Welcome to OTAO’s K-12 Advocacy Work Group!

Back Story

At  OTAO’s 2016 Annual Conference, Advocacy Matters! session, with OTAO’s lobbyist, Nikki Terzieff – school therapists requested that OTAO address workload versus caseload.  Actions since have included:

  • Position Paper on Determination of Appropriate Caseload Size/Workload for School-Based Occupational Therapists, written by: Christine Van Osdol, MOT, OTR/L (former OTAO Legislative Committee Co-chair).
  • OTAO’s Legislative Committee and lobbyist presenting at Joint Committee on Student Success Hearing in Hood River.
  • Representative Susan McLain, Democrat, District 29, Hillsboro, is a true advocate of occupational therapy
    • 2017 Legislative Session – HB 3263
    • 2018 OTAO Annual Conference – invited by our lobbyist, came and spoke.  Heard our concerns.
    • 2019 Legislative Session – HB 2985 (similar to HB 3263) introduced.  Decision made to focus on Student Success Bill.

...which brings us to now

On April 12, 2019, at the OTAO Legislative Day in Salem, Senator Arnie Roblan, Democrat, District 5, Coos Bay, discussed Student Success Act (Oregon School Board Association) stating that:

"Occupational therapists need to take their advocacy to the local level."
Sen. Arnie Roblan
D - District 5, Coos Bay

We need to come together to have a product to present/use in our local districts!

This ties in with:

  • AOTA’s push for the Distinct Value of Occupational Therapy in Today’s Schools (Member Appreciation webinar, April 2019) – Occupational therapy providing Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports in addition to traditional therapy
  • AOTA’s BEST PRACTICES for Occupational Therapy in Schools, 2019 edition, Evidence-Based Practices.
  • Workload vs. caseload continues!
  • Use of occupational therapy assistants
  • And, ideas/actions that our therapists in the State are already doing.  Share our successes!

We Need You!

First step is gathering members for the work group and ideas.

  • What will this look like?  At this time, we don’t know what our final format will be, possibly a white paper.  (Do we have a doctoral student who wants a project?)
  • Who is our intended audience?  Will it be school therapists, administrators, or both? How do we communicate? 
  • You made it this far.  Congratulations!
  • Check out our Facebook page (OR OT K-12 Advocacy Project). 
  • OTAO members can go to the K-12 Committee (login as member > My Community (under/over from name badge) > My Features > Committees.  Here we can see the list of members, we can share files, and we can message each other.
  • We are already planning a K-12 Advocacy session and round table discussion at OTAO’s annual conference (October 4-5).  Jo Flomer and I are going to share Tier 2 handwriting and proprioceptive calming corner programs that we have put in place, as well as share progress from this work group.

Contact Information

For any questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, or offers of support or assistance you may have, please email Jan Cuciti at jcuciti@cbmcs.com.

Working Docs