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Debra Young

Assistant Professor for Occupational Therapy

Why I Teach

While working as a clinician I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experiences with students. This transitioned into being an adjunct instructor for occupational therapy students in Masters and post professional doctoral programs. My love for sharing my experiences as an occupational therapist further developed into the creation of continuing education courses. I am excited to bring my diverse experiences working in a variety of settings and with a spectrum of populations and share them with the occupational therapy students of Wesley College.

Professional Activities

Areas of expertise: environmental modifications, assistive technology, aging in place, inclusive design, leadership.

I am currently Assistant professor of the masters of occupational therapy program at Wesley College. I began my career after receiving my baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy from Elizabethtown College.  I continued my studies and received a graduate certificate in assistive technology from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Education degree from Bowling Green State University.

In 2009 I founded EmpowerAbility® LLC, an occupational therapy consultancy specializing in environmental modifications and assistive technology.  I am a Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

I have also earned the Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM) from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  This distinction has been accomplished by less than 1% of occupational therapists nationally.  Currently, I am an elected Director to the American Occupational Therapy Association Board of Directors (term: 2015–2018) and am the 2014 recipient of the AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award for notable contributions to the profession and its consumers in the environmental modifications specialty area of practice.

A believer in interprofessional collaboration, I became active within the building industry.  I am currently an NAHB State Associate Director, 55+ Housing and Industries Council Trustee, consultant governor to the CAPS Board of Governors and an NAHB approved instructor for the CAPS and Universal Design/Build courses.  In 2013, I was the recipient of the NAHB CAPS of the Year Award.  Locally, I hold the Associate Vice President position of the Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBADE) Executive Board and am the President of the HBADE Associates Council.

I continue to publish and present on local, state and national levels on environmental modifications, assistive technology, accessibility, and inclusive communities.


  • M.Ed. with specialization in Assistive Technology (AT) from Bowling Green State University
  • Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology Johns Hopkins University
  • BS in Occupational Therapy from Elizabethtown College
  • AOTA Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM)
  • RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP)
  • NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)

Contact Information