AOTA's Blog

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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The headlines on Friday evening blared the news: “Texas Judge Strikes Down the Affordable Care Act.” In Texas v. Azar , a federal judge ruled that when Congress reduced the tax penalty for being uninsured to $0 it made the entire ACA unconstitutional. This didn’t mean that the many programs and policies that can be traced to the 2010 health reform law had to shut down immediately: on Saturday, the final day of open enrollment for the ACA’s marketplaces in most states was allowed to proceed. And on Monday, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement saying that the agency would continue to enforce the law. The ...
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Do you find it difficult to motivate some of your clients? Are you looking for a way to get your clients more involved so they can meet their goals? Client motivation and participation is key in occupational therapy. When you motivate your clients in therapy sessions they will understand and value occupational therapy as a means to help them return home and participate in activities that are important to them. If you’re looking for an evidence-based way to increase client motivation, check out AOTA Continuing Education’s new training course— Enhanced-Medical Rehabilitation (E-MR): How to Engage and Motivate Your Clients . This new structured approach applies ...
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The elections in November significantly changed the power structure in Washington, DC. Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010 securing a 36 vote majority. Republicans expanding their Senate majority by 6, creating “split” Congress. After this type of election, AOTA Federal Affairs looks towards the next Congress from two angles. First, we try to predict what the legislative priorities of the new Congress will be (including what types of legislation have a chance at being signed into law) and second, we examine the status of our champions in Congress, and look towards building new relationships and strengthening existing ...
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This article was originally posted on OT Connections on February 13 th , 2018. It has been updated with new information by our policy staff. In February of 2018, HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 passed the House. With only a few weeks left in Congress, there is new momentum to get this bill passed in the Senate before the end of the year.  Take action now - Contact Your Senators Today! HR 620 would change Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by removing certain protections that allow people with disabilities to access public accommodations. Title III of the ADA currently requires equal access in all areas ...
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In honor of AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (December 3-7, 2018), AOTA hosted an online Twitter Chat on Thursday, December 6 featuring the resources and expertise of our partner organizations. The goal of the chat, which followed #ODSAWchat , was to educate older adults and their families, and other organizations about the many resources available to promote safe community mobility. AOTA posed 8 questions to a group of invited expert panelists representing national and regional organizations specializing in aging, community mobility, transportation, and adapted equipment. Here are some highlights from the responses: #ODSAWchat Highlights from ...
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This week is AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (December 3-7, 2018). On Sunday evening, Elin Schold Davis and I kicked off the week by taking over the #OTalk2US monthly Twitter Chat, which is an online networking event for OT Practitioners that focuses on a different topic each month. Elin moderated a conversation focused on ways to help improve aging clients’ community mobility, and participants offered a variety of tips on how they help clients and their families. The idea was to encourage more OT practitioners who work with older adults talking about community mobility issues with their clients. Here are some highlights from Sunday evening’s ...
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Are you looking for gift ideas for OT practitioners or students? (Or for yourself?) We found the most popular books, movies, and products among our OT crowd. You’re bound to find something the OT peeps in your life will love. Coloring Books Zolocolor The Zolocolor coloring book series from Simon and Schuster have simple but bold shapes. These are great for beginners as it’s much simpler than some of the other more popular coloring books for adults. Coloring Book for Men Coloring is not just for women! If you want to make sure your coloring page designs appeal to men, check out The Amazing Colouring Book for MEN . Bonus: Zentangle! ...
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The Medicaid expansion map is changing, with five states poised to expand the program in the next few months. On November 6 th , voters in three states approved ballot measures accepting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, joining two other states with recently approved expansion plans. This means more low-income adults will have access to occupational therapy services. Here’s a quick snapshot of where Medicaid expansion stands today. Thirty-six states and Washington, DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (this number includes the states that have adopted but not yet implemented the expansion). Fourteen have not. The health care ...
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As an AOTA Federal Lobbyist, much of my job centers on advocating for occupational therapy practitioners working in the public schools. We have heard from you how cuts to education funding have affected hiring and caseloads. With the 2018 mid-term election nearly behind us, let’s look at a few trends, and how they will impact school funding in the future.   The first is the number of educators who ran for office and won. According to the National Education Association (NEA) nearly 1,800 educators ran in 2018, which is just a huge number. These educators include Congresswoman-elects Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) who will take the Congressional ...
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One of the most fulfilling parts of my role at AOTA is to monitor mentions of occupational therapy in the news. Many of these mentions in media outlets involve success stories: people overcoming obstacles to achieve the things that make their lives worthwhile. As we take a moment to reflect on Thanksgiving about what we are thankful for, I thought I would share just a sampling of some recent examples of people in the news feeling thankful for YOU, and the profession of occupational therapy: USA Today explains how a Wounded Warrior began making jewelry at the suggestion of one of her occupational therapists. The hobby, intended to help her exercise motor ...
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For more than 100 years, occupational therapy practitioners have worked with veterans to help them return to the occupations they value. Hear from Brandon who is thankful that occupational therapy helped him regain his independence. Help Educate the Public About OT’s Role With Veterans Share about occupational therapy’s role with veterans and wounded warriors with our fact sheet about polytrauma . These two programs run by occupational therapists are helping veterans heal through the power of occupations. OT Carly Rogers uses surfing lessons to help veterans get out of the house and participate in life again. Listen to her share the story ...
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ACA open enrollment season is underway. November 1 is the kickoff date in most states for a six week period for enrolling in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). California’s signup period started on October 15 and runs through January 15. Washington, DC and New York also have three-month open enrollments, each running from November 1 to January 31. Rhode Island’s lasts until December 31, and Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota stay open through mid-January. Average premiums are a little lower. After big premium increases last year (37 percent on average for the most popular type of coverage, the silver plan, in states that ...
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Trick or treating is not mandatory. Children can meaningfully participate in Halloween festivities without going door to door in costume. Occupational therapy practitioners know that modifying activities and the environment can help children have a positive experience and still get to participate in festivities. There can be many reasons why a child cannot (or doesn’t want to!) participate in trick or treating—from living in a rural area to having sensory challenges that makes costumes and going to strangers’ houses overwhelming. We wanted to share a few ideas by OT practitioners for celebrating Halloween that go beyond the typical trick or treating. If ...
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Tomorrow is World OT Day! How will you promote occupational therapy? The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) celebrates World OT Day annually on October 27 to increase the visibility of the profession. So what can you do? WFOT put together a few ideas on how to promote and celebrate World OT Day here . You can also participate in a virtual exchange where you can hear from your OT colleagues presenting on a variety of topics throughout the day. It’s free and kicks off tomorrow (Saturday, October 27) at 7 a.m. eastern time . You can celebrate World OT Day by dedicating it to service. Service can be mentoring, tutoring, cleaning up your ...
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Want to improve your documentation? Does your documentation demonstrate the unique role of occupational therapy for your clients? You won’t want to miss the newest CE article—The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: A Foundation for Documentation by @Debbie Amini and  @Jeremy Furniss . You can highlight the distinct value of OT in your documentation by using the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework as your foundation. Learn how to organize your evaluations and intervention planning in a way that mirrors the domain and process of the Framework . Download the article here ( pdf ). After reading the article, you can get CE credit by purchasing ...
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