Debra graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1980, after which she spent 15 years as a television-marketing executive. Debra decided to pursue a career as an occupational therapist (OT) and returned to college in 2001. She received a full scholarship from the New York City Department of Education to complete her degrees. By 2006 Debra had earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in the field of OT and became a therapist.
Debra is now entering her 8th year as a senior occupational therapist at The Manhattan School for Children; an inclusive New York City public school where children with physical disabilities learn alongside their typically developing peers. Debra’s work with students with disabilities as they participate in learning and other school-based activities has served as a springboard for the creation of other school-based programs. She helped to develop her school’s first inclusive after-school arts program so that children with disabilities can be supported in the program and can participate in meaningful ways.
This program’s success led her to the Children’s Museum of the Arts, where together with Mindy and Mark Dehnert, CMA board members and several CMA executives, she helped to develop inclusive classes. You can find Debra at CMA most Sunday’s working with children alongside CMA’s teacher artists in this groundbreaking program.