

5. Doubt L. McColl M. A secondary guy: physically disabled teenagers in secondary school. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2003; 70:139-150.         [ Links ]

6. UNESCO. Understanding and Responding to Children's needs in Inclusive Classrooms: A guideline for Teachers, 2001.         [ Links ]

7. "Western Cape Education Department Curriculum Development, South Africa." <>(14/09/05).         [ Links ]

8. Hemmingsson H, Borell L. Accommodation needs and student -environment fit in upper secondary schools for students with severe disabilities. 2000. <> (20/07/2010).         [ Links ]

9. Kellegrew D.H. Allen D. Occupational therapy in full inclusion classrooms: a case study from Moorpark model. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1996; 50:18-24.         [ Links ]

10. Christiansen C. Baum C. Occupational therapy: Enabling function and wellbeing, 2nd ed. USA: Slack. 1997.         [ Links ]

11. McMillan J. Schumacher S. Research in Education .5th ed. Addison United States Wesley Longman Inc: 2001.         [ Links ]

12. Silverman D. Doing qualitative research. A practical handbook. New York: Sage Publications Ltd, 2000.         [ Links ]

13. Lincoln Y Guba E. Naturalistic Inquiry. New York: Sage Publications Ltd: 1985        [ Links ]

14. Lorenzo T. Equalizing opportunities for oocupational engagement: disabled women's stories. In: Watson R, Swartz L. Transformation through occupation. London: Whurr Publishers Ltd, 2004.         [ Links ]

15. Watson R. A population approach to transformation. In Watson R, Swartz L. Transformation through occupation. London: Whurr Publishers Ltd, 2004        [ Links ]

16. Galvaan R. Engaging with youth at risk. In: Watson R, Swartz L. Transformation through occupation. London: Whurr Publishers Ltd, 2004.         [ Links ]

17. Department of Education. National Strategy on screening, identification, assessment and support. Participants manual. April - August, 2008.         [ Links ]



Amshuda Sonday

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License