Disability in a Global Context: Tel Aviv

From January 3-16, 2016 NYU’s OT Department held its elective course, Disability in a Global Context, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Associate Professor Yael Goverover led the course in her home country, sharing not only her knowledge of occupational therapy in Israel, but also by sharing her Israeli culture with the group of 16 NYU students representing the departments of Occupational Therapy, Early Childhood Special Education, International Education, among others.

During the intensive two-week course, students studied and observed the intersection between culture, disability, treatment, and rehabilitation. The course examined the breadth of disabilities and medical services offered in Israel. In addition to lectures from medical professionals in various fields, the students visited hospitals, academic centers, veteran centers, and living facilities to look at how individuals receive both acute care and rehabilitation services in the country. Students even had the opportunity to experiment with state-of-the-art technology at various site visits. They experienced multi-sensory therapy in a Snoezelen used to treat patients with autism, developmental disabilities, and brain injury, and also witnessed and participated with the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment, a virtual reality technology that is used to treat a variety of physical disabilities.

Students also experienced the highlights of Israeli culture by visiting Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, hiking in the Negev desert, and eating their way through the markets. Professor Goverover hosted the students at her house for dinner and served a traditional Israeli meal.

At the end of the two weeks, the students on the trip were enthused about their entire experience. Despite the broad range of disciplines, they had all gained many professional and personal experiences that are applicable to their area of study and future careers.

Students posing for a photo after learning about and experiencing the Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Therapy at Beit Issie Shapiro Hospital

Students trying one of the virtual reality therapies offered at Sheba Medical Center Hospital

Fall 2015 Class Notes

Three NYU OTs who are still friends and have been in the field for more than 30 years. They were together this Saturday, reminiscing of the old Barney Building, soup from B & H Dairy and walking in Central Park talking about Neuro or maybe not. Joan Feder (left), Connie Coyne (center), and Hanna Wegh (right). The three graduated in 1980/1981.


Turki Aljuhani (MA ‘15) is currently working as a lecturer in occupational therapy at King Saudi Abdulizaz University (KSAU) in Saudi Arabia, where he is working to improve the education of occupational therapy. In addition, he is planning to introduce the role of occupational therapy in the school system.

Tracey D. Bates (MS ‘09) has been practicing OT in various settings for the past eight years. She recently became a certified lymphedema specialist through the Norton School of Lymphatic Studies. She now works as a senior occupational therapist at the George Washington University Hospital Outpatient Center in Washington, D.C. Her clinical interests and focuses are breast cancer rehabilitation, chronic venous insufficiencies, and head and neck cancer.

Lindsey Biel (MA ‘99) will be conducting a workshop, “Sensory Smart Strategies for Real-Life Challenges,” as part of the NYU OT Department’s 75th Gala Celebration on February 28, 2016.

Kim Conti (Worrell) (MA ‘94) is a certified hand therapist (CHT), a title she earned last year. One of her stepchildren married in September 2015, and another stepchild is expecting her first baby in June 2016.

Lisa Davis (MA ‘80) owns Therapeutic Resources, a staffing agency in NYC for OT, PT, and speech therapists. She just authored a book with her business partner entitled, “Occupational Therapy Student To Clinician; Making The Transition,” which was published by Slack Inc. in April 2015. She and her business partner were inspired to write about the practical problems they faced placing therapists in jobs from their staffing agency. They felt that even experienced therapists were not aware of topics such as negotiating a salary, using emotional intelligence skills, and polishing professional behaviors. It is a great book to include in the syllabus for fieldwork.

Mary V. Donohue (PhD, OTL, FAOTA ’73 & ’85) just published the lead article in the December 2015 issue of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health entitled “Social Behavioral Goals and Reimbursable Developmental Activity Strategies.” She also presented this topic on November 7, 2015 at the NYSOTA Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains, NY.

Beth Elenko (MA ‘96, PhD ‘00) is an assistant professor at SUNY Downstate’s occupational therapy program. She is currently directing a specialization in early intervention for graduate students at SUNY’s master’s OT program.

Linnea Erlanson Franits (BS ‘82, MA ‘97) is an associate professor of occupational therapy at Utica College in Utica, NY. She lives in Syracuse with her husband and son. She is working on a PhD in disability studies and her research interests are in narratives of sibling disability.

Laure Friedman (MA ‘02) currently works in pediatrics doing private evaluations, consultations, and treatment in families’ homes. She also sees many kids in early intervention through Connecticut’s Birth to Three program.

Wan Chen Kang (MA ‘04) is a doctoral candidate in the health services and systems research program at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore after spending eight years working in California and Massachusetts and earning an SM in Health Policy and Management in 2012.

Gloria Lucker (BS ‘57) was recently elected President of the New York State Occupational Therapy Association.

Diane Powers Dirette (PhD ‘97) is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. It is the first open-access journal for the profession and has quickly gained national and international readership and authorship. It can be accessed without subscription at OJOT.org.

Laura Renstrom Koch (BS ‘81) joined her husband in his holistic health practice one-and-a-half years ago in order to provide neurobiofeedback services. She made the transition after 30+ years of working in more traditional OT settings. She has two wonderful grown daughters and a wonderful son-in-law. She is expecting her first foster grandchild next month.

Nancy Robert Dooley (MA ‘98, PhD ‘01) directs an MSOT program for people who are practicing COTAs at the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island. She also leads teams of OT practitioners who bring services to Jamaica where rehabilitation is very scarce. Her focus has been on improving quality of life and caregiver education for adults with psychological, cognitive, and physical disabilities living in a long-term care community.

Rhoda Scherer Cohen (BA ‘49, MA ‘76) worked at Coney Island Hospital for about 20 years. She then opened Pediatric Therapy Center for the Board of Education where she worked for about another 20 years. She retired recently again and developed CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) and has since become her own occupational therapist. She has loved every minute of her working years and still follow changes in the field!

Rebecca Shapey (MS ‘15) began working in Outpatient Rehab at JFK Johnson Rehab Institute in Edison, NJ in December of 2015. She writes, “My parents primarily have hand injuries or strokes, and I wake up every morning looking forward to working with them!”

Christine Sproat (MA ‘01) has been the director and owner of Canyon Kids Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services in Bethesda, MD for nine years. She is so excited to run its successful outdoor adventure camp this summer for children with developmental delay and autism!

Jackie Tamayo (McLaurin) (MS ‘12) was selected as OrthoCarolina’s 2016 hand therapy resident. She has been married to her best friend for almost two years.

Daniela Wachholtz (MA ‘10, DPS ‘12) is currently working in the OT department at Universidad de los Andes in Chile. She is working with preschool children with self-regulation issues in a private practice implementing the “Alert Program.”



Faculty Achievements: Grants and Publications

A complete list of recent achievements by the faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy.


Kristie Patten-Koenig, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy

Principal Investigator: “Oh the Places Students with ASD Can Go: Development of the ASD Nest High School Model.” FAR Fund. 9/15 to 10/16. $50,000

Principal Investigator: “NYU ASD Nest Support Project.” NYC Department of Education. 7/15 to 6/16. $1,375,000

Co-Principal Investigator: “Autism: Exploring interdisciplinary approaches to a positive life trajectory.” The Humanities Initiative Research Collaborative. 4/14 to 4/16. $20,000

Yael Goverover, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Principal Investigator: “A pilot study of a new functional cognitive-motor dual task protocol MS.” Collaborative Network of New Jersey (MSCNNJ). 4/15 to 4/16. $25,000

Co-Principal Investigator: “Actual Reality: measuring everyday life function activity in Multiple Sclerosis patients.” Biogen IDEC. 5/15 to 5/17. $225,000

Co-Principal Investigator: “The Use of Actual Reality to Measure Everyday Life Functional Activity in Multiple Sclerosis.” Biogen IDEC. 12/14 to 12/15. $139,000

Gerald Voelbel, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Co-Principal Investigator (Jan Plass, Co-PI): “Computerized Cognitive Training Game for Executive Abilities.” Steinhardt Challenge IDEA Grant. 9/15 to 8/16. $5,100


Tracy Chippendale, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Chippendale, T. (2015). The “Aging Other” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Early online

Chippendale, T. (2015). “Factors associated with interest in working with seniors among health science students: Implications for educational practices” Journal of Nursing Education, 54, S89-93

Bear-Lehman, J., Chippendale, T. & Albert, S. (2016). Approaches to Screening and Assessment in Gerontological Occupational Therapy.  In Barney & Perkinson (Eds.) Occupational Therapy with Aging Adults: Promoting Quality of Life through Collaborative Practice. St. Louis: Elsevier

Jim Hinojosa, Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Gillen, G. & Hinojosa, J. (2015) “He Said—He Said: A Scholarly Conversation about Assessment” The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3 (3), Article 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1198

Hinojosa, J. & Howe, T.-H. (In Press). EPortfolio: “The scholarly capstone for the practice doctoral degree in occupational therapy” Open Journal of Occupational Therapy

Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

Lee, T.-I., Howe, T.-H., Chen, H.-L., & Wang, T.-N. (In Press). “Predicting handwriting legibility in Taiwanese elementary school children” American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Hinojosa, J. & Howe, T.-H. (In Press). EPortfolio: “The scholarly capstone for the practice doctoral degree in occupational therapy” Open Journal of Occupational Therapy

Shi, Y. & Howe, T.-H. (2016).A survey of occupational therapy practice in Beijing” Occupational Therapy International. DOI: 10.1002/oti.1423

Howe, T.-H., Sheu, C.-F., Hsu, Y.-W., Wang, T.-N., & Wang, L.-W. (2016). “Early neurodevelopmental assessments as predictors of neuromotor outcomes in preterm children at 5 years of age” Research in Developmental Disabilities, 48, 231-241; DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2015.11.003

Chen, H.-L.,Yeh, C.-F. & Howe, T.-H. (2015). “Postural control during standing reach in children with Down syndrome” Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38,345-351; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.024

Kristie Patten-Koenig, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy

Tomcheck, S., & Patten-Koenig, K. (In Press). “Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders” Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association



Now Open for Registration! Sensory Smart Strategies for Real-Life Challenges


Saturday, February 28, 2016
1:00 – 5:00 PM
NYU Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, Room 914

Click here to register for this workshop.

Sensory Smart Strategies for Real-Life Challenges
Practical Strategies and Solutions for Maximizing Participation of Children and Teens in Activities of Self Care, Learning and Play at Home, School and in the Community 

Lindsey Biel, MA ’99, OTR/L

Course Description 

This presentation will demystify sensory processing difficulties in children and teens, emphasizing practical strategies and solutions for maximizing participation in self-care, learning, and playing at home, at school, and in the community.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Define sensory processing and recognize sensory processing challenges in children.
  • Understand how sensory challenges impact behavior and learning.
  • Implement at least 15 “sensory diet” activities and environmental modifications to help children reach and maintain an optimal state of arousal.
  • Use strategies to cope with sensitivity to noise, touch, movement, sights, taste, smell, and sensory overload.
  • Share “sensory smart” parenting and teaching strategies with others.
  • Learn about the special challenges for teenagers.

Presenter Bio

Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L, is a pediatric occupational therapist with a private practice in New York City who evaluates and treats children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing issues, developmental delays, physical disabilities and other challenges. Her latest book is Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens, published by W.W. Norton. She is also coauthor of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, with a foreword by Temple Grandin and co-creator of the Sensory Processing Master Class DVD program. She teaches parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, and others across the country.


NYU OT 75th Anniversary Celebration


NYU OT Students Attend Diversity Workshop

In November, current NYU OT students had the opportunity to attend a special diversity workshop in conjunction with students from the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department (CSD).

The two departments came together for a workshop that focused on diversity, and more specifically how diversity impacts client and professional interactions. The workshop was led by the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (NYU CMEP) and the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development. It was a great opportunity for students to interact with others and see the role diversity plays in a professional environment.

NYU OT and CSD Students participate in Diversity Workshop