The Washington Occupational Therapy Association (WOTA) supports the professional community of OT practitioners in the state of Washington. We promote OT education and we advocate for OTs, their patients, and for an improved practice environment for all of us.
Occupational Therapists, OTAs and students in OT programs are wecome to join our vibrant professional community. In addition, students seeking to explore opportunities in OT are welcome to join at the student level.
The first annual meeting of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy was held in 1917. Later the name would be changed to the American Occupational Therapy Association, AOTA. AOTA handled all certification, testing, renewal was required for registration as a therapist. Through the years, licensure was assumed by the individual states and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, NBCOT, took over certification testing.
Today, AOTA, NBCOT and the state work together and independently to address legal and ethical issues.
The Washington Occupational Therapy Association, WOTA, was formed in the 1950s. The Executive Board was all volunteers, and to date it remains that way. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the effort for licensure was started. The framework for OT licensure was accomplished in 1982 and the bill took effect in 1984. Licensure made Occupational Therapy a contributing partner on the health care team.
In the early days of WOTA, membership was just a handful and WOTA conferences were informal meetings. Today, membership is around 1,000 and WOTA organizes the flagship OT conference in the state. WOTA is governed by an Executive Board, OTs and OTAs from around the state. These volunteers work tirelessly to build the OT community, improve the OT practice environment, shape communities of practice and much more. WOTA also has a part-time staff who provide continuity and handle the day to day affairs of the organization. Additionally, WOTA has spectacular legislative representation in Olympia.
Membership is the driving force behind WOTA, and we need the participation and support of OT practitioners here in the state. With membership we are able to bound together to represent ourselves to the Department of Health through our OT Practice Board, appeal to and work directly with our state legislators, assist practitioners in maintaining their continued education for license and certification renewal and provide a place for practitioners to find guidance from other professionals. WOTA is proud of its history--and a growing community of members means together, we'll make a difference for our profession and for our patients.
Get in touch with us to find out all the ways you can participate in this important work.