AOTA's Blog

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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An uptick in diagnosis of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) has dominated recent news reports. The polio-like condition causes pain and paralysis in otherwise healthy children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 62 known cases of AFM in 22 states so far in 2018. That is nearly double the number of last year’s reported cases. You can read more about the CDC's research on AFM here . Among countless other news outlets, CBS , ABC , WZTV-TV in Tennessee, Everyday Health , and The Wichita Eagle news pieces all mention that occupational therapy is helping children who are experiencing these symptoms to regain strength and participate ...
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On October 3, 2018 the Senate passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioids Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), sending the bill the President Trump to be signed into law. The SUPPORT Act is wide-ranging legislation to address the opioid epidemic and includes multiple provisions focused on access to non-pharmacological pain management treatments, including OT. The following video provides more details about how the legislation opens new opportunities for occupational therapy in pain management and will provide better access to non-pharmacological, inter-disciplinary treatments for pain. Here ...
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Did you know that 250 of your occupational therapy colleagues are in Milwaukee right now attending the AOTA Specialty Conference: Children & Youth? Check out what you are missing with these photos and tweets. Also, follow the #AOTAPeds hashtag on Twitter to see more. ​ #AOTApeds: Children & Youth Specialty Conference #ChildrenandYouthSIS #Conference
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The new federal regulation loosening restrictions around short-term health plans could mean more consumers signing up for insurance plans with little or no coverage for occupational therapy – and not always understanding what their coverage lacks until it’s too late. Starting in October, people in many states may be able to hold on to short-term plans for as long as three years, positioning “short-term” plans to be a long-term alternative to ACA marketplace coverage. Several states have enacted laws restricting short-term plans. Since the federal government proposed the short-term plan changes, Hawaii, Maryland, and Vermont have enacted laws restricting ...
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Did you start something new recently? Maybe you’re a new grad just getting into the occupational therapy field, or maybe you just recently changed practice settings. Or maybe you recently started working with a new client who is, for lack of a better word, challenging . Check out these tips from your OT colleagues on how to not get overwhelmed. Tip 1: Ask for Help! Never be afraid to ask for help—from another OT or even other coworkers. We are in a profession that likes to help! -Lori Derrick Blalock Look for opportunities to network with others—so many great options in person or online that can help provide resources and encouragement, ...
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How many of your clients have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their lives? Even if it’s just one client, you need to fully understand how trauma can affect occupational participation for years following the event. Traumatic events can include physical or emotional abuse, bullying, military trauma, or a child who was separated from their families at the border . All forms of trauma can have long-lasting adverse effects that can include an individual’s inability to cope with normal stresses and strains of daily living as well as developing chronic conditions later in life such as heart disease, obesity, depression, and more ( source ). AOTA ...
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In 2016 Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bill was an initial step to help address issues related to drug addiction and treatment with a focus on opioids.  Specifically, the bill focused on access to medications to treat opioid overdoses, the development of evidence-based treatments and interventions and medication-assisted treatments. Over the last two years, the current Congress has recognized that CARA was only a first step.  Over the course of 18 months the House and the Senate have held dozens of hearings on the opioid crisis. The House has passed multiple pieces of legislation as have Senate Committees.  These ...
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Occupational therapy practitioners know that sometimes to make a difference, thinking outside of the box is necessary. AOTA Board Member Melissa Tilton, OTA, BS, COTA, ROH, took this mentality to a new level on Monday night when she took her mission of promoting the profession to new heights. Or should we say, distance? In Fenway Park. Live. In front of thousands of cheering baseball fans. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Tilton kicked off Boston Red Sox Rehabilitation Night. The evening created by the baseball organization was originally advertised to recognize, “PTs, OTs, and SLPs” according to a social media posting passed along to her ...
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The House and Senate Appropriations Committees both approved their spending bills for the 2019 fiscal year (FY19), each included spending increases for two Federal education funding sources that will benefit school based occupational therapy practitioners. The first is an increase to the funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (Title IV-A grant under the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA).The Senate increased the FY19 funding level from $500 million in FY18, to $1.25 billion in FY19. The House increased the funding levels from $450 million in FY18 to $1.2 billion in FY19. This increase provides occupational therapy practitioners with ...
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Every year, all federal agencies prepare a budget request they send to the President. These requests include a budget justification, or the “what” and “why” of funding the request. It lays out what programs they want funded, and more importantly, why those programs deserve funding. Because of this process, the final Presidential budget proposal provides a window into the White House views of the programs and what value they provide. In the 2019 fiscal year (FY19) Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) budget justification, staff laid out the benefits of the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program. The 21 st Century ...
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Ever cringe at inaccurate portrayals while watching a movie or TV? That’s why we love (and partner with!) the SAMHSA Voice Awards , which honor films and TV shows that portray behavioral health and recovery accurately. As a Voice Awards partner, AOTA gets to share a clip about occupational therapy during the ceremony. The video below played to the attendees at last week’s ceremony in Hollywood. Let’s take a look at some of the times when Hollywood gets mental health right! We think you’re going to love these movies and TV shows—add these award-winning titles to your queue. TV Shows That Have Won Voice Awards One Day at a Time, Netflix ...
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AOTA and MOTA Champion Efforts to Enable OTs to Open Home Health Cases Congressional Committee may Consider Medicare Red Tape Relief Legislation in September     AOTA with the help of the Missouri Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) worked to secure a Congressional champion, Rep. Jason Smith (R, MO), who is fighting to include the Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act   (H.R. 6225) as part of a Red Tape Relief package which may be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee in September.  AOTA has emphasized that the legislation is bi-partisan, non-controversial and has no impact on the federal budget, which we understand to be essential ...
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If your clients want have a goal of returning to sports or to exercise more, today we’re sharing some resources and ideas for you to help facilitate that. Step 1: Watch OT in Action Helping a Client Return to Sports Occupational therapy is all about helping our clients return to the activities and occupations they want to do. Check out this short clip to see OT in action with a client who wanted to return to playing tennis after hand surgery. Step 2: Learn About the Evidence for Exercise and Sports AOTA’s critically appraised topics (CATs) provide an at-a-glance synthesis of articles on a focused question with summaries of key findings and ...
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With so many conversations happening on our online community, AOTA’s CommunOT™, we wanted to highlight a few discussions you may have missed. AOTA members can log in to view and reply to the posts. Working With Bigoted Clients  Did you see the article on working with bigoted clients in a recent issue of OT Practice magazine? Check out this discussion about the article and share your thoughts on this difficult but important topic . Medication Management  Your colleagues are talking about medication management and discussing how it fits in to the OT scope of practice. Check out the resources shared and how people help clients with this important IADL ...
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About AOTA's Blog

Welcome to the American Occupational Therapy Association's blog!

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