April 13, 2017
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is proud to announce that the profession of occupational therapy is officially turning 100 years old.
The national association, with more than 60,000 members kicked off a year-long celebration as the calendar turned to 2017.
“In the past 100 years, occupational therapy practitioners have helped countless children of all abilities access education, facilitated relearning of life skills lost as a result of illness or injury, supported persons with mental illness as they transitioned from institutions to communities, and have helped older adults age in place. As we embark on our next 100 years, occupational therapy will continue to bring meaning to the everyday lives of people through the use of meaningful, necessary and familiar occupations that they want and need to do.” – AOTA President Amy J. Lamb
Occupational therapy practitioners focus on helping clients to perform everyday activities to their highest potential. Some examples: Teaching Wounded Warriors how to hold their children again after limb loss; helping babies in the NICU learn to feed, breathe, and swallow so they can thrive; providing recommendations for assistive technology in the vehicle or home so that older adults can age in place safely; and helping stroke survivors relearn how to bathe, groom, dress, and cook for themselves, among other occupations. An independent study recently found that occupational therapy is the only therapy that reduces hospital readmissions.
From humble beginnings in Clifton Springs, NY, on March 15, 1917, when six founding members organized, the profession of occupational therapy has evolved into a science-driven, evidence-based profession whose goal is to help clients live to their maximum potential through a focus on the mind-body connection and purposeful activity.
Since its founding, AOTA has worked to create a global understanding of the profession through public education and by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care.
Today, more than 213,000 occupational therapy practitioners nationwide help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).
The Association will officially celebrate a century of occupational therapy at its Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration March 30–April 2 in Philadelphia. More than 10,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, educators, and students are expected to attend the annual event which will focus on research and shaping the next 100 years.
To learn more about occupational therapy’s rich history, visit www.otcentennial.org. For more on AOTA and the upcoming Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, visit www.aota.org.