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 and/or have any questions and/or suggestions about how you can contribute to this project, please contact Rita Fleming-Castaldy at rita.fleming-castaldy@scranton.edu. Please direct all questions regarding the project completion resources provided below to 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 audio 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.


  • 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.


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 23 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.


University of North Dakota Oral History Project

  • This site includes 23 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

'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: