Temple University

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Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Improving lives

At CPH’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, we’re at the forefront of developing innovative academics, research, and social-justice programs to help those who have long-term physical or psychological disabilities have full, satisfying, active, and meaningful lives. Science, technology, and medical innovation have improved the lives of people who have long-term physical or psychological disabilities or are at risk of developing them.

Encompassing Therapeutic Recreation and Occupational Therapy, our programs are nationally recognized for academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and outstanding service in the biological and social sciences.

Occupational Therapy

These graduate programs identify and address the aspects of injury or disability that prevent people from performing essential tasks or engaging in activities that are meaningful to them. Activities and adaptation are used to improve function, performance, independence and quality of life.

Therapeutic Recreation

These undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students for careers as entry-level and advanced recreation therapists that use play and recreation as a means of psychosocial adaptation, health promotion, rehabilitation, and life quality for children, adults, and the elderly who have illnesses and disabilities.

Why Us?

  • We guide national policies, programs, and practices that improve the delivery of services to diverse populations of individuals with disabilities and facilitate their community participation, inclusion, and active living.
  • Our innovative philosophy is firmly grounded in the social model of disability, the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health, capabilities theory, and the independent living movement philosophy.
  • Key concepts in our approach include ecological, opportunity, strengths-based, evidence-based, and empowerment.
  • Both our therapeutic recreation and occupational therapy programs have accreditation and many aspects exceed certification standards.
  • Our academic philosophy focuses on appropriate experiences and evidenced-based interventions for people of all ages who experience disabilities and other life challenges.  
  • Consistent with our solid science and research underpinnings, our professional training emphasizes state-of-the-art, evidence-based practices.

Innovation and Outreach

Intensive student engagement in research projects is beneficial to students' clinical practice and may influence their interest in pursuing an academic career in research. Our four innovative research labs include:

  • Active Living and Quality of Life for Older Adults
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD
  • The International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health (ICF) and Recreational Therapy Evidence Based Practice
  • Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities

Our program's research, education, and service are guided by a respect for and understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity, human rights, and acknowledging that other challenges, such as racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia/heterosexism, interact with ableism and other disability specific discrimination in ways that further limit community participation, inclusion, and active living.