Anne Kiraly-Alvarez, OTD, OTR/L, SCSS

Assistant Professor & Director of Capstone Development

Midwestern University
College of Health Sciences
Occupational Therapy Program
Alumni Hall North #330E
555 31st St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Office: (630) 515-7340


OTD Occupational Therapy University of Illinois at Chicago 2008
M.S. Occupational Therapy University of Illinois at Chicago 2007
B.S. Movement Sciences University of Illinois at Chicago 2005

Research Interests

In my practice as a school-based occupational therapist, I worked for many years with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. A major focus of my interventions was related to functional life skills that would prepare these students for independent living as adults.  My research interests include exploring the skills and environmental supports that make young adults with developmental disabilities most successful in independent and supported living, work/volunteer participation, and leisure and social participation. I am interested in identifying these skills and supports in order to develop a life skills curriculum that could be used in school or clinical settings with children, adolescents, and young adults.

Another research interest of mine is related to culture and its influence on occupations. Culture is so important in defining the occupations we do and how we do them. In a multicultural society, it is essential that occupational therapy practitioners consider the cultures of their clients so that they can best understand and address their clients' needs. Further research is needed to understand the experiences of clients from various cultures, so I am interested in contributing to that knowledge base.

Selected Publications

Kiraly-Alvarez, A. (2017). Developing a life skills program to address functional needs of middle school students with disabilities. AOTA SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 2(2): 2-4.

Kiraly-Alvarez, A. (2015). Assessing volition in pediatrics: Using the Volitional Questionnaire and the Pediatric Volitional Questionnaire. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3(3), Article 7.

Basu, S., Kafkes, A., Schatz, R., Kiraly, A. & Kielhofner, G. (2008). A user's manual for the Pediatric Volitional Questionnaire (version 2.1). Chicago, IL: Model of Human Occupation Clearinghouse, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago.


Bryze, K., & Kiraly-Alvarez, A. (2016). Impact of adaptive occupation on the performance of daily life tasks of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Funded by the Midwestern University CHS Research Facilitation Grant.

Mentored Student Research Projects

Donahue, K., Hoffman, M., & Provancal, M. (2017). The effect of a grocery shopping intervention on occupational performance and self-efficacy of young adults with developmental disabilities.

Grossenbacher, S., Marasti, N., & Romero, M. (2016). Understanding the lived experience of Hispanic/Latino parents of children with autism.

Holmgren, J., Khatoon, M., & Salem, A. (2017). Understanding the lived experience of Muslim American parents of children with disabilities.

Miller, C., Traina, A., & Vaci, M. (2016). Generalization of life skills among young adults with developmental disabilities. (*MWU Kenneth A. Suarez Research Day Poster Award recipients)