Physical Disabilities SIS

The Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section (PDSIS) provides a forum for networking with other professionals, sharing information, and accessing clinical resources. The PDSIS also facilitates the development of continuing education and professional development opportunities based on member needs and trends in occupational therapy. It was one of the original Special Interest Sections created by AOTA in 1977 (the others were Developmental Disabilities, Gerontology, Mental Health, and Sensory Integration).

The PDSIS aims to meet the needs of occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students who serve individuals with physical dysfunction resulting from a wide range of conditions. PDSIS members have the opportunity to network with other practitioners via an electronic forum to share resources and exchange ideas.

The PDSIS strives to enable its members to provide cutting-edge, occupation-based occupational therapy to the clients they serve.

The PDSIS is also host to two additional membership groups: The Hand Rehabilitation Subsection and the Driving/Driver Rehabilitation Network.

The Hand Subsection is charged with meeting the educational and networking needs of clinicians who address dysfunction of the hand and upper extremity as part of their physical disabilities practice. This subsection hosts a hand forum dedicated responding to questions and issues surrounding treatment of the hand/UE.

The Driving/Driver Rehabilitation Network has 3 primary aims:

  1. Educate and support occupational therapy practitioners so that they are able to provide pre-driving screens, driver assessments and training, or serve as referral sources to appropriate agencies
  2. Via a dedicated forum, provide a means by which practitioners interested in driving/driver rehabilitation can share information and ideas
  3. Increase the visibility of occupational therapy as a profession that is capable and interested in responding to growing societal needs associated with driving


PDSIS Quarterly articles (open to all members)

SIS Quarterly Practice Connections publication (open to all members)

PDSIS Discussion Forum (open to all members)

Hand Subsection Forum (open to all members)

Driving/Driver Rehabilitation Network (open to all members)

Oncology Forum (open to all members)

To join PDSIS, contact AOTA Membership at 301-652-2682, ext. 2769 or toll-free at 1-800-SAY-AOTA (1-800-729-2682).

PDSIS Standing Committee Members (Term of Office, 2016-2019) 

Elena Espiritu

 Sara Payne Raduski

Carlene Johnson
Elena Espiritu, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR: Chairperson

Sara Raduski, MS, OTR/L: Professional Development Coordinator (Forums)

Carlene E. Johnson, OTD, OTR/L: Professional Development Coordinator (Education/Research)


Katie Polo Stephanie Bachman
Katie M. Polo, DHS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA: Quarterly Editor Stephanie Bachman, OTD, OTR/L, CHT: Hand Subsection Coordinator


Suzanne Taylor  Anne Hegberg
Suzanne F. Taylor, PhD, MBA/HCM, OTR/L: Oncology Forum Moderator  Anne Hegberg, OTR/L, CDRS, CDI: Driving/Driver Rehabilitation Network Manager