Participate in the Community
There’s a whole world outside your home, workplace, and school. That’s why OTs work with individuals, groups and governments to ensure everyone can be part of community life, no matter their skills. OT helped Joel, a young man with schizophrenia, find work by coaching him through the job hunting process, even setting up practice interviews. Read Joel’s story.
OTs also work on their own and with other members of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists to push for public policies that ensure everyone can enjoy being part of a community.
Here are some of the ways OTs help you – and everyone else – participate in the community:
To ensure you can safely and easily move around your neighbourhood, your OT will look at your skills and teach you ways to safely leave and enter your home, get in and out of a car, and take the subway or bus.
OTs can help you drive again. Using different tools, your OT will look at things such as physical abilities, cognitive and perceptual function, and reaction times to see if it’s safe for you to get behind the wheel. Your OT can also suggest changes to your car to make it easier for you to drive, such as adding extended mirrors, hand controls, or brake extensions.
Living with mental illness
Working one-on-one or in a group setting, OTs can help children, youth and adults living with mental illness live better and enjoy life at home, work, and in the community. OTs do this through:
- supportive counseling
- activity scheduling
- relapse prevention
- skills development
OTs help people live safe and healthy lives. They do this through fall prevention programs for seniors, seminars on home and community accessibility solutions for Family Health Team members, or development of Web resources for a Family Health Team or Community Health Centre.
OTs also work with organizations and governments on activities that help people of all abilities take part in community life. They develop resources that promote healthy lifestyles, consult with government on the design of buildings and outdoor areas to ensure they’re safe and useful for everyone, and work with communities on projects such as accessible playgrounds. Many OTs also help organizations develop products or services that help people with physical or mental health challenges do everyday tasks, ergonomic workplace design, or programs that help people take part in an occupation or activity.