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Welcome to the New Jersey Advocacy and Legislation Committee. 

When we think of Advocacy, we keep in mind the AOTA Centennial Vision:

“We envision that Occupational Therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs.”

What a commanding, influential statement!

We are living and practicing Occupational Therapy during exciting times—full of both enormous challenges as well as vast opportunities.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Legislation initiatives impacting access and reimbursement for OT services, Federal and State-level budgetary challenges, Scope of practice  and encroachment concerns, Work force issues and Health Care Delivery System Changes , Medicare and Medicaid challenges are all areas which directly affect every aspect of our OT careers and the future of the Occupational Therapy profession.  These areas have a direct impact upon where and how we practice, what we are paid and whether we practice at all!

When viewed from this perspective, Advocacy can seem overwhelming, even frightening.  Actually, Advocacy is a positive word and calls for constructive action.  As Occupational Therapists, we fiercely advocate for our patients every day to help them live the fullest lives possible.  We need to do the same for ourselves!

Advocacy is promoting and educating others about the value of our profession.  Advocacy can take on many forms.  It is contacting or meeting with legislators, advocating through social media, membership in professional organizations such as NJOTA and AOTA and involvement with other organizations and groups, educating the public about the unique benefits of Occupational Therapy.

In conclusion, we anticipate that the information here will help provide you with a better understanding of the issues Occupational Therapy as a profession is currently facing. We trust it will empower you to view Advocacy as an opportunity to use your own talents and abilities to promote the value of Occupational Therapy. 

As NJOTA Legislative Co-Chairs, this is a topic dear to our hearts and so critical to the present and future of our profession. Your commitment to become involved in advocating for Occupational Therapy is the first step.  Most importantly, there is no better time to begin than now!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Franklin-Cosgrove, OTR, CHT

Miriam Manela, OTR

Legislative Co-Chairs

NJOTA

 

 

 

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