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Master of Occupational Therapy Technical Standards

It is the policy of UMMC that qualified individuals be given equal educational opportunities regardless of disability. The Department of Occupational Therapy is equally committed to enabling all admitted students to be successful, including those with disabilities. Occupational therapy education, however, requires the applicant to possess certain specific capabilities in order to complete all academic, laboratory, and clinical aspects of the program.

Because the Department of Occupational Therapy also has a commitment to the welfare of all clients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the program, the students must have the minimum skills and knowledge to function effectively in a broad variety of clinical settings, with a diverse client population, while rendering a wide spectrum of occupational therapy services. To this end, the department has established minimum standards for participation and progression in the program. All students must possess the general attributes described in the technical standards below. It is the responsibility of students to disclose disability and request accommodations if needed to meet these standards.

Observation skills

Students must be able to:

  • Perceive, assimilate and integrate information from the variety of educational methods and experiences offered.
  • Identify safety hazards and discriminate between safe and unsafe procedures
  • Observe client affect, performance, and response to intervention

Cognitive skills

Students must be able to:

  • Organize self; use appropriate judgment in prioritizing activities and utilizing effective learning strategies
  • Analyze and synthesize large amounts of information for classroom application and reasoning in clinical situations
  • Think critically in novel situations and use creativity in problem-solving
  • Obtain, interpret, and prioritize and make decisions regarding various forms of data
  • Comprehend 3-dimensional relationships and structures

Motor skills

Students must be able to:

  • Obtain information from clients through palpation and other tactile diagnostic tests
  • Participate in anatomic dissections
  • Perform or direct CPR
  • Perform or direct client transfers and other client mobility needs
  • Sit for at least one hour at a time; move about during laboratory activities and in a timely manner from class to class
  • Grasp, hold, and manipulate various tools, materials, and objects used in administering assessments, fabricating orthotics or crafts, and implementing interventions
  • Record data

Communication skills

Students must be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in oral and written form, in English
  • Communicate effectively within a group
  • Have an awareness of their own non-verbal communication and its effect on others
  • Establish rapport with peers and clients
  • Obtain information from others

Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills

Students must be able to:

  • Tolerate the physical, mental, and emotional stresses encountered in a demanding academic program as well as in challenging and fluid clinical environments and client encounters
  • Maintain composure in the face of confrontational situations with clients, as well as in the classroom
  • Self-reflect and critically evaluate their own performance (and modify as needed)
  • Recognize and respond to feedback from others
  • Take initiative for their own learning
  • Demonstrate compassion, empathy , and respect for others, regardless of differences
  • Effectively teach others, for example articulate instructions to clients or clients' families and give appropriate feedback
  • Work collaboratively with others in class, on projects, and in the clinic in a mature and respectful way
  • Maintain professional behaviors, including timeliness, appropriate dress/appearance, honesty, integrity, and confidentiality in all aspects of the program

Sensory skills

Students must be able to:

  • Perceive, process, and utilize sensory information as necessary to accomplish the observation, cognitive, motor, communication, and inter/intrapersonal skills described above
  • Manage a multi-sensory environment

Support services and student responsibilities

UMMC is committed to ensuring equal access to a quality education for qualified students through the provision of reasonable academic accommodations which support UMMC standards and academic integrity. UMMC policy provides for reasonable academic accommodations to be made for students with verified disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis as specified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

UMMC provides reasonable academic accommodations to students on campus who request them and who meet eligibility criteria. For more information or to request academic accommodations, individuals should go to the Office of Academic Support webpage and complete the Request Academic Accommodations online form.

  • Office of Academic Support
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    Verner Holmes Learning Resource Center, U155-A
    (601) 815-4233; fax: (601) 815-5828

Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to advocate for themselves and utilize the support services offered; however, students are not required to disclose a disability unless they desire accommodations. All disability-related information is confidential. UMMC follows the specific guidelines set forth by the ADA related to access to this information in the post-secondary education setting.