Change for the future
Occupational Therapist, WA
Imagine a world where participation, inclusion and independence were something that everyone could have. A world where every person could independently participate in and be included in activities that are meaningful to them. Now imagine you had the opportunity to make this world a reality - to help everyone see that this is every person's human right and make this worldwide collective change happen. I believe this is the world we are all helping to create as OTs. I believe the power that we as OTs have to make such paramount changes happen and reality is something that we don’t take the time to think about or reflect on, and we just do it. I believe we are changing the world now but for future generations.
In taking the time to reflect on our theme this year for OT week, I truly feel so blessed to be provided with the opportunity to be able to work so closely with children, families, schools and communities to help empower individuals to participate in their valued occupations, to be included in activities that are meaningful for them and to be able to be the person they desire to be independently. How great is it being an OT to know that we are making such a difference in someone's lives, and as a profession, we are working towards building and empowering individuals and engraining the fundamental human rights of participation, inclusion and independence into our communities? Where it is not seen as novel for individuals to participate but a right and the worldwide norm.
In working as an OT at Down South Therapy in WA, I am provided with the opportunity to work with infants, children, teenagers, and adults both with and without a diagnosis in the community to help them to participate in their valued and meaningful occupations and to empower them to reach their fullest potentials through skill development, modifications, equipment provision and education. I also work with parents, caregivers, teachers, education assistants, other health professionals and other members of the community to help empower them through skill development, education and training to help all individuals to be able to help themselves and others achieve participation, inclusion and independence in all activities and activities that provide meaning to their lives...as a profession, we are working towards building and empowering individuals and engraining the fundamental human rights of participation, inclusion and independence into our communities
I know in myself that I have days where my mindset can travel into my ‘to do’ lists. The lists that are ‘what we have to do’, and we can easily forget the 'what we get to do'. So rather than 'I have to go to work today' changing this to 'I get to help someone work towards their goals today'. How cool is that! As a business owner of Down South Therapy in WA, I feel truly blessed to be able to work with my colleagues across all disciplines to engrain this into our everyday thinking and to remember the 'why' as to which they became a therapist. In helping my colleagues to remember and take the time to reflect daily that they get to be able to help people to participate in their valued occupations, be and feel included in all activities, small and large, and become independent in activities of daily living and meaningful daily activities, and to remember the collective benefit this has to the community as a whole is the most rewarding part of being a business owner.
So what does participation, inclusion and independence mean to me? I believe it is a basic human right that we as OT's get to remind and engrain into communities for the present and future generations, to be building a world where everyone is empowered to be able to participate in meaningful occupations and to live the life they wish to and are deserved to live. How amazing is that!
Down South Therapy
Founding Director and Occupational Therapist