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Debbie Amini, EdD, OTR/L, CHT, FAOTA

Debbie Amini

Areas of Expertise: Hand rehabilitation, splinting, occupation-based hand therapy, occupational therapy education (OTA/OT), occupation-based documentation, and practice

Title: Director of Professional Development, AOTA

Location: Bethesda, MD and Wilmington, NC

Dr. Amini received her BS in occupational therapy from Quinnipiac University, her MEd in curriculum instruction/supervision from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and her EdD in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University.

She joined AOTA as Director of Professional Development in 2014. Her previous employment experience includes clinical hand therapy practice, directing an occupational therapy assistant program, and working as an assistant professor of occupational therapy in a MOT program.

Dr. Amini has served in multiple volunteer leadership positions with AOTA, including hand rehabilitation subsection coordinator from 2002 to 2005, physical disabilities special interest section chairperson from 2005 to 2008, and a member of AOTA’s Commission on Practice from 2008 to 2011, and chair of AOTA Commission on Practice from 2011-2014.

Dr. Amini was the “Hands On” department columnist for ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners from 1999 to 2011 and  “Inside Occupation” From 2011-2014. She has authored several articles that have appeared in ADVANCE for Directors in Rehabilitation, AOTA’s Physical Diabetes Quarterly newsletter, OT Practice magazine, and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. She has also written several online courses, three textbook chapters, and a CEonCDTM titled Hand Rehabilitation A Client-Centered and Occupation-Based Approach. She has contributed information on the hand, wrist, and forearm to Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Individuals With Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses published by AOTA Press. She currently serves on the editorial review board for the Open Journal of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy in Health Care.

Dr. Amini has presented numerous times at the AOTA, the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA), and American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) annual conferences and has conducted multiple 2-day regional workshops.

Dr. Amini has worked for three orthopedic hand surgery practices in Connecticut and North Carolina; she established  hand rehabilitation departments  in two of these offices. She was also instrumental in the development of the hand rehabilitation program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, a large regional medical center in Southeastern North Carolina. She has worked with all types of UE trauma including amputations, re-plantations, tendon repair and transfer, fractures, nerve compression and repairs, cumulative trauma disorders, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, joint reconstruction, Dupuytren's disease and traumatic injury. She has clinical expertise in splinting, wound care, and physical agent modalities.

Her research interests include the transition of OT practice from a reductionist to holistic perspective, positive psychology, critical self-reflection, the role of self-efficacy and communities of practice in habilitation/rehabilitation and OT education.