The DCD Advocacy Toolkit: Supporting diagnosis and intervention for children with developmental coordination disorder in British Columbia


  • Jill Zwicker
    University of British Columbia
  • Ivonne Montgomery
    Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children
  • Giovana Boniface Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists – BC


  • Stephanie Glegg
    PhD student

This multi-faceted outreach campaign to occupational therapists (OTs) and key policy stakeholders involves five related activities:

1. Integrating the European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) guidelines with additional evidence to develop evidence-informed educational materials (The “DCD Advocacy Toolkit”). The Toolkit will support best practices in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

2. Designing an interactive educational webinar to increase OTs’ knowledge of EACD guidelines for DCD diagnosis and intervention, and of advocacy opportunities. This webinar content will be tailored to engage OTs across BC to apply this evidence in the assessment and treatment of clients with suspected DCD, and to more effectively advocate for diagnoses when appropriate.

3. Developing a briefing note targeted toward the Minister of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and key staff involved in School-Age Therapy and Early Intervention programs at MCFD. The policy brief will summarize the need for services for children with DCD and the role of OTs in its assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

4. Disseminating the Toolkit, webinar and briefing note, including open-access online hosting; promotion using social media, e-newsletters, blog posts, mailing lists and face-to-face outreach to OTs; face-to-face and teleconference meetings with MCFD; multiple deliveries of the webinar to six established provincial networks of OTs and health administrators that support them; and a dynamic display booth at the Canadian Association of OTs Annual Conference in Vancouver. Combining these activities will optimize the reach to key policymakers and to the 377 pediatric OTs in BC.

5. Evaluating these activities, including completion of the process and the resulting outputs (e.g. resources completed, webinars delivered, outreach activities performed), the reach of each activity (e.g. number of OTs informed of, and accessing the Toolkit, webinars, blog posts, policy makers engaged, etc.), and outcomes (e.g. participant evaluations of the webinars, change in knowledge about the guidelines/best practices and in confidence in advocating for diagnoses). The baseline survey will be re-administered to OTs across BC to evaluate changes in knowledge and self-reported behaviours of all BC OTs (including non-webinar participants) related to both their engagement in advocacy and their use of the clinical guidelines.