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Jo Atkinson

PositionOccupational Therapy Lecturer
Department School of Allied Health Professions and Midwifery
Telephone01274 236800

Research Interests (key words only)

Assessment and development of handwriting and motor skills - pre-school and primary school aged children and young people, neuro-rehabilitation and interventions (for example neuromotor task training and metacognitive approaches). Developmental Co-ordination Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Undergraduate learning and teaching (years 1-3 of OT BSc Honours programme) neurological rehabilitation and paediatrics, assessment, intervention and research skills.
  • Link/visiting tutor for professional practice education
  • Academic tutor
  • Research supervisor for final year occupational therapy students and final stage masters level students.


Jo qualified as an Occupational Therapist in the UK in 1993 and US in 1997. Sheworked initially in Neurosciences at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trustand then as a Senior Therapist working in Neurorehabilitation. Jo has alsoworked in Social Services, Palliative Care, Acute Medicine, Community basedChildren and Families, and Adult Physical Disabilities Teams in both the UK andUS.

In 2000 Jo began work as a Stroke Association funded Research Therapist and NHS Research Training Fellow at the Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care at the University of Oxford and has experience of prospective cohort studies(Oxford Vascular Study) and providing intervention as part of a randomised controlled trial for people after stroke.  She has worked as a Lecturer since 2005 and alongside this from 2008 as an Expert Witness, then from 2012 as a practitioner specialising in handwriting and sensorimotor skills in primary schools and with children/young people and families at home.

Jo currently works at the University of Bradford as a Lecturer (0.4 W.T.E) and at the University of Leeds as a Research Fellow on the Education Endowment Foundation project 'Helping Handwriting Shine' (0.6 W.T.E). 

Study History


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice, University of Bradford (2015)
  • Masters by Research Degree, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford (2005)
  • U.S.A. National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (1997)
  • BSc (Hons) Degree in Occupational Therapy, School of Healthcare, Oxford Brookes University (1993).


Research Areas

Jo has applied her experience in neurology to working with children to develop handwriting skills and is particularly interested in research in this area.


  • Steering committee member of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - Identifying and Supporting Children with Difficulties (ISCD) part of the Born in Bradford study.
  • Member of the National Handwriting Association, College of Occupational Therapists Special Interest Group Children, Young People and Families.

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