Document Type (Journals)
Despite being categorized as an activity of daily living since the first edition of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, no Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards exist to provide guidance on teaching occupational therapy students about sexual activity as an activity of daily living (ADL). When discussed, sexual activity is usually taught via didactic lecture, but is a subject that would benefit from a skills-based approach to teaching. This pilot pedagogical exercise in a two-credit assistive technology class taught occupational therapy students to address the ADL of sexual activity with clients by having students adapt a sexual toy using basic soldering techniques and adaptive switches for a mock client. By providing a hands-on adaptive project for students, students practiced applying occupational analysis to the adaptation of assistive technology, which can generalize to other assistive technologies (such as those for adaptive gaming) and occupations, while also providing students with experience discussing sexual activity as an ADL in practice. This project is an option for occupational therapy programs looking to integrate more education on sexual activity into their current curricula, while also satisfying the requirements of assistive technology ACOTE standards.
Benjamin Canter, BA, OTD was a doctoral student in occupational therapy at Boston University and research assistant at the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. His research focuses on behavioral health, COVID-19 rehabilitation, and transitions of care in geriatrics.
Zoe Loitz, BA, OTD was a doctoral student in occupational therapy at Boston University and a personal caregiver. She has research and clinical interests in community-based mental health, occupational therapy services for unhoused clients, and sexual activity as a meaningful occupation.
Tori (Victoria) Richardson, BS, OTD was a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy student at Boston University. Tori has experience in community-based and acute psychiatric mental health, as well as working with neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. Their clinical and research interests include sexual health, harm reduction, and gender-affirming care.
Kevin Berner, OTD, OTR, ATP is an occupational therapist and certified assistive technology professional who is an assistant professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Kevin specializes in assistive technology, accessibility, and rehabilitation and has worked in schools, hospital, and community environments. Kevin holds bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees from Boston University.
Leanna Katz, OT, OTD, OTR is clinical faculty at Boston University.. She has extensive clinical experience in a range of healthcare settings, including acute care, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and homecare (community-based and hospice). Katz conducts research on neurorehabilitation as well as clinical reasoning using the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System (RTSS).
Tatiana Pontes, Ph.D., OT, OTR/L is Clinical Associate Professor and Entry-level OTD Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy - Boston University.
Pedro H.T.Q. de Almeida, Ph.D., OT Reg. (Ont.), OTR/L is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy - Boston University.
Declaration of Interest
$100 of funding was provided by the Boston University Department of Occupational Therapy for purchase of the assistive technology used in this project. Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Canter, B. E., Loitz, Z. M., Richardson, V. E., Pontes, T. B., Katz, L., Berner, K., & Almeida, P. H. (2024). A Pilot Sexual Device Adaptation Project for Occupational Therapy Students: A Skills-Based Approach to Teaching Sexual Activity as an ADL Through Assistive Technology. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 8 (1). Retrieved from https://encompass.eku.edu/jote/vol8/iss1/14
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