Doctor of Occupational Therapy Vision, Mission, and Philosophy
OTD Vision Statement
To earn recognition for elevating the practice of occupational therapy by promoting our distinct value as clinicians and professionals.
OTD Program Mission
To provide students with a strong foundation in professionalism, critical reasoning, and practice skills to become competent occupational therapists who use meaningful occupations to help people improve their health and well-being.
The value of a profession lies within its professional identity and its distinct contribution to society. A deep understanding of the profession’s core subject is critical for the development of a strong professional identity and articulation of the profession’s distinct value. The core subject of the occupational therapy profession is the dynamics of occupation. Dynamics of occupation is a construct that characterizes how occupation—engagement in meaningful, necessary, and familiar activities—affects a person’s health and well-being. Dynamics are forces that influence growth, development, or change within a system or process. The dynamics of occupation can be understood as the forces related to occupational engagement that impact health and well-being.
Occupational therapists believe that being occupied in meaningful, necessary, and familiar activities is a source of health and well-being for human beings. These activities, or occupations, encompass areas that include: self-care, learning, work, play, leisure, social participation, and sleep/rest. Each person has a unique configuration of meaningful occupations that relate to their roles, habits, routines, contexts, and environments. Various life circumstances and health conditions can disrupt a person’s ability to engage in valued occupations.
Occupational therapists use their understanding of the dynamics of occupation to provide occupational therapy interventions that help people do the day to day activities that are important and meaningful to them. Occupational therapists work collaboratively with individuals, families, caregivers, and other groups whose life patterns and abilities to engage in valued occupations have been altered for various reasons (e.g., cognitive or developmental problems, injury or illness, social or emotional deficits, aging process). Occupational therapist apply critical reasoning and practice skills as they evaluate, plan, facilitate, and reflect on client care. The distinct value of occupational therapy is to improve health and well-being through facilitating participation and engagement in occupations at home, school, workplace, community, and various other settings.
Occupational therapy education must provide opportunities for students to integrate a wide range of topics learned to the core subject—dynamics of occupation—so that students profoundly understand and clearly articulate the distinct value of occupational therapy. Developing a deep understanding of the dynamics of occupations requires that students:
- Learn what constitutes an occupation and how to analyze activity demands
- Learn how to assess a person’s unique occupational profile
- Learn how to analyze occupational performance
- Learn how occupations can be disrupted, impoverished, or changed over time
- Learn how underlying neurological and physiological mechanisms that positively and negatively affect occupational engagement, performance, and participation
- Learn a therapeutic strategies, techniques, and activities to help people engage, perform, and participate in meaningful occupation
- Learn methods to evaluate changes in occupational participation, health, and well-being