University of Washington Division of Occupational Therapy


Our faculty and students engage with the community through volunteer work and service learning in keeping with the mission of the University of Washington as a public institution.

Community Events

We regularly support a number of events held in the Greater Seattle area. Examples include:

Annual Latina Health Fair

Every spring, students have the opportunity to volunteer at the Latina Health Fair, a community-based event hosted by Sea Mar Community Health Centers.  Students attend a two-hour training and staff a table at the Fair to provide developmental screening for infants and children.

Sensory-Friendly Performances at Seattle Children’s Theater

Throughout the year, our students volunteer as ushers during  sensory-friendly performances at the Seattle Children’s Theater. These performances emerged from a previously-completed Graduate Project. Students help families find seats that meet their needs, lead children to quiet booths if they need a break, and answer questions about the sensory-friendly experience.

Adaptive Yoga at Adaptive Yoga Northwest

During adaptive yoga sessions for people with mobility restrictions, student volunteers help class attendees move their bodies into and maintain different yoga poses.

Student-Led Community Projects

Each year, our students complete community-based Graduate Projects developing innovative approaches to needs identified by members of the local community. Many of these projects create long-term change in our region. Recent examples include:

A Pacific Science Center Visit Guide for Families with  Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Students created a set of resources to make the Science Center more accessible for children with autism and other sensory needs. The resources include a parent tip sheet, age-appropriate planning guides for children and adolescents, and a key that identifies the sensory characteristics of each exhibit such as levels of noise, touch-ability, smell, and visual stimulation.

Arthritis-Friendly Trails at Seattle Parks and Recreation

Students partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance to assess the walkability of five local parks. They developed a brochure for park visitors describing trail features and other park amenities to increase access for people with mobility challenges.