Queen’s OT Program Hosts Community Development Forum
On Thursday, April 16, 2015, the Queen’s Occupational Therapy Program was pleased to host a Community Development Forum to celebrate the work of occupational therapy (OT) students and local community partners. Community Development Fieldwork Coordinator Megan Edgelow, OT Program members, and the OT Class of 2015 welcomed more than 30 community members to the showcase of student work in the local region.
Last held in 2011, this event was re-introduced to highlight the work of OT students in their Community Development course (OT861) and Community Development fieldwork placement (OT862). In their final semester at Queen’s, students spend time in the classroom learning the theory and practice of community development, and take part in community-based fieldwork to apply their newly learned skills in a real-world setting.
The goal of the fieldwork placement is to provide the opportunity for students to explore the process of working with communities to enable occupation and to create inclusive communities and environments.
Community organizations in the Kingston and Napanee area host placements for the students, who each complete 185 hours of fieldwork at their host site. There are many long-standing partnerships in the area, and this year we were pleased to welcome new partnerships with the Kingston VON and the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre.
Student projects this year included nurturing new relationships between community organizations, competing needs assessments, engaging service recipients, completing service and program development, and creating products and tools for use by community organizations.
To celebrate the work of the students and their partner organizations, the April 16 Forum allowed students to present their work to the community, as well as community members to attend and network with the students and other community organizations.
It was a resounding success, with over 80 OT students showcasing their contributions, and 10 university members attending to welcome more than 30 community partners.
We look forward to continuing these productive partnerships and celebrations in 2016!
*A note of thanks goes to Susanne Murphy for taking photographs at the event.
Contributed By: Megan Edgelow
Megan Edgelow is a Lecturer in the Occupational Therapy Program. She has work experience as an occupational therapist in the areas of in-patient and out-patient mental health. Her current clinical work includes community mental health and her research interests include serious mental illness, time use and occupational engagement.