News headlines in 2019 highlight value of occupation

By Katie Riley posted 12-23-2019 10:36


To date in 2019, we’ve counted at least 582 positive news stories about occupational therapy. Of those placements, at least 309 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.

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.Woman being interviewed for news

We kicked off 2019 with some positive job rankings for both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants with the following job rankings: U.S. News & World Report’s The 25 best jobs of 2019 (OT is #13), Glassdoor’s The best jobs in America for 2019 (OT is #4), MSN Money’s The fastest-growing careers with the most new jobs (OTA is No. 10), and others. Many of these job rankings articles we re-run in multiple news outlets across the nation.

This Ulta Beauty ad had us all cheering for both the woman featured, and the 4-year-old girl who sees her as a role model.

CAPABLE garnered more national media attention this year with stories in Kaiser Health News, Philadelphia Tribune, and NPR among others.

And as usual, stories about returning to everyday occupations following an illness or injury were newsmakers this year:

After her stroke, this musician had to retune her life (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Understanding the types of rehab for stroke therapy (Next Avenue)

11 essentials for people recovering from a stroke (Yahoo Lifestyle)

'Miracle Girl': After brain bleed, Wheaton woman rebuilds her life (Chicago Daily Herald)

For brain surgery patient, biggest challenge is motherhood (The Associated Press)

How to safeguard your stairs so you don't take a nasty fall (Inside Edition)

At ‘High Five’ camp, struggling with a disability is the point (NPR)

Pieces on how meaningful occupations can enrich life or solve challenges were headlines throughout 2019:

Plant-potting workshop helps boost spirits of women in prison (Psych Central)

Spending just 20 minutes in a park makes you happier (TIME magazine)

This inexpensive pencil grip is the trick to teaching kids how to hold a pencil (The Today Show)

Experts: Senior citizens should plan for 'driving retirement' too (Newsday)

10 Driving Tips for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (Everyday Health)

Benefits of baby yoga aren't a stretch (Good Morning America)

“Catching waves for well-being” (The New York Times)

‘Abilities not disabilities’: A Kendall coffee shop hired them when no one else would (The Miami Herald)

89-year-old woman learns to skate again after stroke (KOMO-TV)

THANK YOU to all occupational therapy practitioners who have dedicated their talents to participating in media interviews this year. THANK YOU to all of the journalists who have helped share the value of occupational therapy with their audiences. We have big plans media outreach in 2020, and I look forward to sharing more headlines with you soon!

Is promoting OT in the news on your New Year’s resolution list for 2020? Contact me at and let’s get started! To learn more about AOTA’s media efforts, visit our For the Media page.


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