Free Adult Occupational Therapy Community Participant Lab

Therapy dog


  • An educational experience for our Doctor of Occupational Therapy students

  • An opportunity for individuals with a diagnosed neurological condition to contribute to our students' education. Some conditions that might bring a client in for services are a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's Disease, for example.

  • A student-led program, supervised by licensed occupational therapy faculty.

  • A service for the Bay Area community focused on promoting participation and engagement in personal occupations. Personal occupations include activities of daily living (ADL) such as personal care and home tasks, as well as work and leisure activities. 

About The Program

  • Adult OT CPL occurs during the spring semester for 9 weekly visits (February-April) 
  • Sessions are on Monday afternoons for 50 minutes. Sessions start at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, or 3:30pm
  • 1st-2nd visits: Initial assessment 
  • 3rd-8th visits: Treatment
  • 9th visit: Finalization of a home program, recommendations, and discharge

"Our goal is to provide therapeutic intervention to clients with occupational therapy needs. In meeting this goal we sometimes develop partnerships with families, other health and/or support providers and interested parties related to the care of the client," explains Kate Hayner, EdD, OTR/L, and SMU Department Chair of the Occupational Therapy Program. "We also want to assist students with their own development of clinical reasoning and competency that supports research-based practice in adult occupational therapy services."

Services Offered

  • Occupational therapy assessment and intervention provided by OTD students, supervised by faculty
  • Sessions are focused on improving an important area of functioning in the participant's daily life. This might include the ability to complete self-care tasks (dressing, grooming, bathing, using the toilet), home tasks (cooking, dishes, cleaning, bills, etc.), work activities (transportation, use of the computer, endurance, mental focus), or leisure tasks (going out to eat, socializing, playing sports, etc.). These are just a few examples.
  • Exercises to improve strength or mobility in order to complete daily tasks
  • Recommendation of adapted devices, equipment or strategies to improve function in daily tasks
  • Interventions to address the client's goals for a specific area of functioning 

Please note: If the main objective is to improve walking, please see the Community Participant Lab offered by the Physical Therapy program: PT CPL

To Be Eligible You Must

  • Desire improvement in an area of daily function such as those described above
  • Commit to attending all 9 scheduled sessions
  • Understand that we accept participants on a first-come, first served basis, according to the educational needs of our students

Request Enrollment

To begin the enrollment process, please complete the ENROLLMENT FORM. The form is a fillable PDF which can either be filled out electronically or printed and filled by hand. Either way, please send the completed form to us by mail, fax, or email:

Samuel Merritt University
450 30th Street, 4th Floor,
Oakland, CA 94609

FAX: (510) 457-4008

Please note that you may email the completed form, however, email may not be secure. Your form will contain private health information that is protected by HIPPA and email is not considered a HIPPA compliant method of communication unless it is encrypted. You may have an email provider that offers you the opportunity to encrypt your message. If you decide to submit your form through email (whether encrypted or unencrypted) you may send it to 

For More Information:

If you have any questions, please contact us:  510-879.9200 x 7456 or

Request more information

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