Ad Hoc Reports Examine Vision-Related Practice Areas
The Centennial Vision for the profession seeks to position occupational therapy as a leading force in 21st century health care for meeting society's health and participation needs. To help make the vision a reality and increase the profession's visibility among consumers and the public, AOTA has begun to organize its work around six broad practice areas:
- Children and Youth
- Productive Aging
- Mental Health
- Health and Wellness
- Work and Industry
- Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
In fall 2006, President Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, and President-Elect Penny Moyers, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA, constituted six ad hoc groups in these practice areas to examine issues facing the profession that are integral to fulfilling the Centennial Vision. The groups were charged with developing reports that would inform the work of the AOTA Board of Directors as it implements the strategic directions and priorities of the vision. (See "Related Content" at right for all reports.)
Each group was asked to answer the following questions:
- Who are our external partners in this area of practice, and what organizations are central to building strong networks to achieve our objectives?
- What are the critical education issues in this area of practice? Include foundational knowledge, occupational therapy-specific knowledge, and practice skills.
- What are the occupational therapy issues that should be addressed in each of the following: acute care, rehabilitation, institutional (i.e., schools or organizations), and community?
- What are occupational therapy outcomes in this area of practice, and how do they relate to participation? How do they relate to the outcomes valued by consumers or payers?
- What key research would inform practice in this area?
- What key policy issues should we be tracking and leading?
- What internal and external barriers are limiting our practice?
- What is our unique contribution to the needs of people who need rehabilitation, habilitation, or prevention services?
Members of the ad hoc groups were selected because of their bodies of work and because they were widely recognized as individuals who can assist the profession and the Association in executing strategic activities to address the issues facing practice.
Each group included a liaison from the Board of Directors, leaders of the Special Interest Sections, and other knowledgeable individuals with varying roles in our profession. Additionally, a staff liaison provided logistical assistance and acted as a general resource to each group as needed.
The Board of Directors received all six of the reports at their January 2007 meeting. These thoughtful, thorough reports provided the opportunity for the Board to engage in a rich discussion critical to our future. The groups' recommendations demonstrate the kind of forward thinking that can create the positive change needed for our profession to realize its potential in the 21st century and move successfully toward 2017.
The reports and recommendations (listed below) will be shared with AOTA commissions and committees as well as with staff to inform Association work. They also will be shared with all the academic program directors and the task groups that are designing the model curriculum and proposing outcomes for the profession. These reports will serve as a critical piece of our thinking as we chart a new course for the profession.