The occupational therapy profession is turning 100 years old in 2017, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is celebrating all year long.

AOTA was founded in Clifton Springs, NY, on March 15, 1917, with six members. Since then, the organization has worked to create a global understanding of the profession through public education and by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care.

Through the years, the profession of occupational therapy has evolved into one that is science-driven, evidence-based, and aims to help clients live to their maximum potential through a focus on the mind-body connection and purposeful activity.

Today, there are more than 213,000 occupational therapy practitioners nationwide, states a media release from the AOTA.

“In the past 100 years, occupational therapy practitioners have helped countless children of all abilities access education, facilitated relearning of life skills lost as a result of illness or injury, supported persons with mental illness as they transitioned from institutions to communities, and have helped older adults age in place,” says AOTA President Amy J. Lamb, in the release.

“As we embark on our next 100 years, occupational therapy will continue to bring meaning to the everyday lives of people through the use of meaningful, necessary and familiar occupations that they want and need to do,” she adds.

The AOTA will celebrate its centennial anniversary at its Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration, which will take place March 30 to April 2 in Philadelphia. The AOTA estimates that the event, which will focus on research and shaping the next 100 years, will attract more than 10,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, educators, and students.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit AOTA.

[Source: AOTA]