ACC-Orange County OTA Cohort Gets Visit from Triumph Foundation Volunteers


Most students hope to make a difference after graduation. A little encouragement that they will never hurts.

At American Career College-Orange County, a group of occupational therapy assistant students got to see and hear firsthand how their field affects lives everyday.

Russel Burke and Cheryl Hopper, volunteers from the Triumph Foundation, visited the ACC-OC campus on June 1 and shared with the OTA class about dealing with spinal cord injuries and how occupational therapist make a difference.

"It was helpful for the students to hear how previous therapy practitioners were able to use the individual needs of Russ and Cheryl in developing a treatment plan,” Instructor Christine Guevara, MOTR/L said.

The Triumph Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Santa Clarita, dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries "triumph over their disability and inspiring them to keep moving forward" every day. Guevara said Triumph volunteers would visit newly injured patients at the hospital she worked for previously, and provide them with peer counseling, resource materials and gift baskets.

Guevara said her OTA class learned about the many ways adaptive technology helps individuals deal with everyday tasks via house and car modifications or by using the latest, cutting-edge hardware. Russel Burke gave a demonstration of his high-tech wheelchair and showed the class how he directed its movement by inhaling or exhaling into a control "wand."

"The speakers told us that while they were in the hospital it was essential to work with occupational therapists who provided them with a new approach to completing their typical daily activities, activities that may have not been available to them without rehabilitation services," Guevara said.

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