The U.S. Department of Education has awarded an $800,000 training grant to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to prepare licensed occupational and physical therapists to work with infants to school-aged children who have disabilities. 
The grant program, Specialized Training of Occupational and Physical Therapists in Early Intervention and Related Services, is for four years. 
“The STAIRS program is designed to develop online courses to enhance the professional expertise of licensed occupational and physical therapists working in pediatric settings,” said Christine P. Baker, associate professor in the UTMB School of Health Professions.
Those who complete the program receive a transitional profession doctoral degree, DPT for physical therapists. The OTD program for occupational therapists is pending.
Stipends of $6,500 are available.
“We are particularly interested in training therapists who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those who have disabilities,” Baker said.
For more information, visit or e-mail Baker at