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Technical Standards

Please note: This information is provided for applicants interested in attending KU. If admitted, students will be required to complete a separate form prior to entering the program to ensure proper accommodations may be made as necessary. The admissions committee will consult with applicants who indicate that they cannot meet the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The faculty responsible for the academic program and the members of the admissions committee may seek advice in each individual situation from the KU  Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access.

A doctoral degree in occupational therapy signifies that the holder is prepared to assume leadership in clinical practice after developing advanced practice competencies. It follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to promote evidence based practice, professional leadership, teaching, and advanced practice. Therefore, all individuals admitted to the KU occupational therapy doctoral degree program must have the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program, and reasonable accommodation will be made for qualified applicants or students who disclose a disability. Candidates who indicate upon application or after acceptance to the program that they cannot meet an expectation listed will be reviewed further by the admissions manager in collaboration with the ADA Panel for the School of Health Professions to determine if reasonable accommodations are likely to lead to successful completion of the program.

  1. Problem Solving:
    The culminating activity in the preparation of an occupational therapist is clinical reasoning. The post professional occupational therapy student is expected to develop advanced expertise and demonstrate leadership, teaching, advanced practice, and evidence-based practice skills. Therefore, a candidate must be able to understand research, make correct observations, and engage in reasoning, analysis, and synthesis.

  2. Judgment:
    The candidate will be expected to demonstrate judgment in classroom and practical settings which shows an ability to make mature, sensitive, and effective decisions in the following areas: a) relationships with supervisors, peers, and patients/clients/consumers, b) professional behavior, c) the effectiveness of intervention strategies. He or she must demonstrate an understanding of the rationale and justification for his or her performance.

  3. Communication:
    A) Written communication: The candidate must be able to assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, medical/school records, etc.). The candidate must be able to attain, comprehend, retain, and use new information presented in written formats. Candidates are required to use information from written sources and must be able to produce appropriate written documentation. B) Verbal and nonverbal communication: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively to elicit information from patients/clients/consumers, supervisors, and peers. Candidates must possess the ability to convey factual information, but also to communicate the more subtle cues of mood, temperament, and social responses. Communication with patients/clients and with all members of the intervention team or academic unit must be accurate, sensitive, effective, and efficient. Response time to emergencies/crisis situations, as well as more routine communication must be appropriate to the situation or setting.

  4. Sensorimotor:
    Candidates must have sufficient gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions, and functional use of sensory systems to enable them to perform all tasks essential to their career paths.

  5. Behavioral and social attributes:
    Candidates are expected to exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their participation in classroom, clinical, and research experiences. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, an ability to establish rapport and communicate with others, to use appropriate language, possess flexibility toward change, and to accept responsibility for one’s own conduct. Students are expected to exhibit a positive attitude toward patients/clients, peers, and supervisors.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018


Applications to this program are accepted Aug. 1-Dec. 1 for the class entering the program the following summer. All application materials must be received by December 1 for an application to be complete and qualified for review.

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