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Event Details

Physical therapy & critical perspectives of disability


ACAPT's Consortium of Humanities, Ethics & Professionalism (CHEP) believes that excellence in physical therapy education and clinical practice requires the ability to make a meaningful connection with the patient and make decisions in uncertain circumstances. PT instructors at ACAPT member institutions can join CHEP for free.

As the profession of physical therapy evolves, and as ongoing efforts to address DEI are made, discussion around the profession’s relationship with disability often remains sidelined. This guided panel discussion will explore the complexities at hand from

  • A variety of perspectives and lived experiences
  • Ethical and social considerations to access and education
  • The subtle and not so subtle ways limiting views on disability impact the ability to move this important facet of diversity work forward.

Though a virtual event, the intention is for this to be a dialogue and a time for shared reflection. The depth of the experience and impact of interactions will be enhanced through audience participation.

Target audience: Physical therapy educators and academic faculty who are interested in better understanding disability as a societal construct and improving the complex dynamic of rehabilitation professionals and how they interact with those living with disability.

Fee: No-charge


Learning objectives 

  • Recognize the tension between disability and physical therapy.
  • Introduce foundational frameworks of disability outside of the medical model. 
  • Generate dialogue surrounding opportunities for disability studies to inform and further develop PT and PTA curricula. 
  • Discuss the value of having increased representation of disabled physical therapists, physical therapy students, and educators.
Related resources


  • Sarah Caston, PT, DPT, Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Clinical Education, Emory University
  • Deana Herrman, PT, CWS, PHD, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Winston Kennedy, PT, DPT, MPH, PhD candidate, Oregon State University
  • Ingrid H. Masterton, PT, MS, Principal Creator and Performer, I AM A ZEBRA: Performance Art for Learning in the Worlds of Medicine and Healthcare
  • Amanda Sharp, PT, DPT, Associate Director, Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Cara N. Whalen Smith, PT, DPT, MPH, CHES, Project Director, Manager, Program Design, Implementation, & Evaluation, Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center

If you have any questions, contact events@acapt.org.

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