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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Regulation of Recreation Therapy by ACOT

To the Special Interest Groups:

The Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT) has developed a new strategic plan that aims to position ACOT in a “leadership role within the regulation of other activity-based therapies in Alberta; starting with Recreation Therapy”[1].

Since the announcement was first made, SAOT has received significant feedback from our membership. Strong concerns have been expressed by OTs throughout the province about the potential implications of expanding our college to include other therapies.
SAOT recognizes that occupational therapy provides a distinct approach to the promotion of health and wellness.  The OT profession provides services that enable people to engage in occupations that are the normal activities of life.  It is not "activity therapy" but rather the application of knowledge and clinical reasoning to understand the occupational repertoires and patterns of living for the purpose of constructing solutions to enable engagement and participation of a client at an optimum level that is purposeful and meaningful for the client (Wilson & Landry, 2014).
The SAOT Board of Directors is actively engaged on this issue. A formal letter was directed to ACOT in July of this year, requesting additional information on a potential merger. We have engaged with ACOT by participating in the recent town hall meetings in November and December. We encourage the College to be transparent on these issues, and to demonstrate that the feedback received to date is taken into account in Council’s decision-making process.
In the new year, SAOT is working to organize our own OT forums so that the membership has adequate opportunity to express various views on the multitude of issues currently facing our profession.
This is the time when OTs in Alberta could come together to affect change. To that end, we ask you to consider becoming a member of SAOT so that we can include as many OTs as possible in our discussions. If you are already an SAOT member, thank you. Please watch the SAOT web site for more details as information becomes available.
Robin Telasky
Executive Director, SAOT

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