Otago Polytechnic

Occupational Therapy

Does your community have a health, disability, activity or social support focus? Would you value input to help achieve a goal?

Our students are creative problem solvers with a passion for activity and wellbeing who can work in partnership with you to investigate a need and develop a sustainable solution. The community need could be for any age group or other demographic, and should relate to occupation in some way, for example:

  • Encouraging participation in the community
  • Enabling access and a more independent lifestyle
  • Encouraging involvement in meaningful activities
  • Improving access to services

 

Community projects

From September to November, our Bachelor of Occupational Therapy final year students spend eight weeks working in pairs on community projects, using project management skills as well as their learning in occupational therapy practice and community development.

What the students will do

After the students have carried out a needs assessment, they will research the options for potential solutions. A project proposal will be prepared for your consideration so that the solution scope can be negotiated. Then the two students will design and implement the service, event, resource or activity agreed upon to meet the identified need.

One of our Occupational Therapy lecturers oversees each project to help ensure things go smoothly. The lecturer is available for advice and support and will provide project supervision for the students. The supervisor is responsible for evaluating the students’ performance alongside your contact person.

What we need from you

You will need to have an understanding of your own requirements, an open mind to consider suggestions, and a willingness to work with students to help achieve these outcomes.

If your organisation is selected for a community project, you will:

  • allocate a contact person who can make decisions and make things happen
  • contribute, in person, to the “Project Launch” by providing necessary information
  • be available to the student during their planning process
  • find any required budget for the project (which does not include students’ or lecturers’ time)
  • contribute to the project evaluation and each student’s evaluation
  • attend a presentation from the students about the project outcome.

 

Community placements

In their first year of study, students also do a placement in the community for three hours per week over a period of about three months, to support activities and projects that organisations are undertaking for the community, for example in schools, rest homes and agencies.

 

Contact us

If you would like to benefit from having our final year Occupational Therapy students work on a project with you, or can offer a placement to our first year students, please get in touch.

Below you can read examples of our final year student projects.