This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). 2017 is an opportunity to look back on the history of the occupational therapy (OT) profession, appreciate the commitment OTs bring to their facilities and patients, and be thankful for the benefits that both individual members and the profession as a whole receives from supporting the AOTA.
AOTA President Amy Jo Lamb, OT said, “Our centennial is the optimal opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to the use of occupation in our daily work. It is within occupation and the power of the everyday lives of those we serve that the true potential of occupational therapy’s distinct value is unlocked. As occupational therapy professionals we have the ability to make a difference—for the individuals, populations and communities we serve, for the organizations we are a part of and for the profession.”
True to their current mission statement, the AOTA has always focused on advancing the “quality, availability, use and support of occupational therapy through standard-setting, advocacy, education and research on behalf of its members and the public.” Many important milestones have occurred during the past century as a result of that focus, including the adoption of minimum standards of OT education, the creation of a Code of Ethics, and the publication of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
Even now the AOTA is focusing on agendas that will serve to further advance the OT profession:
- Creation of programs that assure the quality of OT services
- Promoting professional development of AOTA members
- Educating the public about OT services
- Serve as an advocate to improve healthcare by appearing before Congress and key agencies and decision-makers
- Communicating the latest policy and practice changes
OTs have a personal responsibility to also be advocates for occupational therapy and to support the organizations who advocate for them in turn.
Learn more about becoming an AOTA member, how you can participate in shaping the future of occupational therapy, and celebrate the professional all year long:
Advocacy & Policy