PT students get taste of life with disabilities

A rite of passage for first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy students at the University of Indianapolis is an event some call “disability lunch.”

The students are outfitted with slings, braces, gloves, blindfolds and other appliances to simulate the effects of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other conditions common to older adults. They then struggle through a buffet lunch and subsequent exercise session in an experience designed to help the future practitioners empathize with their clients’ limitations.

“It’s putting them in their patients’ shoes,” said Associate Professor William Staples, who hosted the latest such event Tuesday at the UIndy Health Pavilion.

More information on the Krannert School of Physical Therapy is available at uindy.edu/pt.