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Explore Occupational Therapy

To Learn about Occupational Therapy we encourage you to explore the AOTA website in addition to the overview below.

Explore OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association is the national membership organization for Occupational Therapy providers and offers a great deal of information about the profession for professionals and consumers.

So, What is Occupational Therapy?

Quick Version:

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession dedicated to everyday life.

Occupational Therapy practitioners help people of all ages to do the things they need or want to do (occupations) with the highest level of independence and satisfaction possible.

Occupational Therapy providers use everyday activities for therapy and as ways to assess progress.

To Learn more, please take a look at the questions below:

What Exactly is Occupational Therapy?

  • Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession dedicated to everyday living.
  • Occupational Therapy focuses on the things that people of all ages need or want to do in their daily lives. These are called “Occupations”.
  • An occupation is a purposeful everyday activity that holds meaning and value for an individual. So every person’s occupations are unique to them.
  • Occupational Therapy providers help individuals to be as independent as possible in daily living and promote the best possible quality of life.
  • This is done by

    *developing skills

    *rehabilitating skills impacted by illness, injury or environmental and social barriers

    *or by using adaptive approaches or equipment to complete desired tasks.

What are some examples of Occupations?

  • Self-Care skills (bathing, dressing, hair care, oral care, hygiene, medication management)
  • Home Care Tasks (cooking, cleaning, laundry, financial management, shopping, transportation)
  • Child Care
  • Pet Care
  • Work
  • School/Cognitive and Learning Skills
  • Leisure/Play
  • Socialization Activities
  • Hobbies
  • Sports
  • Stress Management
  • Time Management
  • Wellness and Prevention Skills

In Occupational Therapy, occupations such as those above are used both as therapeutic activities and as outcomes of therapy.

Who Provides OT services?

  • Occupational Therapists (OTs) provide evaluation and treatment/therapy services and supervise other Occupational Therapy providers.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) are experts in providing therapy services in collaboration with the supervising Occupational Therapist.
  • Occupational Therapy aides are support staff who assist OTs and OTAs with equipment and clinic care. With training and under direct supervision, they may act as observers and support to clients but do not provide therapy.

Where are Occupational Therapy Services Provided?

Occupational Therapy providers may be found in any setting where there are individuals or groups of people who need assistance to improve their everyday function.

These may include but are not limited to:

  • Hospitals (acute, general, rehabilitative, psychiatric)
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs
  • Outpatient Settings
  • Day Programs
  • Group Homes
  • Schools
  • Home Care
  • Industry/Work Settings
  • Private Practice
  • Wellness Settings

What Education is required for Occupational Therapy?

  • Occupational Therapists (OTs) may begin practice after attaining an Entry Level Master’s Degree or an Entry Level Doctoral Degree
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) may begin practice after attaining an Associate’s Degree

Where can I study Occupational Therapy in Rhode Island?

Community College of Rhode Island


Johnson & Wales University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program


New England Institute of Technology Occupational Therapy Assistant Program


​ Master of Science Occupational Therapy Program


Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy ​


About the association

The function and powers of RIOTA include:

  1. Act as an advocate for the profession of occupational therapy.

  2. Improve and advance the education and collaboration of occupational therapy practitioners.

  3. Promote research in the profession of occupational therapy.

  4. Encourage high standards.

  5. Engage in other professional and community activities to further the dissemination of knowledge of the practice of occupational therapy.  

  6. Cooperate with other individuals or groups concerned with health-related issues.

  7. Increase consumer awareness of application of occupational therapy practice in the community and the scope of occupational therapy practice to assist an individual to achieve life pursuits.




Affiliated with the American Occupational Therapy Association


© 2019 Rhode Island Occupational Therapy Association

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