For the fourth year in a row, the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy handed out one of their most prized possessions – the infamous Golden Toilet Award.

First year M.S. in Occupational Therapy students (pictured L/R) EJ Johnston, Elaine Kurtz, Emily Hug and Mallory Jordan joined the distinguished list of past winners and signed the lid of the prestigious award. They beat out 12 other teams, consisting of four MSOT students each, to take first place.

The annual competition is part of the OT 677: Foundations in Low Vision Rehabilitation course. The challenge is for students to design and build restroom signs – with a catch. The signs must be reliably read by people with 20/200 visual acuity (the visual acuity of someone with cataracts) at a distance of 10 feet. In order to prepare, the students wore special simulation glasses so they would understand the difficulties people with cataracts face every day trying to read signs.

"This is our fifth year to host this competition and every year we are amazed at the students’ creativity – there has not been a single idea duplicated since we began,” said Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, SIPT (#2623), ATP, an OT assistant professor.

The winners were determined by a panel of judges wearing the simulation glasses. The sign designs were scored in three areas: 1) creativity 2) visibility and 3) feasibility.

The UAB occupational therapy students designed their restroom signs with concepts of print visibility including large print, high contrast, block letters with gender specific looks and colors.

  • 1st place team: EJ Johnston, Elaine Kurtz, Emily Hug and Mallory Jordan
  • Runner Up (tie)
  • Runner Up (tie)
  • 3rd place
  • 4th place
  • 5th place