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Assistant Clinical Professor
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Bondurant Hall 2052—CB #7122, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Phone: (919) 966-7618


  • OTD, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, 2016, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • MA, Occupational Therapy, 2006, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • BA, Psychology, 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


  • ADAC, ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program, 2018, University of Missouri

Personal Statement

I graduated from Carolina with a degree in psychology in 2004 and then completed my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 2006. While a still a student at USC, I embarked on an international fieldwork experience to Ghana, Africa that opened my eyes and heart to serving people with disabilities in developing countries.  As an occupational therapist and a person with a disability, I find that I have a unique perspective and skill set that allows me to connect with and serve people with disabilities around the world. Over the course of my career, I have travelled on over 10 different trips to provide therapy for people with disabilities in Ghana, Thailand, Peru, Mexico, and China. As an occupational scientist, I have developed a particular interest in the role occupational therapy can play in increasing the quality of life for people with disabilities in developing counties. Specifically, I am highly interested in learning and understanding more about how using occupational therapy to engage people with disabilities in meaningful activities can have a positive impact on global health issues.

While I was a student at Carolina I was a member of the women’s varsity rowing team (Row Heels!). My personal interests include: cooking, traveling, playing and watching sports, watching my Carolina Tar Heels beat Duke and win national championships, rooting for the USC football team (Fight On!), and engaging in a competitive game of skee-ball.

Courses Taught

  • OCCT 728: Perspectives on Disability & Health II – Adults (Fall 2017-present)
  • OCCT 727: Perspectives on Disability & Health I – Pediatrics (Spring 2018-present)

 Research, Clinical and Community Service Interests

  • The use of occupational therapy in decreasing cultural stigma towards people with disabilities
  • Occupational therapy’s role in improving public health around the world
  • ADA laws and rights for people with disabilities
  • Wheelchair seating and positioning to maximize independence
  • Community integration for people with disabilities in developing countries
  • Universal design and home modifications
  • Teaching therapeutic techniques to therapists and caregivers internationally


  • Accommodations and modifications committee in the Academic Resources and Services department
  • UNC Disability Advisory Committee


OTD Capstone Portfolio:  Accessible Trainings – Bringing wheelchair accessibility awareness and education to people around the world.   Presented to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 2016.

Professional Presentations

  • April 2019     American Occupational Therapy Association. New Orleans, Louisiana.  Beyond the ramp and reached: How to truly prepare your clients for life in a wheelchair.
  • Sept 2017      Occupational Therapy African Regional Group. Accra, Ghana. Presented on findings from OTD portfolio: Accessible Trainings – Bringing wheelchair accessibility awareness and education to people around the world. The power of having a disability: One occupational therapist with a disability’s personal experience.
  • Oct 2014        University of Education at Winneba. Apam, Ghana. Guest lectured to a community based rehabilitation class about adaptive equipment and the importance of modifying an environment to fit the needs of people with disabilities.
  • March 2011   University of Education at Winneba. Apam, Ghana. Guest Lectured in the Community Based Rehabilitation program about different mobility devices and the appropriate use and safety of different devices.
  • Nov 2010       University of Southern California. Los Angeles, California. Guest lectured in physical disabilities class on wheelchair mobility, transferring and safety. Spoke about both environment and social barriers that people who use wheelchairs are faced with.
Kathryn "Katie" Sorenson