Inclusion Project for Students with OI
Interview with Jessica Chemtov, Kinesiology student and
Galil Osman, Occupational Therapy student; both at McGill University in Montreal, Canada
We both came to learn about OI through our respective disciplines. We are research trainees of Dr. Argerie Tsimicalis who is an Associate Professor at McGill University and a Nurse Scientist at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Canada.
Who is behind the project?
The Shriners Hospitals for Children (Canada), McGill University, Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital (Norway), George-Vanier School and Montreal School Services Center partnered on this project for a global view of the activities that children take part in throughout their school day and the adaptations and recommendations that could be made to optimize their schooling experiences.
How was it financed?
This project was financed by the in-kind contributions of each affiliation who permitted the clinicians to generate their time to providing feedback. Dr. Tsimicalis is personally supported by a Junior 1 Research Scholar Award from the FRQS. We are grateful to Tunis Shriners and Al Shamal for their ongoing support of research being conducted at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada.
Tell us a bit more about the tool itself!
This tool was created to ease the integration of the child or adolescent with OI into the school setting. This tool can be filled out by any healthcare professional who works in getting the child ready to go back to school. The final tool includes 16 sections supplying the student and school staff with a summary of the care the student should receive in all aspects of the school day.
Items included were: general information about the student, fracture response protocol, student inclusion recommendation, mobility considerations, transfer consideration, toileting protocol, physical education class recommendations, fieldtrip information, transportation considerations, evacuation plan, seating and scholarly considerations, consent and authorization forms and an annual renewal document. We show you an excerpt from the tool to highlight key features included in the school plan.
For example, there is a section about the student’s mobility requirements and a section for playground recommendations.
In addition, we have made a fillable PDF for the healthcare provider to individualize the program for the student as every child has unique needs when it comes to their learning environment.
What were the reasons for starting this project?
Rehabilitation specialists like physiotherapists and occupational therapists draft letters detailing recommendations for adaptations to the student’s schedule to optimize their learning environment. This tool allows healthcare professionals to share and communicate issues and solutions with the school in a more tailored and efficient way.
Do you think these recommendations are applicable also for other countries?
These recommendations are currently being translated into French for Shriners Canada. In addition, the recommendations are being translated into Norwegian by our partners on this project at the Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital. We will begin integrating the tool into practice. If others are interested in integrating the tool into practice as well, they may reach out to us. We are seeking to establish a process for evaluating the tool and welcome input from others.
Do you have a message for the readers of OIFE Magazine?
We welcome you to use the tool and do not hesitate to tell us what else is needed to optimize the experiences of children with OI.