Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass


Community Integration; Disabled Persons; Leisure Activities; Social Participation; Adult


Upon an initial review of literature, it was found that life expectancy of individuals with developmental disabilities has been increasing which is leading to a greater number of adults with developmental disabilities living in the community. Because these individuals are living longer, it puts an extended burden on caregivers and the adults with developmental disabilities are being placed in group homes. Adults with developmental disabilities have limited access to activities outside of group homes (Mansell, Elliott, Beadle-Brown, Ashman, & Macdonald, 2002; Abbott & McConkey, 2006). They are spending most of their time engaged in more passive activities and have little social interaction with people other than parents, staff, or other adults with developmental disabilities (Felce & Perry, 1995; & Lippold & Burns, 2009). Because of this, opportunities for social participation and leisure activities within the community are limited leading to a lack of community integration.

Occupational therapists can play a vital role in the development of these skills and extend their performance range in order to engage adults with developmental disabilities into leisure activities and integrate them into the community. The product of this scholarly project, which is intended for use by occupational therapists, is an intervention guide focusing on three areas: social participation, leisure exploration and participation, and community integration for adults with developmental disabilities. An in-service presentation was also created to educate administrative personnel and staff about the issues and to advocate for use of the activities in the intervention guide group homes. The methodology for the project consisted of an extensive review of literature and resources. The interventions in the guide include those created by the authors and others that were adapted using materials from other resources and authors. Cole’s Seven Steps were not used in their entirety but were used to guide the structure of the group activities, and the Ecology of Human Performance model was foundational in the development of the product as well (Schwartzberg, Howe, & Barnes, 2009)

The recommendations for this project include: further researching on available programs addressing all areas of occupation in group home settings, completing outcome research on the effectiveness of the interventions included in the guide, expanding the use of the guide to those who reside at home with caregivers, and an addition of more interventions into the guide using evidence-based practice. The limitations of this project are that it has not been implemented into practice and does not address all areas of occupation.