Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2013 Contents 2
of Occupational Therapy
The study of human growth and
development with specific empha-
sis on the social, emotional, and
physiological effects of illness and
• Supervised clinical internships
• Board certification examination
• Practice degrees:Bachelors,
masters and doctoral degrees
It is with great pleasure that I greet you
today as Chairman of the Trinidad and To-
bago Occupational Therapy Association
(TTOTA) as we celebrate occupational
therapy (OT) month in Trinidad and To-
Occupational Therapy is a client centered
healthcare profession, which helps people
of all ages, with various injuries or disabili-
ties do the things they need and want to
do. Occupation, in this case, refers to every-
thing we do on a day-to-day basis. These
fall into three basic categories: Activities of
daily living, Work and Leisure.
Sadly, occupational therapists have been
working largely in anonymity here in T&T.
There are no registered occupational thera-
pists working in public healthcare in
Trinidad and only one registered and prac-
ticing OT in Tobago.
While there are only 6 members in
TTOTA, we have been busy this past year
trying to raise awareness of the profession
and advocate for persons of all abilities.
We successfully completed Team HOPE
3, where we had 43 Team HOPE members
(Hopees) become triathletes and in so
doing, helped raise over $140,000 to assist
TTOTA with its objectives. In this supple-
ment you will find out a lot more about
Team HOPE and what it represents.
We participated in Cause and Effect's
September Project whereby we completed
a 35k relay, donated to their cause and
were able to educate participants on occu-
pational therapy and the association.
In September, several Hopees continued
their OT awareness education with a visit
to two public run facilities in Barbados. This
gave them a better understanding of how
beneficial OT is in the public sector. It also
raised awareness as to the void in our pub-
lic system since OT services are not readily
available to citizens in T&T. While there,
they also competed in the Barbados Na-
tional Triathlon where several members
won their respective age group categories.
As part of OT month, we successfully
launched Team HOPE 2014 and are still ac-
cepting individuals, who are interested in
doing something extraordinary, to join the
Last year we were able to award final
year OT student, Sasha Valdez with a bur-
sary. We will once again offer a bursary to
eligible OT students and are happy to an-
nounce that this year it has increased to
At the end of this month, some of us will
be travelling to Cayman Islands for the 11th
bi-annual conference of the Association of
Caribbean Occupational Therapists (ACOT).
In 2012, TTOTA gained associate mem-
ber status in the World Federation of Occu-
pational Therapists (WFOT). We look
forward to sending our WFOT delegate to
the 2014 WFOT World Congress in Japan.
It is hoped that through this supplement,
you will have a better understanding of oc-
cupational therapy, the importance of this
profession and the need for more OTs in all
aspects of society in Trinidad and Tobago.
All the best.
The Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Therapy Associa-
tion exists to support member practitioners, represent
their interests and those of their service users by influ-
encing national policy, developing the workforce, leading
innovation in occupational therapy practice and research,
and promoting the importance of occupation as a route
to and outcome of health and well-being.
Occupational therapy is an integral component of all
health care, educational, welfare, wellness, and social
systems in Trinidad & Tobago that support those
with disabling conditions and the poor and disenfran-
chised members of our society.
What do Occupational Therapists do?
They provide skilled treatment that help individu-
als of all ages achieve and maintain the lifestyles
they aspire to and engage in occupations of their
Services typically include:
• Individualised treatment programmes to im-
prove one's ability to perform daily activities
• Comprehensive home and job site evaluations
with adaptation recommendations
• Performance skills assessments and treatment
• Adaptive equipment recommendations and
• Training and guidance to family members, teach-
ers and caregivers
Who benefits from Occupational Therapy?
A wide variety of people can benefit from occupational
therapy, including those with:
• Work related injuries including lower back problems or
repetitive stress injuries limitations following a stroke or
• arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic con-
• birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental dis-
• mental health or behavioural problems including
Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress
• substance misuse or eating disorders
• burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
• broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries,
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