Academic Leader in the Discipline of Occupational
Therapy, Professor Kitty Uys.

Professor Kitty Uys has joined UKZN’s School of Health Sciences as Academic Leader in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy.

Uys has been in the profession for over 20 years gaining extensive experience in different aspects and approaches to disabilities.

She spent 12 years as a Lecturer at the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Pretoria before moving to the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC).

Initially, Kitty was working mainly in a multi-professional model with young children with disabilities but realised that the gaps in the model did not contribute to sustainable intervention for families in South Africa and changed to trans-disciplinary postgraduate training at the CAAC.

‘Families are pivotal in sustainable intervention and in a country where the top-down medical approach is still prevalent. Empowerment of families to participate equally in the healthcare process became one of my research areas. 

‘I have decided to come back to my roots as an OT and plough back some experiences, knowledge and skills,’ said Uys.

‘I love the staff, they are dynamic, diligent and very passionate about their work.’

The bubbly Professor plans to develop her discipline’s post graduate programme, assist the staff in completing their PhDs, and to produce the best OTs who can deal effectively with rehabilitation issues, within the South African context.

‘I want to make sure we are training the best OTs for the African continent.  I would like to mobilise the Department into Africa to assist OT training centres in Africa,’ added Uys, who replaces the former Academic Leader Robin Joubert who has retired.