Asst. Prof. Kim Gerald G. Medallon, MHPEd, a faculty member of the Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, presented a research paper entitled “Allied Health Care in the Education Setting: Conceptualizing Occupational Therapy Roles by Public School Professionals” during the 7th International Higher Education Research Forum, held in Quezon City from August 27-29, 2019.
The paper, which Medallon co-authored with fellow OT faculty members Asst. Prof. Karen S. Sagun-Ongtangco, MSOT (lead author), and Mr. Allan James T. Tan, MSOT, aimed to “determine the perspectives of public elementary school teachers and principals on the role of OT in inclusive education.” Using key informant interviews, focus group discussion, and review of records, the descriptive study found that while the participants had a positive attitude toward occupational therapists in an inclusive education setting, there was “considerable role confusion…which can limit effective collaboration…and impede the referral system.”
The non-government organization “Save the Children” has as one of its projects “Kabataang-Aralin Sa Lahat Ay Ibahagi” (KASALI), which provides opportunities for children with disabilities (CWD) to be part of the inclusive education program. To achieve this, a referral system between teachers and allied health professionals, particularly occupational therapists, is desired. Thus, the research was conceived.