AOTA's Blog

This post's title was the subject line of an email I got recently from Ladies Get Paid that made me raise my eyebrows! What a question! Negotiating your salary can be intimidating, especially if you are asking for a raise. The best way to make your case that you should be making more money is to have data that shows it. We can help you with that! AOTA’s 2019 Salary & Workforce Survey is the largest workforce study in the field of occupational therapy. Our last workforce survey in 2015 showed us that after just 6 years in the field, occupational therapists saw a $10,000 increase in their salary and occupational therapy assistants see a $9,000 increase. ...
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Do you consider yourself a hero? Do you know that some occupational therapy clients say your profession changed their lives? Let's take a look at what clients of occupational therapy have to say about you and your profession. You Are Heroes During the Keynote address at the 2019 AOTA Annual Conference & Expo, keynote speaker Dr. Grace Dammann said the following about occupational therapy practitioners: “you are heroes to your clients. You give them something so, so important. You give them the ability to fully function in their life and to make full use of this one precious life we all have.” Watch the full keynote address here . You Changed Our ...
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All SIS communities and the general forum will be down during upcoming maintenance from Friday, April 26, at 5:00 p.m. ET, until Monday, April 29, at 8:00 a.m. ET.  AOTA is updating our membership management system. During this time, the areas on CommunOT that require a sign in will not be available. This maintenance will also affect the following AOTA websites: Exam Prep AJOT CE, including registering for and viewing existing courses and webinars AOTA Store, including Ebooks MyAOTA Please be sure to access any materials you will need during this time before April 26 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Thank you for your patience while we improve your online ...
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Thinking of promoting OT in the news media in honor of OT Month, but short on time? A letter to the editor of your local news outlet is a simple way to spread the word about OT. Letters to the editor take less time than other media activities because the goal is to be brief. Most news outlets have a word limit (sometimes as short as 100 words!) so you do not need to be a wordsmith to tackle this project. There are several different approaches to the angle of your LTE. Here are a few recent examples form AOTA members: Explain OT in general In this Guest column: Occupational therapists help improve lives written by OT student Brianna Kresa for ...
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In honor of Autism Month and OT Month, which are both celebrated in April each year, we wanted to share the unique way that occupational therapy practitioners work with people with autism. Instead of focusing on problems, occupational therapy helps people with autism find solutions and use their strengths to reach their goals. That was the focus of a recent TEDx Talk by an AOTA member who says we need to stop focusing on removing so-called “problematic” behaviors for people with autism and instead support the development of their emotional skills. Amy Laurent, PhD, OTR/L suggests a positive shift in focus and was joined virtually by her colleagues Michael ...
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Happy Occupational Therapy Month ! Every year in April, we celebrate OT by promoting the profession and raising public awareness. Our AOTA members are experts in their field and at promoting the profession. So this year we want to ask you how you promote the profession. Every Tuesday in April we’re going to ask you an #OTMonth-related question on AOTA’s social media. Here’s our first Tuesday question: When you’re promoting OT Month, you might get asked “what is occupational therapy?” How do you respond? We love hearing your definitions. To help get you started check out these threads on CommunOT: What is your OT elevator speech? How do you ...
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Last month the president released the federal budget for the 2020 fiscal year (FY20), which starts on October 1 st , 2019. The president’s budget is almost entirely a political document. The proposed funding levels for different agencies and programs are the mechanism by which the administration expresses its priorities. Ultimately, Congress sets the levels for the different programs by negotiating the 12 different appropriation bills, normally working closely with the White House to ensure the president will ultimately support the final spending levels. However, what the president proposes and what Congress is willing to accept are often drastically different. ...
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​      A regulation took effect on October 2, 2018, enabling “short-term limited duration” health insurance plans to be extended up to 1 year from the previous 3-month duration, and to be renewable for 36 months. Originally used as a method of bridging gaps in coverage—such as transitioning between jobs—short-term plans have now been strengthened by the Trump Administration to act as an alternative means of coverage to Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans. Last September, we brought up our concern over the negative effects of short-term plans on coverage of occupational therapy services. Short-term plans are not required to cover the same benefits that consumers ...
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What should you do within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new? Brush up on your networking skills before Annual Conference next month! AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of occupational therapy professionals in the world! That means you’ll have many opportunities to network and meet new people. The following top-clicked tips are among your OT colleagues’ favorites for making the most of networking. What to Say: Phrases to Make You Shine in Conversation Want to make a good impression in conversations? Try using these phrases to help provoke positive reactions when meeting people . Think of it as your charisma cheat ...
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Getting stories about occupational therapy into the news can be a challenge at times. But this week, AOTA member Kim Wiggins, OTR/L, made it look easy. She landed, not one, not two, but THREE unique news stories in her local media about a motor lab that she created for her students. MacArthur students take part in a motor lab program (Channel 34, Binghamton Home Page) Motor skills lead to academic success at Binghamton elementary schools (WICZ-TV FOX 40) Elementary students stimulate their brains using motor labs at Binghamton City School District (WBNG-TV 12 News) With OT Month on the horizon, we wanted to share Wiggins’ experience as inspiration ...
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Do you have ideas for making the occupational therapy profession better? Do you want to play a more active role in helping shape the future of  occupational therapy? Then you should nominate yourself for a volunteer position within AOTA! What will you get out of volunteering within AOTA? You may even surprise yourself with what you have to offer! You can start small, but you have to start somewhere! Apply for an open position today : We're ready for you to start volunteering! See what's available and apply for something today
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Since AOTA released its list of five interventions OT practitioners should question, there have been a lot of conversations about the topic on CommunOT. We wanted to round up some of those discussions here in case you wanted to catch up on what your colleagues are doing to fully implement the Choosing Wisely recommendations into practice. These go over everything from how to encourage your coworkers to be more occupation-based to ideas on how to select the best assessments. Please note: AOTA members must login to read these discussions. If you want to get more involved with Choosing Wisely, you can sign up to be a part of an email list to get notified ...
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Most of us watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, right? Well, be on the lookout for a very special commercial this year from Microsoft. There will be an advertisement about Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller and it will probably make you cry happy tears to see how the controller has helped people with disabilities participate more fully in gaming. The best part is that AOTA members were involved in designing the controller! Occupational therapist Erin Muston-Firsch helped the Microsoft design team in the development of the controller, working with them for years as they tested and tweaked the product. Erin is a part of the Assistive Technology ...
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Winter can be hard with its short days and harsh weather. Keep you and your team’s motivation up by following the tips in these popular articles among AOTA members about being positive, avoiding burnout, and working with stressed out coworkers. What You Can Do to Bring Positivity to Your Workplace Three Things to Do Every Day to Be Positive Resolve to embrace positivity every day! Try these three daily resolutions that are simple but powerful . Six Things Managers Can Do to Avoid Employee Burnout As a manager you need to ensure that your team is managing their stress. One way to do that is to model and encourage well-being practices like exercise. ...
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Has your presentation been accepted for AOTA’s 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans? If so, Congratulations! AOTA invites you to participate in a special photo project to help us countdown to Conference. Leading up to our time in the Big Easy, we have designed a special “Countdown to Conference” featuring photos of people within the profession to hype up the conference. This year, we invite conference speakers to participate in the countdown as “celebrity sign-holders.” (The finished product will mimic the photo below from 2018.) Participating in this project as a sign-holder is easy. Just follow these 3 simple steps: Print the document ...
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When was the last time you asked yourself: Am I truly living an occupationally balanced life? Finding balance is hard, especially when you juggle many roles, but it’s not impossible. We gathered tips from your OT colleagues about finding balance, managing stress, and preventing burnout. Try implementing one (or more!) of these strategies this week. No time like the present to start improving your life! This article is targeted to OT and OTA students , but the tips on finding occupational balance can apply to everyone. A few of my favorites: 1) Establish boundaries by giving yourself a day off each week. Completely shut down your “OT brain” and don’t ...
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As the new Congress is sworn in today, we wanted to take a look back at the work of AOTA Federal Affairs in the previous Congress. Here is a list of some of the major legislation that AOTA supported during the 115th Congress (Jan 2017- Jan 2019) and a summary of some of the outcomes.  We will be watching for the reintroduction of these bills in the new Congress, as well as looking for new legislation that affects the profession and those we serve.  This list is not exhaustive but touches on some of our key issues from the previous session of Congress. For a more in-depth look at our legislative victories in the last Congress, please read this article. ...
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From working with octopuses to proving that all OT practitioners are Jason Bourne, you and your OT colleagues crack us up. I asked my coworkers and our Instagram followers to share the funniest OT-related things you’ve seen on social media this year. Hope some of these make you smile and laugh! Click through on any of these to see the original posts. Overheard my 4yr old talking to her friend about what they want to when they grow up. (I’m a Children’s OT) D: I want to be like mummy. F: What does she do? D: She’s an Octopus Scientist. F: What’s that? D: She helps children and octopuses who find things tricky. 😂 — Hazel Knox (@hazel_knox) August 26, ...
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Guest Post by Emily J. Morgan I think Glen Gillen said it best after I asked him to view several photographs of the ornaments I continue to hang year after year on my Christmas tree:  “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!” he responded.  As many of you may know, Project Champion Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, presented a free webinar available to all AOTA members in early November introducing the Choosing Wisely ® campaign . Choosing Wisely ® is an initiative started by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (ABIM). Within our profession, five evidence-based recommendations of services that occupational therapy practitioners should not ...
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In 2018, we had at least 664 positive news stories about occupational therapy. Of those placements, at least 313 were in news outlets that report an audience of more than 5 million viewers. You can view all of the media placements that provide the public with a better understanding of the profession on AOTA’s OT in the News page .  Among these articles, TV broadcasts, and radio interviews is a common theme: empowerment. All of these placements explain the distinct value of OT through the success of the clients or by providing tips for people to make life easier. Helping children to succeed Many articles this year focused on helping children with physical ...
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About AOTA's Blog

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