Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts with University Honors




Michele Nobel


Occupational therapy, Children with disabilities, COVID-19, Public Schools


The COVID-19 pandemic had a major effect across the US, but the impact on the school system was a major focus within the media. Due to federal legislation, public schools are required to provide accommodations to children with disabilities in order to make them successful in schools. To bring more understanding to the related services in the public school system, this study investigated the impact COVID- 19 had on the delivery of occupational therapy services provided to children with disabilities in central Ohio public schools from March 2020 to March 2022. This study had thirteen occupational therapists participate, with eleven included in the data analysis. Interviews were conducted and recorded using the semistructured interview format. After the transcription of the interviews were completed, the interviews were analyzed for word frequency. The most frequent words said were “parents” and “school”. Based on the frequency of all the words chosen for analysis, four themes emerged. These four themes were: home life, service delivery, social and/or emotional mindset, and school performance. As discussed in these interviews, the occupational therapists felt COVID-19 resulted in better understanding of the home life of the children they work with, an increase in the amount of evaluation referrals, and IEP and evaluation team meetings moving online. The main limitations for this study were the small sample size because it limited the overall breadth of the study, the use of interviews only making this study monomethod, and the potential human error involved in the counting of the words. Further long term research should be conducted in order to determine the effect the increase evaluation referrals has had on the special education system.

ciccone-amanda-2022-DataComparisonSpreadsheet.xlsx (25 kB)
Data Comparison Spreadsheet

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