Occupational Therapist - Special Education/Psychological Instructional Services
License and Certification Qualifications: Licensed by the state board of occupational therapy and a valid Georgia driver's license required.
Education Qualifications: Graduate of an accredited college or university with a minimum of a bachelor?s degree in occupational therapy required if graduated prior to 2004. If graduated 2004 or after, a Master's degree is required.
Experience Qualifications: One year of pediatric and/or school-based therapy experience preferred
Skills Qualifications: Ability to collaborate effectively; team oriented; strong organizational and documentation skills; knowledge of current occupational therapy practices including evaluation procedures; effective communication skills both written and verbal; strong computer skills including the Microsoft Office Suite; ability to devise, implement, and direct treatment plans; knowledge of wheelchair seating and positioning; knowledge of pediatric diagnoses, such as autism, orthopedic impairments, and learning disabilities; knowledge of assistive technology for students; ability to evaluate and make recommendations for adaptive equipment; ability to project and generate a positive attitude; ability to work successfully with colleagues; and ability to impact change.
Primary Responsibilities: Responsible for assisting students with disabilities to benefit from special education programming by supporting designated Individualized Educational Program (IEP) objectives and supporting parents, educational staff, and administrators.
1. Assess student need for the related service of occupational therapy including upon request, eligibility for special education programs; Student Support Team (SST) and 504 purpose, and early childhood arena purposes.
a. Conduct a variety of assessment approaches to include standardized testing, histories, checklists, records audits, and interviews with parents, educational staff, and medical professionals.
b. Utilize classroom observations for students ages three through 21.
c. Present evaluation results to the IEP committee for determination of service needs.
d. Responsible for assessments based on referrals from SST for students with disabilities experiencing difficulties in general education, including referrals initiated by special educators and parents of students receiving special education services, referrals submitted by the early childhood arena teams, and referrals requesting assistance with testing to determine special education program eligibility.
e. Assist with 504 plans in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
2. Develop programs and plans to offer strategies and interventions to promote student participation in educational programs.
a. Develop, direct, and provide consultative and/or home strategies/interventions to support identified IEP objectives for individual students with disabilities as appropriate
b. Assist in developing an IEP as a member of the IEP committee.
c. Develop strategies for the appropriate use of adaptive equipment, materials, and mobility aids in the school environment.
d. Construct materials and equipment, which may not be available commercially, to meet the individual needs of students.
e. Create strategies/interventions to support students receiving special education and educational staff as a related service provider in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
3. Develop, direct, and provide consultative and/or home strategies/interventions to support identified IEP objectives for individual students with disabilities as appropriate.
a. Provide training opportunities for special education providers of all special education programs as well as general education staff, parents and parent groups concerning topics such as child development, behavioral issues, specific disabilities and diagnoses, handling and positioning techniques, sensory and behavioral strategies, handwriting strategies, and visual perceptual developmental strategies.
b. Train students, special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents on implementation of strategies and interventions supporting identified IEP objectives.
c. Provide professional development to colleagues concerning current school based therapy related topics.
d. Participate in professional development offered by medical professionals to remain knowledgeable of current diagnoses, research based interventions, and medications as applicable to planning appropriate related services for students with disabilities and to maintain a Georgia occupational therapy license, registration and National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) certification. .
4. Identify the educationally relevant needs of students with disabilities and foster consistency in those who work with student through utilization of strong communication skills.
a. Complete formal reports to document evaluation, eligibility, and annual review of student therapy services.
b. Maintain informal communication with parents, educational staff, and medical professionals as appropriate.
c. Maintain current rosters of students on assigned workloads.
d. Maintain documentation of school based therapy services for each student on assigned roster.
e. Obtain current physician referrals as needed for school based services.
f. Attend Preparatory Activity and IEP meetings for students receiving occupational therapy services.
g. Attend SST meetings when requested by school SST coordinators.
h. Attend 504 planning and review meetings upon request.
i. Maintain compliance with IDEA, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and best practices for school-based occupational therapy as presented by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
5. Provide educationally relevant occupational therapy services to students in special education as determined by the IEP committee.
a. Provide ongoing educationally relevant strategies/interventions to special education students on specific IEP objectives supported by occupational therapy.
b. Provide ongoing consultation to special education teachers to monitor strategy implementation for supported IEP objectives.
c. Provide occupational therapy interventions to accommodate changes in special education student performance or the learning environment.
d. Provide occupational therapy interventions designated in 504 plans
e. Assist students with disabilities with participating and benefitting from educational programs in accordance with IDEA and ADA-504.
6. Assist with due process issues upon request by the Executive Director of Special Education and Psychological Services and/or Director of Compliance
a. Present documentation of school-based therapy services upon request for mediations and hearings.
b. Attend meetings concerning due process issues to represent school base services.
c. Complete evaluations/assessments in accordance with Compliance requests.
d.. Adhere to all due process procedures.
7. Promote safety throughout the educational environment.
a. Identify barriers of student access to the educational environment as well as educational programs.
b. Assist with the development and implementation of building evacuation plans upon school principal request.
c. Assist upon request from the Transportation Department with the development and implementation of plans to safely transport students with wheelchair issues as well as students with unique behavioral concerns.
8. Act as clinical supervising instructors for occupational therapy students from several universities with preference granted to occupational therapy programs at universities within the state of Georgia.
9. Perform other duties as assigned.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit for extended periods of time. The employee is also required to talk, hear, stand, and walk. The employee may be required to use hands to finger, handle, feel, and/or reach. The employee is occasionally required to stoop, kneel, or crouch. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.