Related Services & Therapies

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy


Occupational Therapy - Physical Therapy

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) identifies occupational and physical therapy as related services for eligible children ages 3-21 years who require assistance to benefit from a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

The Directors of Occupational and Physical Therapy, (from the Office of Related Services) (ORS), collaborate with the Division of School Support & Instruction cluster and network(s) staff in the development of policy and guidelines for the OT/PT Program. ORS provides continual professional development for DSSI OT/PT Supervisors and DSSI OT/PT Staff; manages the OT/PT Scholarship Program, and; monitors and maintains the Registry of Independent OT/PT Providers.

OT and PT Supervisors, working within each DSSI cluster, oversee the day to day activities of the OT/PT Staff.  OT and PT Supervisors provide clinical and administrative support to the occupational and physical therapists, and work closely with schools in matters of therapist assignment and compliance.

Click here for Roles of Occupational and Physical Therapists in the Educational Model.

Key Points of Information:

  • School based OT and PT services are special education services and may be recommended for a student who first qualifies for special education services.
  • A doctor’s referral is required to add OT or PT service on a student’s IEP.
  • OT/PT providers can provide services to students on an individual, group or consultative basis, as mandated on the IEP.
  • OT/PT providers can provide professional development and training to school staff on related topics, such as performance of safe transfers, classroom exercise programs, etc.
  • DOE utilizes a three tier system of OT/PT service provision: (1) DOE provider, if available; (2) Agency provider, if no DOE therapist is available; or (3) Related Service Authorization, when neither DOE nor Agency therapist can provide services.
  • A DOE OT or PT provider is responsible for performing evaluations of students in their assigned schools.
  • Prior to an evaluation, it is best that a DOE provider (present in the school) screen a student who is showing gross and fine motor issues that is affecting his/her schooling, and provide strategies that a teacher can implement.

The New York City Department of Education is always looking for licensed Occupational and Physical Therapists. If you are interested to apply, please contact the Office of Related and Contractual Services at (718) 391-8116.

Suzanne Sanchez, Director of Occupational Therapy
28-11 Queens Plaza North, Room 402
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone 718-391-8144
Fax 718-391-8128

Carlo Vialu, Director of Physical Therapy
28-11 Queens Plaza North, Room 402
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone 718-391-8129
Fax 718-391-8128