What is Occupational Therapy?

April 4, 2023

Happy Occupational Therapy Month! Every April the Occupational Therapy Community celebrates our profession. The Valparaiso University Occupational Therapy Program is thrilled to join with other OT practitioners to promote our profession this month. 

What is Occupational Therapy? 

Occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to participate in daily living or live better with injury, illness, or disability. This is accomplished through designing strategies for everyday living and customizing environments to develop and maximize potential.

By taking the full picture into account—a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social make-up—occupational therapy assists people in:

  • Achieving their goals
  • Functioning at the highest possible level
  • Concentrating on what matters most to them
  • Maintaining or rebuilding their independence
  • Participating in the everyday activities that they need to do or that simply make life worth living

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are experts in helping people perform the occupations they need and want to do every day. (AOTA, 2023) 

Valparaiso Occupational Therapy 

Planning for an Occupational Therapy program at Valparaiso University has been in the works for a number of years. Valparaiso OT joins the well-respected College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso University. The primary motivation for beginning the program was to meet the needs of the Northwest Indiana Region. Occupational Therapy is a profession that is currently in high demand, with a projected growth of 14% over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023). 

The Mission of Valparaiso Occupational Therapy is to inspire students to develop a commitment to the profession of OT as a vocation, utilizing their strengths to meet the needs of their community through leadership, service, and scholarship. Our vision is to light the way for community transformation through engagement in meaningful occupations. 

Valparaiso OT has two degree programs. An entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree who would like to become certified as Occupational Therapists. We also have a Post-professional Doctorate Program (DrOT) for currently certified occupational therapists who would like to pursue an advanced degree and specialization. 

Plans for OT Month 

We encourage you to follow our social media accounts all month long to learn more about occupational therapy, our Valparaiso OT program, and our Northwest Indiana community. Our efforts will include: 

  • Daily social media posts that highlight facts about OT, featured community partners, and information about Valparaiso OT 
  • Weekly blog posts that provide in depth information about Valparaiso Occupational Therapy 
  • Friday social media challenges that encourage our followers to share and promote the value of meaningful occupations’

We at Valparaiso OT are thrilled to be celebrating OT Month and to be launching our first entry-level OTD cohort and our fourth post-professional DrOT cohort this Fall. We hope you follow and join us all month long!

Theresa Carlson Carroll, OTD, OTR/L