Occupational therapy and zines

This summer, two occupational therapy students from Sheffield Hallam University were on placement with us. They worked with Chella to see how zines could be helpful to occupational therapists and how occupational therapy could help zinesters. You can meet them below, and scroll down for their excellent projects which can be downloaded, folded and sharedby our friends and supporters.

Emily Williamson

Occupational Therapy Student

Hello my name is Emily, I am an Occupational Therapy student at Sheffield Hallam University. This is a picture of me and my beautiful horse Maddy. Horse riding is my favourite type of occupation. One of the requirements of this course is for me to have a placement working in a setting where there is not an Occupational Therapist present. I have had the privilege of exploring the world of zines and having Chella Quint as my placement supervisor. Throughout this 8 week placement I was required to scope the needs of Sheffield Zine Fest and to try and identify if there is a role for an Occupational Therapist. As an Occupational Therapy student, creating my own resources to use throughout treatment sessions is not uncommon, as a lot of the treatment is very holistic so we have to be creative with our interventions. Using a zine as a medium to share this work with others can be a really useful resource.

Ash Bailey

Occupational Therapy Student

Hello! I’m Ash, an Occupational Therapy Student at Sheffield Hallam University. I have been on my 3rd clinical placement with the Sheffield Zine Fest. The picture is me making one of the collection – I did lots of folding!

Hope you find these interesting reads! I would like to take the opportunity to thank the coordinators of Sheffield Zine Fest for their valuable input into these zines and for hosting my work! That’s all from me! I’ll zine you later! 🙂

Emily’s project

A zine about self-esteem for young people.

Here is my zine, I really hope you enjoy reading it. I decided to focus my project on children’s emotional well-being as I believe teaching children the skills for self-regulation are valuable for leading a good quality of life. Predominantly children do not know what a zine is so I wanted to incorporate how to make and use a zine that can be used as an expressive outlet for their emotional well-being. Through research I identified that at the ages from 8-11 is when children start to become more self-aware, therefore it’s vitally important to teach children the skills to grow their self-esteem at this time. My zine is an informative booklet that includes creative activities that support children’s emotional well-being. This also supports Occupational Therapy practice as occupation-based interventions improve mental health and well-being. 

You can download the zine here:

Here is a short video designed to introduce the zine to young readers.

Ash’s project

A zine compendium exploring the accessibility of zine making

The collection looks at zine making and uses some of my Occupational Therapy theory to carry out  an ‘activity analysis’. I looked into a lot of detail how to make a zine and what it really takes to make one – including what happens in the brain! I then was able to highlight some of the areas where zinesters may have some barriers to making a zine. The collection currently has 6 zines which explore some helpful things you could do to overcome some barriers and access zines – these are: Hand function, Strategies for low vision, Core stability, Self-regulation, Dementia and Where to start.

These zines are designed to empower individuals to continue to make zines despite their barriers. They are also created to help zinesters who run distros or zine fests to consider how they could make their events more accessible. Additionally it gives Occupational Therapists in different areas an idea of how they could include zines in the OT process (Check out The Zine-upatational Therapy Process zine).

The zines are 16 page mini zines with a companion box template. There are also A4 pdf versions in more detail for creating large print booklets or A5 size zines.

Ash illustrated instructions for making an 8 page mini zine. This illustration is free to use when teaching how to make a mini zine.

Ash also illustrated these instructions for making a 16 page mini zine with a spine. He learned about this from Science Mom on YouTube – you can watch the video where she explains it here.