AOTA's Blog

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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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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