We need all hands on deck to promote AOTAs Vision 2025 and help us on the road to achieving our vision!
Last evening, I had the opportunity and honor to do one of my favorite things! I spent the evening with students, faculty, alumni and guests of the Touro University Department of Occupational Therapy in Henderson, Nevada, exploring the future of the occupational therapy profession and AOTA’s Vision 2025. I could not be more grateful for their invitation, and their request that we focus our discussion on leadership and Vision 2025.
I had the pleasure of serving on the AOTA Board of Directors (BOD) as Secretary during the development of the Vision 2025 Statement. It was particularly rewarding as I was also in a leadership position and invited to the retreats that gave birth to the Centennial Vision. I have been an ardent proponent since its release and welcome any opportunity to promote its value! And, I think we need all hands on deck promoting the Vision. Unfortunately, when I asked the audience of about 90, who had heard of or who had read the Vision Statement before, less than a third of them raised their hands! 2025 is seven short years away and it is time for us all to kick things into high gear! I say all because AOTA's vision belongs to all of us. We all share responsibility for promoting it and for making it a reality.
As such, I am thrilled to see that the current AOTA BOD is actively working to educate members and other stakeholders on our new vision. I commend the BOD for listening to member concerns and revising the vision statement to address concerns over diversity and adding a new phrase and a new pillar.
The revised Vision 2025 Statement reads:
“As an inclusive profession, occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living (AOTA, 2018).”
I was also very happy to listen to an excellent Webinar given by AOTA Vice-President Debra Young as part of 2018 member appreciation events titled, “AOTA’s New Vision 2025 for the OT Profession” (AOTA, 2018a). She did a wonderful job of explaining the vision and exploring challenges and opportunities for occupational therapy practitioners to demonstrate the vision in action in their practice. The Webinar provides a CE credit and is available free of charge on the AOTA Website. If you are an AOTA member I encourage you to listen to it. If you are not an AOTA member, join now!
Preparing for this evening and participating in the discussion gave me an opportunity to reflect some more and think about the road in front of us. Here are some observations:
As occupational therapy practitioners we face many challenges and have a lot to accomplish if we are going to achieve Vision 2025; and we can do it!
We must convince practitioners that we will continue to support their work in traditional practice areas while expanding our horizons, and we can do it!
We need to listen to concerns such as the need to adequately articulate a model of ethics for practitioners focusing on communities, populations or organizations as clients, and we can do it!
We need to develop models for intervention in population health that are replicable and that promote evidence-based and occupation-based occupational therapy practice, and we can do it!
We need to create high profile exemplars of practitioners including OTAs who are “living” the Vision and share them widely on social media, Websites and in publications and we can do it!
We need to explicitly reach out to occupational therapy students, promote the Vision and help them understand what it looks like in ‘everyday practice,’ and we can do it!
We need to recruit leaders nationally, regionally, locally and at all levels of the profession to become vocal advocates for Vision 2025, and we can do it!
We need to be open to alternative opinions and resist the urge to reject voices that don’t completely fall in line with mainstream talking points, and we can do it!
We need to translate the vision in ways that articulate how occupational therapy practitioners can implement the Vision in their everyday practice, and we can do it!
2025 is just seven years away and there is much to accomplish. We need all hands on deck!
What can you do to help us on our road to Vision 2025?
AOTA. (2018). AOTA Board Expands Vision 2025. Online at: https://www.aota.org/Publications-News/AOTANews/2018/AOTA-Board-Expands-Vision-2025.aspx?promo_name=diversity-update&promo_creative=About-AOTA&promo_position=hero.
AOTA. AOTA’s New Vision 2025 for the OT Profession.(2018a). Online at: https://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/member-appreciation/week.aspx.
The opinions expressed in my blog are personal and neither represent the views of my employer nor any organization.