Advocating for Occupational Therapy

About Advocacy   

The role of advocacy for occupational therapists is to share the distinct value of occupational therapy, speak out to achieve reform in healthcare policies, and help patients receive needed services when they encounter obstacles. Advocacy is integrated into the curriculum at UCA through giving students opportunities to practice advocating. These experiences range from raising funds to support OTPAC to attending OT Hill Day in Washington D.C. Follow the information on this page to discover resources, access learning tools, and find out how you can make a difference.


Understanding Occupational Therapy

Before you can start advocating, you must first understand the profession of occupational therapy.

The first video explains what occupational therapy is. Whether you have been in UCA’s program for a couple years or you are just starting to look into occupational therapy as your future profession, you probably know that our future profession is a hard concept for people to comprehend and it can be even harder to explain. This video can hopefully give you some good examples of what to share with others when explaining occupational therapy.

The second video was made by the American Occupational Therapy Association. It interviews several occupational therapists about what they do and includes several personal testimonies from patients who talk about the difference occupational therapy has made for their life. This is a great video to further understand what occupational therapists do, and can be a tool you use when trying to explain it to someone else.


Occupational Therapy Organizations

Organizations are great resources for getting involved, learning about the profession of Occupational Therapy, and how to advocate for it. Below are a list of organizations that include national, state, and university organizations.


The American Occupational Therapy Association is a national organization that provides a platform for students and professionals to learn about the current issues surrounding Occupational Therapy and educational resources that you can use to advocate for the profession. Use this page to educate yourself about the profession, stay updated on current issues and changes in OT, and how you can get involved in advocacy in OT.


The Arkansas Occupational Therapy Association is a state organization that you can visit to learn about the profession and and changes in policy in Occupational Therapy in the state of Arkansas.


Organizations at the University of Central Arkansas

UCA OT Facebook

This is the UCA Occupational Therapy Department facebook page where you can stay up to date on all of the news and events happening in the department.


You can visit this page to find more information on the Student Caucus for Diversity in Occupational Therapy, which is a UCA student organization that focuses on the importance and need of diversity in the field of Occupational Therapy.


By visiting this page, you will learn more information about the student organization, Students of Occupational Therapy Association, at UCA where students can get involved in the community, network with professionals, volunteer, and learn about current issues with healthcare and administration.


Learning Tools

It is important to learn and increase knowledge of your role in the process of OT advocacy. Each of these learning tools will help you understand ways to take part in the process and also help strengthen your knowledge about OT advocacy.

This educational platform provides step-by-step description of various advocacy objectives, from learning about the legislative process to learning about the various online resources regarding advocacy activities.


Student Leadership and Advocacy Articles

From this section of the AOTA website, you can find tips on ways to advocate as well as personal experiences from students and practitioners who have actively participated in promoting the occupational therapy profession.


AOTA’s Advocacy & Policy:

This page from the AOTA website will guide you to find the latest news with federal and state legislative issues that affect the profession of occupational therapy.


Taking Action

Now that you understand the importance of advocating for the profession, here are some tools you can use to get involved!

AOTA’s Legislative Action Center:

From this page, you can find your federal members of Congress, learn about current and upcoming issues that will affect your practice, and contact your legislators on issues of importance to you.


Promoting the Profession:

You can find fact sheets, tips, and brochures on how to promote the profession of OT with this link.


AOTA’s Take Action:

For other tips on advocating for OT, you can explore this page. Learn about Capitol Hill Day, get tips for writing a letter to a member of Congress, or read about the basics of advocacy.