Occupational therapists and the IDEA mandates in the kindergarten-12 school environments
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Study examined graduation-cohort and professional experience impact on IDEA2004 mandated service provision by occupational therapy professionals working in kindergarten through 12 th grades in New York State public schools. Participants were recruited through mails, email and postings on social-networks and professional-forums. Participants were categorized into two groups dependent upon graduation year [G1 (before 2005); G2 (2005 and after)]. An investigator-designed 35-item questionnaire was completed. Participants received $10 gift-cards. The study aimed to find significant differences between G1 and G2 awareness and capacity, and perceptions regarding their school's conduciveness. Using SPSS 18.0, Fisher-Exact and Mann-Whitney U tests were run to analyze data. Significant difference was found between G1 and G2 aggregate responses for 10 awareness items ( z = −2.139, p = .032) and was not found for participation in capacity building activities ( z = −.733, p = .464) or perceived school conduciveness ( z = −1.61, p =.108). Future research on graduate and post-graduate professional development activities is needed.