Community Integration Research Specialist
Anna Jones, OTD, OTR/L and her husband moved to Toledo in 2012 when Anna was accepted into the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at The University of Toledo. In the spring of 2015, Anna completed her Capstone Experience with Assistance Dogs as the final component of her doctoral degree. During this experience, she spent four months exploring the potential role of occupational therapists in the provision of assistance dogs for individuals with disabilities.
After graduating, Anna began working as a licensed and registered occupational therapist at several skilled nursing facilities in the Toledo area and teaching in the OTD program at The University of Toledo as a member of the adjunct faculty. Anna also stayed involved with Assistance Dogs through fostering a dog-in-training and volunteering her occupational therapy skills during team training and consumer consultations.
In the summer of 2016, Anna began working with the assistance dog program as the Canine Services Manager. While in this position, she supervised the care and training of all the dogs in the program and instructed consumers on how to work with their new service and therapy dogs during team training. Anna also expanded the program’s capacity by helping establish a partnership with Gus Harrison Correctional Facility to train dogs for The Ability Center and developing the Canine Student Teacher program in partnership with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center with a focus on training school therapy dogs.
In 2019, Anna shifted to her current position as Community Integration Research Specialist. She works in collaboration with researchers from the University of Kansas and the University of Montana as well as CIL staff across the country to conduct a research project that is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The project, Promoting Interventions for Community Living (PICL), is testing two programs that aim to improve consumers’ home usability and community participation.