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Episode 109: From One Coffee Cart to an entire Community-Based Instruction Program

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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 109 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.

Did you know that transitional services can be implemented even before a student gets to high school?

In this episode, we talk about how community-based instruction (CBI) can be implemented in the elementary school setting and how these children benefit greatly from starting early. Debbie Schwind discusses how she developed a campus-based CBI program for the students with just a coffee cart and how the program grew with the help of supportive teachers, staff, and administrators.

Tune in to learn the following objectives:

  • Learners will identify what community-based instruction looks like in an elementary school setting

  • Learners will identify a model that can help with CBI program development

  • Learners will identify the benefits of a CBI program

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Guest Bio

Deborah Schwind, DHSc, OTR/L, BCP, SCSS

Deborah Schwind is an occupational therapist with 30 years of experience in various pediatric settings, with the past 17 years in the public-school setting. She completed her doctoral dissertation from Drexel University. Her research focused on developing job skills, work behaviors, social skills, and self-determination skills through a school-based Community Based Instruction (CBI) program for students with autism in elementary school. She has presented nationally on transition skills, community-based instruction, IADL intervention, accessible curriculum, and adapted art tools. She has also been published on these topics, including a co-author of a chapter in Best Practices in School-Based Occupational Therapy.

She graduated with an undergrad degree in OT from East Carolina University, where she completed internships at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University. She received her graduate degree from Old Dominion University in educational administration. She has worked in pediatric rehab, early intervention, home health, and inpatient (including NICU) as well as outpatient settings, most recently being in school-based practice. She is an active member of the AOTA Community of Practice Transition work group. She is Pediatric Board Certified through AOTA and has a School Specialty Certification. She recently received an Innovation in OT Award for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy.


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