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Faculty and Staff Directory


Lorraine Sylvester, PT, PhD

  • Professor Emeritus

AHB 1133

(405) 271-2131, ext. 47119


  • PhD, Special Education, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 2011
  • BS, Physical Therapy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1985
  • MS, Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1980
  • BS, Physical Education, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, 1978


  • OCTH/PHTH 8272: Developmental Disabilities

Research Interests:

  • Effect of providing a person self-determined approach within physical therapy settings on motor and self-determination skill development for youth and adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Impact of related services (physical therapy and occupational therapy) on self-determination for children with developmental disabilities.
  • Self-determination and self-advocacy skills development in children with developmental disabilities as they transition to adulthood
  • Student-directed secondary transition planning
  • Student involvement in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process
  • Vocational choices and activities for students and adults with severe disabilities

Clinical Interests:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Self-determined Practices in Related Services and Special Education
  • Special Education
  • Vocational supports for persons with developmental disabilities

Select Publications:

  • Woods, L. L., Sylvester, L., & Martin, J.E. (2010). Student-directed transition planning: Increasing student knowledge and self-efficacy in the transition planning process. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 33(2), 106-114.
  • Snell, M. E., Brady, N., McLean, L., Ogletree, B. T., Siegel, E., Sylvester, L., Mineo, B., Paul, D., Romski, M. A., & Sevcik, R. (2010). Twenty years of communication intervention research with individuals who have severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 115(5), 364-380.
  • Smith, J. & Sylvester L. (2009). Transition. In I. McEwen (Ed.) Providing Physical Therapy Services Under Parts B & C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Arlington, VA: Section on Pediatrics, American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Martin, J. E., Woods, L. L., and Sylvester, L. (2008). Building an Employment Vision: Culturally Attuning Vocational Interests, Skills, and Limits. In F. R. Rusch (Ed.), Beyond High School: Preparing Youth for Employment (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Sylvester, L., Woods, L.L., & Martin, J.E. (2006). Whose job is it? Enabling vocational choice-making for individuals with significant disabilities. TASH Connections, 32(5/6), 34-39.
  • Martin, J. E., Woods, L. L., Sylvester, L., & Gardner, J. E. (2005). A challenge to self-determination: Disagreement between the vocational choices made by individuals with severe disabilities and their caregivers. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 30(3), 147-153.
  • Sylvester, L. (2005). Personal communication and interview. In Snow, K. Disability is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities, 2nd ed. Woodland Park, CO: BraveHeart Press, 161-166.
  • Sylvester, L. (2004). . Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 24(4), 82-83. Instructional Package
  • Sylvester, L. Woods, L. L., & Martin, J. E. (2008). Student-directed Transition Planning. Norman, Okla: University of Oklahoma, Zarrow Center, 


  • NORCE - Contract between the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center (OKDHS/DDSD) and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,August 2011-present, for a total of (   ). Services include PT consultation and relevant clinical services (Maria Jones, PT, PhD, Director)
  • DDSD/EFFORT - Contract between the Lee Mitchener Tolbert Center for Developmental Disabilities, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Board of Regents, and OKDHS/DDSD, July 1, 2011-present for a total of (   ).  Provide technical assistance and address needs of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities who require assistive technology as part of daily activities and routine; Assess the therapeutic service needs across the state and assist with the recruitment, retention, and training of contract service providers. (Maria Jones, PT, PhD, Director)
  • Contract between the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, Office of Special Education Programs, Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with disabilities (CFDA 84.327A) July 1, 2011 to present.  Data Collection. (Maria Jones, PT, PhD, Project Director)
  • Clinical Services Contracts:  Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, OKDHS/DDSD Waivered Services. Provide Clinical PT services at homes, and in Lokomat Clinic.