About - Donna 

  Professional Affiliations:
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT ~ National and BC Division)

  • College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC)

  • Designated Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) Professional

  • RHF Accessibility Professional Network (APN) Member  

  • Home Modification Occupational Therapist Alliance Member (HMOTA) - hmota.net

Donna J. Franz has been an Occupational Therapist (OT) for over 25 years.

Donna has diverse experience having worked in several hospitals, hand clinics, and private practices, as well as in return to work focused Disability Management. She has worked with persons who have spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, traumatic or orthopedic injuries, repetitive strain injuries from the workplace, neurologic conditions, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, and with persons who are challenged by mental health conditions e.g. Anxiety, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

For over 10 years, Donna has worked as a Rehabilitation Consultant or a Disability Management Advisor, assisting employees with their recovery and safe return to work, on graduated Return to Work plans. 

Donna has collaborated on many multidisciplinary teams, e.g. physicians, social workers, physiotherapists, kinesiologists, psychologists, and with numerous stakeholders e.g. employers, insurance companies (ICBC, Worksafe BC, GWL~ now Canada Life), contractors.

Teaching Instruction ~   

Throughout her career, Donna has provided education, inservices, and workshops, to colleagues, university and college students, and patients and families, on both a group and individual basis. She was a guest lecturer at Okanagan College, teaching up to 30 students in a workshop setting. Donna has educated hospital staff on safe and proper lifting techniques.

Ergonomics ~

Donna has been studying the effects of repetitive strain since the 1980s. She has conducted numerous assessments and interventions using evidence based best practices, i.e. splinting, myofascial release, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment (ergonomic equipment). She focuses on teaching her clients the reasons why their symptoms have evolved and ways to deal with inflammation and pain, using principles of ergonomics. Understanding the rationale for her recommendations, is important to her client's recovery, to prevent reoccurance.

Design ~

Donna is passionate about "Universal Design". She strives to ensure her recommendations for changes to the environment, will benefit everyone. Her experience in hand therapy has educated her on the best tools to use to prevent injuries.  The education she received with the Rick Hansen Foundation has helped her understand how communication systems and wayfinding affect "meaningful accessibility" for all. Donna teaches her clients ways to conserve their limited energy, protect their joints, and minimize their pain, using design.  Donna believes accessibility creates inclusion, diversity, and a vibrant community!

Family ~

On a personal level, Donna has experienced the impact that disabilities have on a family. Her sibling has a learning disability and for most of their life has had a congenital visual impairment (recently improved with eye surgery). Donna understands some of the challenges families face and feel, especially when in the community. Loved one who has sensory sensitivities, can become overwhelmed. Donna can help create sensory calming environments in the home and community. This type of design helps the whole family.

Travel and Culture~ 

Donna has a passion for travel. Donna grew up in the multicultural city of Winnipeg, that annually celebrates its cultural diversity with "Folklorama". To date she has traveled around the world with the exception of crossing the Bay of Bengal! Prior to moving to the Okanagan, Donna lived in Qatar, in the Middle East, where she experienced a wealth of cultures, while living in a housing compound comprised of 37 nationalities. Donna believes in being one with nature; the greatest healer!

Donna loves Bees ! 


Bee Fun Facts  ~  The beehive is a symbol of industry and co-operation. The efficiency of the hexagon shaped honeycomb created by the honeybee has inspired humans in the creation of buildings, transportation, and storage.

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