Oral History Project

Introduction

The L&LS OT Oral History Preservation Project seeks to collect, document, and disseminate the personal stories of occupational therapy’s leaders, the shared recollections of persons with robust knowledge of a deceased leader’s contributions to the field, and the shared memories of OT practitioners about seminal events in the profession’s history.

The project honors the legacies of our profession’s leaders by preserving for perpetuity their contributions to occupational therapy’s practice, education, and/or scholarship and the memories of OT practitioners who personally experienced the impact of significant historical moments on the profession, those we serve, and society at large.

This page contains information as to how you can become involved with this project, resources for project completion, and links to oral histories, interviews, collective recollections, transcriptions, and/or synopses that have been collected by OT L&LS members, the AOTA, State Occupational Therapy Associations, Universities, and others.

Get Involved

The acquisition of oral histories, interviews with our profession's leaders, and shared recollections about deceased leaders and/or seminal moments in the profession’s history is a work in progress. If you are interested in contributing to this project, have any questions or suggestions on how you can contribute, or have questions regarding project completion resources, please contact the OTL&LS Administrator at administrator@otleaders.org.

Project Completion Resources

Interviews of Leaders

Interview release form: this form will be required to be completed for all interviews that will be directly posted on the OTL&LS website. All completed forms will need to be signed, dated, and submitted to administrator@otleaders.org. Videos from public domains (e.g., YouTube) do not require a release form.

'We Remember:' Recollections on Leaders' Enduring Legacies

Release form for Recollections on Leaders’ Enduring Legacies: this form will be required to be completed for all recollections that will be directly posted on the OTL&LS website. All completed forms will need to be signed, dated, and submitted to administrator@otleaders.org. Videos from public domains (e.g., YouTube) do not require a release form.

'Remember When:' Recollections of Seminal Events in OT's History

Release form for Recollections of Seminal Events in OT’s History: this form will be required to be completed for all recollections that will be directly posted on the OTL&LS website. All completed forms will need to be signed, dated, and submitted to administrator@otleaders.org. Videos from public domains (e.g., YouTube) do not require a release form.

General Project Resources for Audio/Video Files and Transcribing

Guidelines for recording a Zoom interview (with transcript feature)

Guidelines for audio recording telephone interviews

Guidelines for submitting audio and video files

Guidelines for transcribing audio recordings

OT L&LS Interviews of Leaders and Transcriptions

The following interviews were conducted by members of the OT L&LS with OT L&LS members and other recognized leaders in the profession to obtain their perspectives about their professional trajectory, extensive career in occupational therapy, and lasting contributions to the field.

NOTE: To ensure ability to play complete audio files, please download the recorded interview files to play with your computer's default audio player as opposed to playing the file through Google Drive.

OT L&LS Group Recollections

The primary goal of the We Remember: Recollections on Leaders’ Enduring Legacies project is to commemorate and honor the accomplishments of occupational therapy’s deceased leaders who substantially influenced the course of the profession and advanced occupational therapy’s practice, education, and/or scholarship. The following interviews were conducted in a group recollection format by members of the OT L&LS, other recognized leaders in the profession, and/or individuals with personal knowledge of the leader whose legacy is being remembered and preserved.
NOTE: To ensure ability to play complete audio files, please download the recorded interview files to play with your computer's default audio player as opposed to playing the file through Google Drive.

  • Robert K. Bing Recording (Group recollection completed on 1/27/21 by Charles Christiansen, Penny Kyler, Suzanne Peloquin, and Gary Wade, with Ellen Kolodner present). Read Bing's 1981 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Occupational therapy revisited: A paraphrastic journey.

  • Gail Fidler Recording (Group recollection completed on 3/29/2021 by Dagny Fidler, Eric Fidler, Rita Fleming-Castaldy, Janice Hengel, Penny Kyler, and Suzanne Peloquin). Read Fidler's 1966 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Learning as a growth process: A conceptual framework for professional education.

  • Jim Hinojosa Recording (Group recollection completed on 6/3/21 by Gary Bedell, Marie Louise Blount, Rita Fleming-Castaldy, and Paula Kramer). Read Hinojosa's 2007 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Becoming innovators in an era of hyperchange.

  • These interviews were conducted with several of the 100 most influential people in occupational therapy for the profession's Centennial celebration in 2017 to obtain their perspectives about their careers, practice innovations, and the evolution and future of the profession.

The University of Scranton OTArchive Interviews

The following interviews of occupational therapy leaders were completed by University of Scranton graduate students and recorded for the AOTA Centennial History Project called the OTArchive. The AOTA has provided the OT L&LS access to these interviews. Each interviewed leader was a recognized expert in the specified area. Thus, the interviews include specific content-focused questions along with general ones. All but four were completed as a component of a graduate capstone historical research project that critically examined a self-selected topic from the profession’s inception to the present. For more information about this historical research project, see Fleming-Castaldy, R. P. (2018). Developing occupational therapy students’ information and historical literacy competencies: An inter-professional collaborative project. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 106, 340-351. doi: 10/5195/jmla.2018.332

  • Jeanette Bair-Tribby Recording (Interviewed by Niki Ioannou and Cassidy Hollander) on the topic of AOTA

  • Tina Barth Recording (Interviewed by Victoria Giamella) on the topic of OT mental health practice with people who are homeless

  • Brent Braveman Recording (Interviewed by Sarah Morrill) on the topic of social justice and disability rights

  • Estelle Breines Recording (Interviewed by Kasey Fitzgerald) on the topic of occupation-based practice

  • Mary Ellen Buning Recording (Interviewed by Amy Trent) on the topic of functional mobility enabling participation

  • Janice Burke Recording (Interviewed by Kelly Simon) on the topic of occupation-based practice. Read Burke's 2010 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: What's going on here? Deconstructing the interactive encounter.

  • Marion Conneen Recording (Interviewed by Megan McCallister) on the topic of moral treatment

  • Betty Cornelius Recording

  • Betty Cox Recording (Interviewed by Meghan Erwin) on the topic of COTAs

  • Col. Bonnie DeMars Recording (Interviewed by Christina Gavalas) on the topic of the AMSC

  • Mary Evert Recording (Interviewed by Megan Zimmerman) on the topic of the WFOT

  • Lisa Ann Fagan Recording (Interviewed by Genevieve Francis) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Denise Finch Recording (Interviewed by Samantha Kintzly) on the topic of vocational rehabilitation

  • Sue Fine Recording (Interviewed by Liviana Sacco) on the topic of moral treatment. Read Fine's 1991 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Resilience and human adaptability: Who rises above adversity?

  • Paul Fontana Recording (Interviewed by Chelsea Blair) on the topic of vocational rehabilitation

  • Frank Gainer Recording (Interviewed by Rachel Cisto) on the topic of amputations

  • Tony Gentry Recording (Interviewed by Elizabeth Masci) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Glen Gillen Recording (Interviewed by Katie Leithauser) on the topic of theory-based practice. Read Gillen's 2013 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: A fork in the road: An occupational hazard.

  • Nedra Gillette Recording (Interviewed by Christina Gavalas)

  • Naomi Greenberg Recording (Interviewed by Brianne Hooper) on the topic of COTA history

  • Mariann Gross Recording (Interviewed by Emily Zuckerman) on the topic of dementia

  • Jim Hinojosa Recording (Interviewed by Beth Schoen) on the topic of assessments. Read Hinojosa's 2007 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Becoming innovators in an era of hyperchange.

  • Margo Holm Recording (Interviewed by Danielle Jakubik) on the topic of OT with persons with dementia and neurocognitive disorders. Read Holm's 2000 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Our mandate for the new millennium: Evidence-based practice.

  • Robin Jones Recording (Interviewed by Elizabeth Zimmerman) on the topic of COTAs and assistive technology

  • Paula Kramer Recording (Interviewed by Niki Ioannoi) on the topic of the AOTA

  • Kathryn Loukas Recording (Interviewed by Alex Bernardin) on the topic of feminism

  • Danielle MacCourtney Recording (Interviewed by Andrew Candela and Genevieve Francis) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Lisa Mahaffey Recording (Interviewed by Kaitlyn Rau) on the topic of behavior managment and the social model of disability

  • Kristen Maisano Recording (Interviewed by Charlotte Banzhof) on the topic of OT's role with Veterans and PTSD

  • Kathleen Matuska Recording (Interviewed by Christina Gavalas) on the topic of life balance and quality of life

  • Lucy Miller Recording (Interviewed by Ellen Huvane) on the topic of sensory integration therapy

  • Karen Moore Recording (Interviewed by Emily Subers) on the topic of sensory processing

  • Marlene Morgan Recording (Interviewed by Natalie Movsesian) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Dawn Nilsen Recording (Interviewed by Stephanie Voith) on the topic of theory-based practice

  • Laurie Olson Recording (Interviewed by Bridget Pawlowski) on the topic of sensory processing

  • Anita Perr Recording (Interviewed by Morgan Malishchak) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Antje Price Recording (Interviewed by Abbey Kennedy) on the topic of feminism within the profession

  • Cordie Puttkammer Recording and Interview Transcript (Interviewed by Christina Gavalas) on the topic of U.S. legislation and its impact on OT practice

  • Mary Vining Radomski Recording (Interviewed by Meredith Miller) on the topic of amputations

  • Emily Raphael-Greenfield Recording (Interviewed by Katherine Fields) on the topic of mental health homelessness and stigma

  • Carol Reinson Recording (Interviewed by Alyssa Degurski) on the topic of pediatrics

  • Fred Sammons Recording (Interviewed by Alyssa Cheng) on the topic of adaptive equipment

  • Roseann Schaaf Recording (Interviewed by Colleen Kelly) on the topic of sensory integration therapy

  • Sarah Schoen Recording (Interviewed by Ellen Huvane) on the topic of sensory integration therapy

  • Frank Stein Recording (Interviewed by Jamie Torre) on the topic of the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) and social justice

  • Roy Swift Recording (Interviewed by Emily Pearce) on the topic of Army Medical Specialists

  • Teresa Tisdell Recording (Interviewed by Jessica DeCraene) on the topic of functional mobility enabling participation

  • Catherine Trombly-Latham Recording (Interviewed by Beth Schoen and Stephanie Skurski) on the topic of occupational therapy assessments. Read Trombly's 1997 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture: Occupation: Purposefulness and meaningfulness as therapeutic mechanisms.

  • Karen Vance Recording (Interviewed by Melinie Gonzales) on the topic of home-based care

  • Mary Warren Recording (Interviewed by Marjorie Toron) on the topic of low vision

  • Elsa Zavoda Recording (Interviewed by Christina Gavalas) on the topic of low vision

Maryland OT Association & Towson University: Prominent OTs in Maryland's History

  • This site includes important dates in OT's history, particularly in Maryland. If you scroll mid-way down the site, you will find information of 22 interview synopses with OT leaders who were selected by the History Committee for their significant contributions to OT in Maryland. The History Committee of the Maryland History Project worked in collaboration with Towson University to complete oral histories with the occupational therapists selected by the committee.

Tuskegee University

University of North Dakota Oral History Project

  • This site includes 80 interviews of occupational therapy leaders who have made significant contributions to the field on a state, regional, national and/or international level. It includes interview videos, posters, and abstracts.

The University of St. Augustine's Tea with a Scholar

Additional Resources

  • The Salute to the OT Pioneers series is a continuing education resource developed and delivered by OccupationalTherapy.com that includes interviews with over a dozen leaders in the field which have been conducted by OT L&LS member Franklin Stein, OTR/L, PhD, FAOTA. OccupationalTherapy.com has provided the OT L&LS free access to the transcripts of the "20Q with Franklin Stein" interview articles. Leaders interviewed include Caroline Baum, Michael Iwama, Charlotte Royeen, Fred Sammons, and OT L&LS members Kristine Haertl, Karen Jacobs, Barbara Kornblau, and Kathlyn (Kitty) Reed.
    Note: To earn CEUs for these articles, OT L&LS members can join OccupationalTherapy.com. OT L&LS members can use the promo code OTLLS21 to receive a bonus membership month and have 13 months of unlimited CEU access for $99.


'My OT Journey'

  • 'My OT Journey' is a student-run podcast that was created by Dr Robin Akselrud, OTD, OTR/L to foster connections and unity between OT and OTA students and OT/OTA practitioners. It seeks to develop students’ leadership skills and promote the profession by having OT/OTA students interview aspiring practitioners, professionals that can serve as resources for students as they prepare for their future practice, and recognized leaders in the field. Leader interviews include: