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The Profession of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a vital health care and rehabilitation profession that employs practitioners who help clients to develop or to restore and sustain the highest quality of productive life while recovering from illness or injury. Occupational therapists work with individuals across the lifespan to promote health, wellness and recovery from illness that can impact sensory, motor, cognitive and psychosocial functions. Occupational therapy is the therapeutic use of self-care, work/productive tasks and play/leisure activities to increase independent function, enhance development and prevent disability. The term “occupation” refers to activities that are meaningful to the individual within the environments in which that person lives and functions. Occupational therapy promotes healthy lifestyles, prevents disability and facilitates active participation through occupation. It includes adapting tasks and the environment to maximize independence and quality of life. Occupational therapists help people to adapt to changes resulting from disability, disease, impairment and the aging process, and to focus on illness and injury prevention. Occupational therapists promote healthy and satisfying lifestyles for people of all ages.

A master's degree or higher in occupational therapy from an academic program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is required in order to practice. Graduates need to pass the national certification exam (NBCOT exam) before applying for licensure in any state.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment rate for occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26% between 2008-2018. The growth rate is one of the highest among all professions. Prospective increase in job opportunities include but are not limited to acute hospital care, rehabilitation, orthopedics, driver rehabilitation, training for the elderly, ergonomics, pediatrics, and health and wellness of high risk populations in community settings.

Accreditation

Our program successfully complies with all the procedures guidelines and standards determined by the professional accrediting body ACOTE. In the summer 2012, we have received re-accreditation for 10 years. Our next accreditation cycle will be in the academic year 2021-2022. For further information regarding accreditation please refer directly to ACOTE in the following address:

ACOTE
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
www.aota.org/Educate/Accredit.aspx