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OTS 10: Exploring Assistive Technology & Sensory Integration With Hopemarie Hower, OTR/L

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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 10 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.

In this episode, Jayson chats with Hopemarie Hower, OTR/L, the winner of the OT Schoolhouse School's Out Giveaway conducted in June of 2018. Together, Jayson and Hopemarie discuss the similarities and differences between practicing OT in California and Florida. Hopemarie also shares how she collaborates with her school team to conduct assistive technology assessments and how she garners buy-in from her teachers when implementing sensory strategies.

Don't want to miss out on future giveaways, be sure to subscribe to our email list!

Have a listen if you would like to hear how Hopemarie is collaborating with the entire school to best help her students.

Links to Show References:

Contact Hopemarie Hower, OTR/L at - A place for OTs and other educators to find available jobs.

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference - Held annually in Orlando, Florida in January

Abilities Expo - A traveling expo that showcases manufactured devices to assist people of all abilities.

Google Docs - Check out our blog post on Google Docs. It includes a video tutorial on how to use the speech-to-text feature.

How does your engine run? (The Alert Program) - A commonly used program to help kids understand self-regulation and their own ability to remain well regulated.

Products mentioned on the show

(Amazon/iTunes Affiliate Links that support the OT Schoolhouse):

Jelly Bean Buttons - Briefly mentioned in the episode, Jelly Bean buttons are used to help non-verbal kids communicate. You can record something like "Hello!" using your voice, then every time the student activates the button you will hear "Hello!" Simple as that.

Proloquo2Go - Also briefly mentioned in the episode, this is an iPad app that allows non-verbal students a more advanced system of communication. Think of the old bulky communication devices, but on a sleek iPad or iPad mini. It's a great app, but it's not cheap.

Velcro Dots - while designed to use together to make something like a poster easily stick to a wall. Us school-based OTs can use them in many ways. One way both Hopemarie and I use them is as a sensory tool that kids can rub their fingers on. Just stick them to the underside of the desk and no one will never even know the student is regulating themselves by rubbing his or her fingers on some velcro.

Theraband - Often used to develop strengthening in sub-acute rehab settings, Theraband also can help kids stay in their seats while getting the movement they need. Take a 2-foot stand of this stuff, tie the ends together and wrap it around the child's chair legs. Now the child can keep their feet busy while attending to classroom activities.

It's funny how so many of the tools we use have so many different names. Hopemarie introduced me to this little tricycle which is powered by trunk movements. I can only imagine how many obstacles courses I could have used this in over the years!

Be sure to subscribe to the OT Schoolhouse email list & get access to our free downloads of Gray-Space paper and the Occupational Profile for school-based OTs.

Have any questions or comments about the podcast? Email Jayson at


Thanks for visiting the podcast show notes! If you enjoyed this episode be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts


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