Ten Things You Can Do To Celebrate Occupational Therapy Month
April is OT Month
Don't Let This Opportunity Pass You By
April is National Occupational Therapy Month—an excellent opportunity to showcase the new branding platform, "Occupational Therapy: Living Life To Its Fullest™" as well as your skills, program, or business. If you already have an OT Month plan on the drawing board, that's great! We encourage you to be creative and consider these ideas if you want to supplement what you've already planned.
If you've not thought about OT Month yet, we hope you'll find these activities easy, affordable and effective.
1. Use Social Media
Describe how occupational therapy helps people live life to its fullest on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media forums. Include a link to the Times Square video on YouTube.
2. Look for Opportunities to Interact with Public Audiences
Prepare a talk about how OT helps individuals of all ages live life to its fullest, and offer to deliver an informal speech to community service organizations (i.e., Kiwanis, Rotary Clubs, etc.) or the local PTA. Contact senior centers and offer to make a presentation on topics such as driver safety, managing daily tasks while coping with arthritis, gadgets for ease and safety in the kitchen, or time and energy saving tips. Distribute appropriate handouts, such as AOTA's consumer tip sheets.
3. Share Your Activities
Let others know how you are promoting the profession in the OT Month forum on OT Connections. Be sure to include photos!
4. Provide a Public Service
Become involved with community service activities like Rebuilding Together or a backpack education event, and use the opportunity to promote the unique role that OT can play.
5. Throw an OT Month Party
Invite former clients for a celebration of their achievements and how they are living life to its fullest during OT Month. Ask them to bring friends and family. Invite local government officials, including your senator or member of Congress. Serve refreshments, offer a tour, and take lots of pictures. Prepare an article for your in-house publication, and send a press release to your local media outlets. Don't forget to upload your pictures to OTConnections!
6. Hold a Contest
Invite pediatric clients and their siblings to complete a coloring sheet depicting aspects of OT. Display the entries and draw the names of several winners. Take photos of the winners and send them with a story to your facility's newsletter, or even the local media.
Alternatively, for older clients, invite them to write short stories about or take photos of what "living life to its fullest" means to them and how OT is helping them or did help them achieve it. Again, display the entries and draw names of several winners. Take photos of the winners and send them with a story to your facility's newsletter, or even the local media.
7. Confer Special Honors
Recognize an outstanding administrator, name an employee of the year, or honor a person or client who's living life to its fullest. Arrange a ceremony or event to present the honor. Produce a certificate. Take photos and send them with a short description to your local media outlets.
8. Inform Coworkers
Set up your clinic with free coffee and donuts early in the morning or have a brown bag lunch one day each week during the month of April. Inform others in your work setting through cafeteria tent cards, fliers, e-mail, social media, or bulletin board notices. Have staff on hand to chat and inform people about how OT helps individuals of all ages live life to its fullest. This is particularly important in areas such as home health agencies where there is a need to expand awareness about OT. Visit www.promoteot.com/ for promotional give-away ideas.
9. Make House Calls
Put together an information packet, including an "Occupational Therapy: Living Life To Its Fullest™" one-pager, a fact sheet about your particular program or business, sample fact sheets, and your business card. Stop by physicians' offices and local businesses. Introduce yourself to receptionists, and leave your package for owners and managers to review. Make follow-up calls a week later to offer additional information.
10. Visit PromoteOT.com for OT Month Products
Each year AOTA introduces a new line of OT Month products, featuring clothing, gifts and other items to give share with clients, referrers, and colleagues. Also available this year are "Occupational Therapy: Living Life To Its Fullest™" items. Visit www.promoteot.com/ for more information.