Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

To learn more about the important work of occupational therapists, and the solutions they provide to enable the occupations of life, please review the information below.

Workplace Health
It is the position of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists that occupational therapists have the knowledge and skills to practice in workplace health. Workplace health incorporates practices, policies, and programs designed to improve the physical, mental and psychosocial health of workers (Canadian Council on Integrated Healthcare, 2002).   

Occupational therapy in Canada is based on a model of practice that maintains the interaction between the person and their occupations with the social, cultural, physical and institutional environment.  Occupational therapy is uniquely positioned to provide services to workplaces to initiate and develop multiple-level strategies for promotion of employee and organizational health.

To read the full position statements on workplace health, please click on the links below:
Workplace health: Workplace health and Occupational therapy;
Return to work and occupational therapy
Healthy occupation and disability management services

Chronic Disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines chronic diseases as those conditions with a complex etiology, with a long duration, progression over time, and associated activity limitations (WHO, 2005). Chronic diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, visual impairment and blindness, hearing impairment and deafness, mental disorder, oral diseases and genetic disorders. The WHO makes a distinction between chronic diseases and diseases with an infectious origin; however, conditions such as HIV/AIDS may also be long-term and require similar treatment approaches.

To read the position statement on chronic disease and obesity, please click on the link below:
Chronic disease: Obesity

Mental Health
It is the position of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists that occupational therapy is a core component of an integrated mental health system. Occupational therapy's understanding of the relationship among person, occupation, and environment uniquely positions the profession to provide quality mental health services in environments where people live and work.

To read the position statement on mental health, please click here.
Occupational Therapy and Mental Health

Older Driver Safety
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) recognizes that driving promotes community mobility for individuals, families and groups. Community mobility plays an important role in health, well-being and participation. An understanding of the relationship among the person, occupation, and environment uniquely positions occupational therapists to provide valued and evidence-based services that promote driving as an occupation.

To read the position statement on older driver safety, please click on the link below:
Driving: Occupational therapy and Driver rehabilitation

To access driving resources, please click here:
The National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in Older Drivers 
Older Driver Safety Website
Keeping on the Go – Older Driver Safety brochures

Health Human Resources
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) recognizes that a sustainable and effective integrated health human resources workforce is essential to respond to the health needs of the Canadian population (CAOT, 1997). All people of Canada should have access to the right professionals at the right time in their communities throughout their lifetimes. CAOT believes that effective health human resources planning is informed by evidence in order to respond to existing and projected population health needs.

Occupational therapy is an essential service and resource to promote health and support well-being for the people of Canada. To ensure an effective occupational therapy workforce for the future, CAOT has developed a strategic health human resources plan that addresses numerous elements such as recruitment, supply, and retention, career planning, funding for services, support personnel, quality standards in education and service delivery. All these elements contribute to building occupational therapy workforce capacity in Canada.

To read the position statement on health human resources, please click on the link below:
Health Human resources: Health Human resources and occupational therapy

Internationally Educated Occupational Therapists (IEOT) Web Portal
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO) and the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapists University Programs (ACOTUP) are the partner organizations of the IEOT Web Portal, funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

The web portal is an online navigation tool that provides IEOTS with information to assess their interests and qualifications to work in Canada, as well as links to web sites that will provide necessary information regarding registration and immigration requirements and processes.  The IEOT Web Portal was created to provide IEOTs with a gateway to information about the practice of occupational therapy in Canada, what it’s like to work in the Canadian health sector and the steps they must take to work as an occupational therapist in one of Canada’s provinces or territories. The Portal also serves as an entry point to access information related to occupational therapy in Canada for employers, domestically educated occupational therapists, settlement agencies, and other organizations working with IEOTs to access coordinated information related to occupational therapy in Canada.

To access the IEOT Web Portal, please click here.
To link to Otepp, please click here

Autism
Dr. Mary Law represented CAOT at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology in November 2006 to discuss the role of occupational therapy with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

CAOT recommended that the federal government take a leadership role to develop a national strategy for children with disabilities, including a national vision and action plan for ASD. The following areas were proposed to be addressed in an ASD action plan: system issues such as access and funding; integrated health human resource planning; a waitlist management strategy; research to develop evidence for ASD evaluation and intervention; and coordination and integration of ASD services provided by health, education and social sectors. Other recommendations addressed the need for interventions and supports for families as well as education for consumers, health professionals and government to ensure a comprehensive approach to ASD services.

To read the position statement on Autism, please click the link below:
Autism (Paediatrics): Healthy occupations for children and youth; Autism Spectrum disorders and occupational therapy

Additional resources:
Click here to access the Brief on Autism and Occupational Therapy for the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

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