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Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are given emphasis in the efforts of both students and faculty in the Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. Current and ongoing initiatives are highlighted below.

FOCUS ON: DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH!

In the UNC Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, we strive to recognize and honor the “rare gifts and talents, and rare personalities” (Meyer, 1922, p. 641) of all of our students and faculty in an ongoing manner. Disability Awareness Month provides an opportunity for us to shine a light on and recognize some of those in our UNC OT community who identify as having a disability. For an archived document celebrating Black History Month, click here.

MICHELLE BALLASIOTES, MSOT Class of 2022

Michelle is a disability advocate and a person with a disability. Michelle had a stroke before birth and as a result, has right hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. Michelle is a LEND Self-Advocate Trainee, a member of Bridge II Sports, and recently facilitated a UNC-COTAD event featuring a panel of health professionals with disabilities. Michelle is active within the disability community including raising awareness for pediatric stroke and creating educational materials for kids with stroke and their families.

 

CHRISTOPHER GROHS, MSOT Class of 2022

In addition to being a second-year OT student, Christopher is Director of Health and Wellness for Graduate and Professional Student Government, and a person with a disability. Christopher developed PTSD after being sexually assaulted in 2016 and was diagnosed with ADHD in 2018. Christopher is the Co-Chair of COTAD UNC Chapter and regularly presents on topics of sex, sexuality, and gender for conferences and continuing education. Christopher believes that mental health is present in and affected by all aspects of our lives, and Christopher is active in promoting mental health and wellness throughout campus and the local community. Christopher loves dancing, team sports, debates, hot tubs, and all the occupations that keep him engaged, chill, and mentally well.

KATIE SORENSEN, OTD, OTR/L

Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Sorensen received her OTD from the University of Southern California in 2016. joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 2017, and currently serves as the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for the MSOT program. Katie also teaches in the MSOT program and works with the UNC Office of Accessibility Resource Services. She is a certified Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and Accessibility Specialist.

Katie was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta and uses a wheelchair. Katie also was born with a great sense of humor and is known for her puns and wheelchair jokes, as well as for having a steady supply of candy in her office for those who need it.

 

COTAD Chapter Events (Coalition of OT Advocates for Diversity)

Virtual Panel:
Medical Providers with Disabilities
Monday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST
(Click here to download flyer)

Diversity Resource Club

Spring 2022

Monthly readings and discussions around topics of race, gender, disability, and occupation.
(Click here to download flyer.)