The University of Central Arkansas, along with The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), is proud to announce that the profession of occupational therapy is turning 100 years old this year.
The University of Central Arkansas Department of Occupational Therapy celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the profession with an event, “Cheers to 100 Years,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 at UCA Downtown.
The celebration featured music, hors d’oeuvres, and work from artists who have benefited from occupational therapy. Dr. Jennifer Moore, chair of the UCA Department of Occupational Therapy, also spoke. Attendees included occupational therapy practitioners, service providers, and educators from programs across the state, as well as UCA faculty, staff, students, alumni, members of the UCA Board of Trustees and friends of the profession.
In addition to these festivities, AOTA named Dr. Letha Mosley, associate professor in the UCA Department of Occupational Therapy, and UCA occupational therapy alumnus Dr. Kenneth Ottenbacher, professor and director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, among the profession’s “100 Influential People in Occupational Therapy.”
Occupational therapy practitioners focus on helping clients perform everyday activities to their highest potential. Some examples include: teaching Wounded Warriors how to hold their children again after limb loss; helping babies in the neonatal intensive care unit learn to feed, breathe and swallow so they can thrive; providing recommendations for assistive technology in the vehicle or home so older adults can age in place safely; and helping stroke survivors relearn how to bathe, groom, dress and cook for themselves, among other occupations. Independent studies recently found that occupational therapy is the only therapy that reduces hospital readmissions and nursing home admissions.
“In the past 100 years, occupational therapy practitioners have facilitated function and independence by helping countless children of all abilities access education, facilitating relearning life skills lost as a result of illness or injury, supporting persons with mental illness to thrive in their communities, and helping older adults age in place,” said AOTA President Amy J. Lamb. “As we embark on our next 100 years, occupational therapy will continue to improve health care outcomes through the therapeutic use of meaningful, necessary and familiar occupations.”
Today, more than 213,000 occupational therapy practitioners nationwide help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). To learn more about occupational therapy’s rich history, visit their website.
For more information about these events and the Department of Occupational Therapy, visit their website.