Monday, March 29, 2010


The following is a list of donations currently needed for Guatemala 2010 - persons donating can be directed to bring all donations to our Department of Occupational Therapy at Xavier University, for directions and further details, contact Tina Forschler at 513-745-3150 or

· 12 Neuroprene hug back braces – varied sizes
· 6 boxes each of Velcro in 2”, 1” widths with both adhesive and non-adhesive backing
· 2 small portable sewing machines capable of sewing through heavy belting
· 12 magic markers – thick, permanent, sharpies
· 6 rulers with metal edge
· 2 cans WD 40 and lithium or silicone spray
· 4 rolls Dycem
· 2 metric open end/box end wrenches
· 2 sets metric Allen wrenches
· 10 foam seat cushions
· Webbing straps in 1” & 2” diameters
· 6 gait belts
· 2 bottles GooBeGone
· 2 packages Moleskin
· 2 crescent wrenches
· Theraband and tubing – all resistances and lengths – several boxes of each
· 4 bicycle pumps to leave at each orphanage for w/c tires
· 12 large-sized peanut-shaped therapy balls w/ accompanying air pumps
· 6 small-sized peanut-shaped therapy balls w/ accompanying air pumps
· 2 rechargeable batteries and charger
· 12 gait belts
· 2 small compact but powerful dust buster for w/c shavings that accumulate daily
· 2 levels
· Unlimited number of vibrating toys that have easy access to change battery; include
battery replacements
· 2 packages of dixie cups to allow sharing of drinks with Steve’s kids on lake day
· 24 2” D-rings
· Webbing to create seat belts, harness systems, foot straps – unlimited lengths and varied
· 6 rolls duct tape for noodles
· 20 corn brushes
· 4 sit and spins
· 4 small therapy wedges
· 2 metric socket wrenches
· 12 weighted vests – varied sizes
· 12 weighted blankets
· Splinting material
· Bubbles – high quality that work and produce large bubbles
· 2 large shafted flat head and Phillips screwdrivers for each tool bag
· 2 offset screwdrivers in each tool bag
· 10 wash clothes
· Collection of nuts and bolts
· 4 sensory blankets – washable with different textures
· 6 flash drives to leave behind our care at each orphanage
· 12 boxes of chocolate candy
· $100.00 for pizza night with children from neighborhood who congregate at the home of
Dick Rutgers (connect to his website).
· Money for student scholarship fund to support student participation in upcoming years
· 24 bottles lice shampoo
· 48 diaper wipes
· 48 cans dry powder baby formula

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The Xavier University Department of Occupational Therapy is again offering an international academic service learning option for occupational therapy majors in Summer 2010.

XU occupational therapy majors are currently required to complete 30 hours of service learning. Traditionally, this has been accomplished in the greater Cincinnati area where students have worked with and learned from persons who sustained traumatic brain injuries, are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or local elementary school children.

Now, they have yet another option - to work with and learn from children who live in orphanages in Guatemala. Faculty, practitioners, and colleagues of the Department of Occupational Therapy accompany them. This is an exciting opportunity and privilege for all. This blog will be used as the main communication tool between those participants in this summer's service learning opportunity and their friends, family, coworkers and loved ones - during the June 12-20 journey.

The 2010 trip will be 9 days in length. Two days will be spent in travel, two-three in cultural excursions, & four or so in work at the orphanages.

Possibile destinations for cultural excursions: Lake Atitlan, volcano hiking, shopping, museums, Safe Passages tour, Mayan villiage visit, educational facilities visit, and/or orphanage for typical children.

Plans are in process for work at the “orphanages”. The following orphanages are among those likely:

Our group of 24 persons will divide into two groups and those two groups into sub-teams. Each subteam will focus on play and sensory or technology. Likely, each group of 12 persons will stay at each site for two days and, then, for the other two days, go to an other site. In that way, continuity of care and education can be provided to the caretakers of the children, yet, offer Guatemala 2010 participants the opportunity to experience two of the four sites. Each sub-team will be comprised of students and practitioners who will work together as a team. Group and sub-team assignments will be made accordingly to experience, expertise, interest, and availability of Spanish speaking persons.

Transportation each day will be provided by Steve Osborn of Amour Del Nino. Steve, and his wife, Shyrel have an orphanage for about 50 children. They are dedicated to providing a home-like atmosphere for their children many of whom have been abandoned and literally “dropped off” at their doorstep. Go to their website at to learn more about Steve and Shyrel and their children. Additionally, click here to see a recent clip that was on CNN about Guatemalan adoptions. Toward the end of the segment, Shyrel is interviewed about the controversy that surrounds some Guatemalan orphanages and the international adoption process.


What is service learning?

Service-learning is a "course-based, credit-bearing educational experience that allows students to (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility" (Bringle & Hatcher, 1995, p. 112).

The following points further define service learning:

  1. The learner provides the service, the service-recipients provide the learning. Seen similarly - the service reinforces and strengthens the learning; the learning reinforces and strengthens the service.
  2. It is a way of “learning by doing.” Aristotle, said, “We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” Similarly, MacNichol (1993) stated, “[We become] compassionate by doing compassionate acts, caring by doing caring acts, and good citizens by acting as good citizens.”
  3. It builds the “5 C’s”of: caring, compassion, character, citizenship, and connections (Wills, 1992).
  4. It uses reflection as an important component to support the learning process. Reflection can occur in a variety of forms: reflection in action, reflection upon action, and reflection upon reflection.
  5. The outcome of service learning is typically two-fold: 1). To empower the learner; 2) To empower the service recipient.

The following points further define occupational justice:

  1. Numerous sub-types of occupational justices have been identified (Christiansen & Townsend, 2004). Among them are the following:
    • Occupational deprivation – when people cannot engage in occupations that are necessary and meaningful to them due to factors outside their control;
    • Occupational alienation – when people experience a prolonged disconnectedness, emptiness, and/or sense of meaninglessness;
    • Occupational imbalance – when some people are over-occupied and others are under-occupied.
  2. To promote occupational justice in a population or community one might engage in: awareness raising, activism, advocacy, education, training, and experiential teaching (Duncan & Watson, 2004).
  3. Occupational justice initiatives that empower individuals and communities while ensuring sustainability of the initiative are the ones most successful in promoting change.

How can I learn more?
Go to the following websites to learn more about occupational justice:


Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1995). A service learning curriculum for faculty.Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, 112-122.

Christiansen, C. H., & Townsend, E. A. (2004). Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Duncan, M., & Watson, R. (2004). Transformation through occupation: Towards a prototype. In R. Watson & L. Swartz (Eds.), Transformation through occupation(pp. 301-318). London, Whurr.

Kronenberg, F., Algado, S. S., & Pollard, N. (2005). Occupational therapy without borders: Learning from the spirit of survivors. Edinburgh, England: Elsevier.