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Occupational Therapist

at Chicago Public Schools

Posted: 1/25/2019
Job Reference #: 1400004R

Job Description

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has set ambitious goals to ensure that every child—in every school and every neighborhood—has access to a world-class learning experience from birth, resulting in graduation from high school college- and career-ready.
Under the IDEA an occupational therapist provides services to a student within their least restrictive environment to help each student benefit from his or her special education program. Occupational therapy services address performance within an educational context, including classroom lessons and activities, self-help skills, prevocational and vocational activities, play and leisure, and social skills. Outcomes are directed toward improved student participation in the general education curriculum, access to the school environment, and participation in extracurricular activities.
The OT evaluates students through skilled professional observation, therapeutic handling, record review, and parent, student, and teacher interviews.  OTs interpret assessment findings and appropriately communicate information to parents and school teams through written and oral means.  The OT collaborates with the school team to develop Individualized Education Programs and Section 504 Plans to address the students' unique needs.
The position will be held accountable for the following responsibilities: 
  • Improving manipulative skills for self-care and paper/pencil tasks through reach, grasp and dexterity.
  • Enhancing school transitions and participation in educational activities by providing environmental accommodations.
  • Enhancing comfort, participation and attending by maintaining functional postures.
  • Increasing functional use of hands and visual regard by providing stable positions.
  • Ensuring independence in feeding for safety and nourishment.
  • Facilitating safety in the school environment by decreasing the possibility of injury to student's self or others as he/she moves or performs skills/tasks.
  • Improving success for small muscle school tasks by increasing coordination of eye-hand movements.
  • Facilitating access to and mobility within school by assessing and changing the environment.
  • Increasing functional use of extremities through use of adapted equipment.
  • Enhancing ability to learn through sensorimotor activities that address motor planning, attending and behavior issues.
  • Promoting competency and safety of educational staff in body mechanics, handling techniques, motor skills and classroom adaptations.
  • Facilitating student's independence through access to assistive technology.  
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Occupational Therapist must possess the following qualifications:
 
Type of Education Required:
The OT must pass the National Board Certification for Occupational Therapy.  OT must hold a current and active Illinois license to practice as issued by the IL Department of Professional Regulations. This license must be renewed every two years upon payment on or before December 31st of given renewal year. In addition, the IL OT practice act mandates 24 hours of continuing education per license renewal cycle.
 
Type of Experience and Number of Years: The OT must have a Bachelor, Master, or Doctoral degree in occupational therapy from an accredited occupational therapy program as approved by the AOTA.  
 
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 
  • OT evaluates students through skilled professional observation, therapeutic handling, record review, and parent, student, and teacher interviews.  OTs interprets assessment findings and appropriately communicates information to parents and school teams through written and oral means. 
  • The OT collaborates with the school team to develop Individualized Education Programs and Section 504 Plans to address the students' unique needs using evidence based practices.
  • Develops and implements individualized OT intervention strategies.
  • Collaborates with student, school team members, parents, community agencies, administrators, and physicians regarding effective coordination of services.
  • Collaborates with student, school team members, parents, community agencies, administrators, and physicians regarding transition from school to community, preparing student to function independently when outlined outcomes are achieved.
  • Documents all OT services provided within a timely manner as outlined by the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services.  Evaluates and documents student progress in accordance with the ILOTA as well as school district, State and Federal policies.
  • Addresses personal care, student role, interaction skills, process skills, play, community integration/work, graphic communication, needs for assistive technology, accessibility, environmental accommodations as required to access their educational environment through collaboration and participation with school staff. 
  • Seeks regular opportunities for professional growth. 
  • Participates in clinical educational opportunities for students of occupational therapy.
  • Adheres to professional, ethical and legal standards of practice as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • Provides direct supervision of occupational therapy assistants in accordance with Illinois Occupational Therapy Practice Act.