Winifred (Winnie) Dunn, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA

Professor and Department Chairperson, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas 

Photo of Winnie Dunn.Dr. Winnie Dunn is professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy and a master's degree in special education: learning disabilities from the University of Missouri. Her doctoral work is from the University of Kansas in applied neuroscience.

Dunn is well known for her work in two areas. First, she has studied sensory processing in everyday life, identifying patterns of sensory processing that occur across the life span. She is the author/coauthor of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which provide a systematic way to characterize a person's sensory patterns. She has conducted numerous standardization, validity and reliability studies of these measures, and has reported on the distinct patterns of sensory processing in special populations including autism, Asperger disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia. These measures have been translated into dozens of languages, and are used internationally in research and practice settings. Secondly, she has written extensively about best practices for children and families in community practices. Her textbook about serving children in communities is a core text for many programs.

Dunn has published more than 100 articles, chapters and books, and has lectured and served as a visiting professor internationally. She has received the top honors in her field, including the Award of Merit for outstanding overall contributions, the Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship for outstanding academic contributions, the A. Jean Ayres Research Award and she is a member of the Academy of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Most recently, she published a book for the public titled, "Living Sensationally Understanding your Senses." It has been featured in Time magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Canadian Public Radio and the London Times newspaper among others. In July 2009, this book received the Seal of Excellence award from the Children of the New Earth magazine to recognize its contribution to supporting strong resilient families. It is translated in German and Hebrew.

Dunn is a world renowned expert on the ways that sensory experiences affect our everyday lives. She has studied babies to older adults to identify patterns of reactions to sensations, and has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and books. Her book, "Living Sensationally Understanding your Senses," is written for the public and contains more than 100 entertaining stories to illustrate how people's sensory reactions affect their relationships and daily life. She has received numerous research and teaching awards as well, and has been invited to speak throughout the world. Her work has been featured in Time magazine, on Canadian Public Radio, in the London Times Newspaper and in Cosmopolitan magazine. In 2008, she was named the favorite author by the Pitch newspaper. She lives in Kansas City with her husband Tim Wilson.

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Featured speaker

Karen M. Moore, OTR/L