The Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University conducts cutting-edge basic and applied research and provides nationally-recognized academic education and service aimed at enhancing opportunities for individuals with disabilities or at-risk for long-term disabilities to live full, satisfying, active, and meaningful lives in the community.
Excellence in research and scholarship through the advancement of rehabilitation science with a focus on community participation, inclusion, and active living of individuals with disabilities or at-risk for long-term disabilities.
Excellence in education by preparing outstanding therapeutic recreation, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation science professionals with cutting edge knowledge and skills.
National leadership in guiding policies, programs, and practices that affect the delivery of services and supports that facilitate community participation, inclusion, and active living to diverse populations of individuals with disabilities.
Excellence in administration and management through operations that are efficient, timely, coordinated and effective in an atmosphere that is collaborative and collegial.
Department Principles & Structure
The Department's orientation is firmly grounded in the social model of disability, the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health, capabilities theory, and is in-line with the independent living movement philosophy. Key concepts in our approach include ecological, opportunity, strengths-based, evidence-based, and empowerment.
Our research, education, and service are also 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.
Our distinctiveness in this new field results from a focus on community participation (e.g., work, school, leisure, intimacy, parenting, friendships, citizenship) and active living as primary targets of study, training, and intervention.
The Department has strengths in a broad-range of areas, including psychiatric, developmental/intellectual, physical, and sensory disabilities, and has unique expertise in community participation of people with long term disabilities from diverse communities.
Rehabilitation science is inherently interdisciplinary. Our Department is strengthened by the uniqueness and synergy of nationally-recognized programs in Occupational Therapy and Therapeutic Recreation that offer undergraduate (B.S. in TR), masters (M.O.T. and M.S.R.T.), and doctoral (D.O.T. and Ph.D. in Health Ecology) degrees. The academic training takes a developmental approach, focusing on the experiences and evidenced-based interventions that are appropriate for children and young adults through older adults who experience disabilities and other life challenges. Consistent with our solid science and research underpinnings, the professional training we provide emphasizes state-of-the-art, evidence-based practices.