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:  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."

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!
    • Also, 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.
Questions, any comments, suggestions, ideas, offers of support/assistance, please email Jan Cuciti, [email protected]


Working docs:
 K-12 Advocacy Project
OTAO Position Paper for School-Based Practice Van Osdol
Academy of Pediatric PT Dosage Considerations
Possible District/State Models