DPT students learn through experience. Whether working on campus or immersing themselves in clinicals, Elon students continually reinforce classroom basics through patient interactions. For most DPT students, the desire to improve the lives of others and help the greater community extends beyond the required curriculum. Service learning and community outreach are longtime hallmarks of the Elon DPT program.
The Special Olympics are held in April on Elon's campus and DPT students work each year to ensure the participants enjoy a fulfilling, fun and safe day. Elon hosted the first state games in 1972 and has since worked with the nonprofit to provide a day of athletic events for young athletes from Alamance and surrounding counties.The Special Olympics inspire athletes to set and achieve goals while building confidence in themselves and their abilities.
The Elon DPT program has a longstanding relationship with Wheels for the World, an organization that collects, refurbishes and distributes wheelchairs to people in developing countries. DPT students and faculty have traveled to Romania several times to distribute wheelchairs and help recipients learn to use them.
Through Wheels for the World more than 52,000 donated wheelchairs have been collected, refurbished and shipped to people in more than 100 countries.
During this camp, organized by faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, each DPT student works one-on-one with a child for six hours each day, over the course of 10 days. The children have the hand and arm they prefer to use placed in a cast for those six hours, and the students work with the children on using the hand or arm not normally used due to the paralysis in that extremity. It’s been a great experience for Elon DPT students as well as the kids they work with.
The class is a chance for children with disabilities — ranging from cerebral palsy to Down syndrome — to live out a dream of becoming a dancer. Volunteers help those who can't walk, and act as partners to lift them up and walk them through the steps. Physical therapists are in the class to make sure no one gets hurt and to make sure each dancer gets the most benefit from the class. Learn more.
Students regularly coordinate and participate in other service activities such as blood drives at the Francis Center, the Walk to Defeat ALS, and the Bike MS: Gears & Cheers.