The Dance Department worked with Occupational Therapy this autumn on a day of inter-professional learning for students and staff. The day provided an opportunity for dance and OT students to understand how several physical limitations might affect a person’s movements. Workshops took place at Teesside University’s Mercuria Studio and were the result of several months of consultation between the two teams in an effort to use inter-disciplinary learning to provide students with a diverse skill set.
Students wore glasses that partially obstructed their vision, bands to mimic the effect of a missing limb, and suits to help them understand the restriction of an arthritic body. Movement exercises were then delivered by staff to help the students consider how the restrictions might affect people physically, mentally, and psychologically.
The result was a rich discussion and increased understanding for both staff and students. One student commented the day “made me aware of how I should use empathy within practice for ALL clients”. Another said the session made them think about “how limb restrictions/amputees will be affected not only on the physical level, but mentally and psychologically. The tiredness and overall strain would be overwhelming to begin with.”