Assistant Professor, Clinical

406 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: (614)-292-8145
Email: Cleary.26@osu.edu

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Transition to Employment 
  • Technology 
  • Clinical Education

Research Focus

Transition for young adults with intellectual disability to permanent employment is an important factor to help ensure these young adults have a productive quality of life. Individuals with disabilities have a much lower rate of employment than the population as a whole and face a decreased quality of life in economic, social and health terms. 

This decrease in productivity is also a cost that is absorbed by the American economy of billions of dollars per year. The increase in the rate of Autism in the past twenty years has contributed to the influx in the number of young adults who need supportive services to help them transition to happy and productive lives. 

In partnership with the Transition group at the Nisonger Center, Dr. Cleary works to test and refine methods to support young adults in academic, social, and work environments through the use of technology, activity analysis, education, and job matching strategies. 

Dr. Cleary has received funding from the United State Department of Education, The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Recent Research

Persch, A. C., Gugiu, P. C., Onate, J. A., & Cleary, D. S. (2015). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Vocational Fit Assessment (VFA). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(6), 6906180080p1-6906180080p8.

Case-Smith, J., Cleary, D., & Persch, A. (2015). Current Practices in Job Matching for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(Supplement_1), 6911500099p1-6911500099p1.

Persch, A. C., Darragh, A. R., Cleary, D. S., Tanner, K. (2015) Job matching practices of professionals supporting individuals with disabilities in transition to employment. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 57, 85-86. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.18_12886. 25% Authorship. Focus group and data analysis.

Recent Presentations

Cleary, D. S., & Persch, A. C. (7/2015). The road to self-sufficiency: Digital resources to teach independent living skills. Session presented at the 9th Annual International Project SEARCH Conference. Glendale, AZ. Invited.

Cleary, D.S., Kilbane, C. (6/2015). The Millennial Generation in Fieldwork Education: Teaching strategies for this generation. Full day workshop. New England Occupational Therapy Education Council. Worcester, MA. Invited. 

Cleary, D. S., Persch, A. C., & Malone, H. (7/2014). Mobile technology as employment support: Opportunities and challenges of smartphones and tablets. Session presented at the 8th Annual International Project SEARCH Conference. Omaha, NE. Invited.

Courses Taught

  • OT 6110 Occupational Therapy Foundations & Theory
  • OT 6140 Task Analysis and Core Skills 
  • OT 7270: Occupational Performance, Environment, and Context
  • OT 7430 Supervision and Consultation


  • 1991: Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, The Ohio State University
  • 1996: Bachelor of Science, Occupational Therapy, The Ohio State University
  • 2005: MS, Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University
  • 2010: Doctorate, Occupational Therapy, Chatham University 
My Research Links

My Research Links

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