What is Occupational Therapy?
“In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.” (AOTA, 2021)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for Occupational Therapists will grow by 24% by the year 2026. This is a much faster rate than most other professions.
Occupational Therapy Department Mission Statement
The Valparaiso University Occupational Therapy Department prepares future practitioners to provide occupational therapy services to clients using interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, integrity, and compassion.
AOTA Vision 2025
As an inclusive profession, occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living.
Karen Allen, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, College of Nursing & Health Professions