Incorporating a user-centred approach to universal design solutions improves functionality and access for a more diverse group of individuals to engage with end products within everyday environments successfully. Interprofessional collaborations between industrial design and occupational therapy are one approach that integrates a user-centred universal design perspective throughout the design process, as occupational therapists have unique expertise in understanding how individuals participate in activities and engage with everyday products and environments. This qualitative ethnographic inquiry explored faculty perspectives (n=5) involved in interprofessional academic collaborations between design and occupational therapy at the university level in the Northeastern United States. Five themes emerged: 1) “Benefits of Collaboration:” Improving the Design Process; 2) “Benefits of a Mutual Approach:”: Supporting Design Learning; 3) Interprofessional Awareness and Education Approaches “Help and Hinder” Collaboration Efforts; 4) Benefits and Challenges to Accessing: “Navigation of the Obstacle Course”; and 5) “Minding the Gap:” Professional Education and Training. Findings suggest that interprofessional collaborations between occupational therapy and industrial design via an embedded model positively impact design outcomes and influence student and faculty learning during the design process, clarify educational objectives, and prepare student industrial designers for future professional practice.
Mollo, Kimberly S.; Peterson, Madalyn; and Brown, Rebecca, "Faculty perspectives on interprofessional collaborations between occupational therapy and industrial design: A qualitative ethnographic inquiry" (2022). Department of Occupational Therapy Faculty Papers. Paper 88.
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