Dorothy Denner, OTR/L C.E.S., is the Center's Occupational Therapist and Nursing Facility Transition Coordinator. Dorothy works closely with individuals with disabilities who are living in nursing homes and helps them to explore their options and, when appropriate, move out of the nursing home and into an independent community living environment.
Through the use of the NFT grant (Nursing Facility Transition Grant), funded through Medicaid monies, Dorothy helps connect people to accessible housing, home care services, transportation services, and medical services so that they can regain their independence and achieve more rich and meaningful lives in the community.
As an Occupational Therapist, Dorothy also assists persons in the community to access items from the Loan Closet that enable a person to be more independent. Assessments for physical capacity to qualify for MRS, modifications for bathrooms and kitchens, and ergonomic needs, along with ADL equipment.
Prior to joining the CIL in 2009, Dorothy worked at The Arc of Dearborn/Dearborn Heights as the Director for the community program that assisted persons with developmental disabilities to work, volunteer, and be part of the community. Prior to that position, Dorothy worked at Community Living Service with adults with intellectual impairments as an occupational therapist in community settings. In this role, she made assessments for w/c, DME, sensory integration dysfunction, general assessment, and taught group home workers how to reposition, use proper body mechanics, and teach a variety of programs.
Throughout her career she has worked in home health care, hospitals, and a variety of other settings. The philosophy of her work has remained the same: Dorothy believes everyone has the right to make choices about their lives. Dorothy has worked with persons with varying abilities and assisted them to live as independently as possible using person-centered planning. Dorothy is a non-traditional Occupational Therapist because her work focuses on helping people in community settings rather than in the traditional medical model setting.
Dorothy obtained her Occupational Therapy degree from Wayne State University and, also, earned her first degree in Sociology/Psychology degree from Wayne State University.
Dorothy is grateful to her husband who not only supports what she does but also often volunteers his time to assist her in transitioning people back into the community. Friends and family also donate items that they know Dorothy can use to help someone set up an apartment after living in a nursing home. Any donations of household furnishings (gently used) are greatly appreciated.
Dorothy invites anyone that is currently living in a nursing facility, has Medicaid, and wants to get out – to call the Center and ask for her.