Part Three: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.

Part Two: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.

This is Part Three of a multi-part report about the Academic Leadership Council meeting that was held in Dallas Texas on Thursday October 26, 2017.


During the opportunity for conference participants to address ACOTE/AOTA a question was asked about the evidence used to inform the ACOTE Visioning Taskforce.  This is an ad hoc group that was reportedly created by ACOTE to further assess the current healthcare and educational environment. The goals of the Visioning Taskforce were to:

1) Identify trends from the previous ACOTE survey that related to the vision of OT education and the profession;
2) Review evidence and current findings regarding visioning in OT education and the profession; and
3) Address the perceptions of stakeholders in our communities related to the current and future status of OT education.

Reportedly, the work product fr…

Part Two: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.


The morning meeting continued following President Lamb's remarks.

Paul Grace from NBCOT followed with a presentation that provided an update on certification issues.  The (ultimate) pass rate for OTR candidates is around 98% and for COTA candidates is around 88%.  The first time pass rate is lower: approximating the mid 80%s to the 90%s with obvious variation from program to program.  There was brief discussion about what states many new certificants are graduating from and where they are seeking their licensing.  None of this information was particularly surprising or new.

NBCOT will be conducting a survey of academic programs to determine what textbooks are most commonly used across curricula.  NBCOT uses this data to serve validation efforts for items that are developed.

NBCOT announced a new policy on 'presumptive denial' of certification eligibility for people who have committed serious offen…

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

This is Part One of a multi-part report about the Academic Leadership Council meeting that was held in Dallas Texas on Thursday October 26, 2017.
Yesterday I participated in the Academic Leadership Council meeting in Dallas.  I have not participated in this meeting previously, except for perhaps a presentation I assisted with for NBCOT some years ago.  It was definitely my first participation associated with being in a program director role.
One of my persistent concerns about these meetings is that they are not generally open for public scrutiny, and there is little reporting to everyday practitioners out of these meetings.  In bygone days some OT-oriented periodicals might 'cover' some events but that generally doesn't happen any longer.  As a result, important information that is disseminated and discussed is only known by a privileged few.  That is problematic in my opinion because I have a longstanding opinion that many occupational therapists are separated from t…

Injuries from wearing heavy backpacks are not common in school-aged children

***As a commenter below noted, as of 9/22/17 the link to the AOTA infographic with dubious information is broken/has been removed and now serves a 404 error.  Hopefully this is an indication that there will be more care in the future about quoting statistics. The removal of the infographic does not address the question about whether or not there may be more impactful injury prevention efforts than concern with wearing heavy backpacks.  (edited, 9/22/17, CJA).

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, heavy backpacks can cause serious injury to children.  The AOTA claims that heavy loads carried by 79 million students across the United States "can cause low back pain that often lasts through adulthood."  The AOTA also claims that according to 2013 statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission nearly 22,200 strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures from backpacks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, physicians' offices, and clinics.  …

There is no app to solve this problem.

Her eyes still blurry from the night's rest, Emily reached for the beeping phone that alarmed her into wakefulness at precisely 6:00am each day.  Barely able to focus, but still noticing the tightness of her FitBit around her wrist, she swiped around her phone until she could find her SleepTracking app.  Noticing that she was restless and had 20% less REM sleep than the night before, she quickly determined that she was exhausted.

She glanced at the time.  6:01am.

"Alexa, what is my first appointment today?" she asked into the air.  She loved the syncing between her work calendar into her home.  "You have a meeting at 8am and a reminder to call Ella's teacher before 9am."  

Emily heard a sudden alert from her phone, indicating that her phone call with the teacher has been labeled as a stress event, based on previously collected data on heart rate changes based on time and event.  Her wellness app automatically scheduled 15 minutes of meditation prior to the pho…

Case study: Demise of a professional membership organization

Unless there are dramatic changes in statistical trends, the New York State Occupational Therapy Association may face insolvency and may be forced into dissolution in the very near future.

Two years ago I reported that the NY State OT Association was at a critical juncture. At that time, only 4.4% of all NY practitioners were members of the group.  During the period of time from 2006 through 2014 NYSOTA OT/OTA membership declined 24%.   The decreasing trend of participation is continuing.

According to statistics published by NYSOTA, now there are only 379 OT members and 120 OTA members.  In consideration of the total of OT practitioners in NY State (17,318 total) that is a membership participation rate of 2.9%.  This is decreased from the rate two years ago of 4.4%

According to publicly available financial information (Form 990), NYSOTA's net assets are in free fall.

2012        $180,045
2013        $135,154
2014        $107,…

OT History in Clifton Springs!

A group of people made OT History today - pulling off an amazing day of celebration in Clifton Springs that was enjoyed by so many attendees.

Eighteen months ago I started corresponding with Steve Egidi, an occupational therapist and Vice President of the Clifton Springs Chamber of Commerce.  He invited me to join a working group that was forming to help make plans for  the 100th OT Anniversary Celebration in Clifton Springs.  Steve was a steady organizing force for the group and it was a real pleasure getting to work with him.

Also from the Chamber was Jeff Criblear, President of the Clifton Springs Chamber of Commerce.  Jeff did amazing work with restoring the 50th anniversary plaque and also helping to coordinate so many of the Centennial celebration activities with the Clifton Springs community.

The glue behind the entire project was undoubtedly Jamie Noga, Coordinator from the Clifton Springs Chamber of Commerce.  Jamie did it all - she kept us all organized and on track, manag…