By Kate Hunger
Four occupational therapy students joined the Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) for its annual visit to the Texas Legislature on Feb. 22.
TOTA Day at the Capitol provides an opportunity for students and occupational therapists from around the state to highlight client needs and the contributions of the profession during in-person meeting with legislators and their staff members.
The students were accompanied by registered occupational therapist on their visit to legislators, said Ricky Joseph, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor, who also attended the event.
"The staffers listened quite closely," Joseph said. He said a priority issue of the visit was discussing changes to rules and codes that reduced reimbursement rates for occupational therapy services.
The visit reaffirmed MOT II student Sarah Purcell's interest in advocating for her future profession - and for those in need of occupational therapy services.
"A lot of people who don't know what occupational therapists do," said Purcell, president of the Class of 2018. "They don't have a clear picture of what we do and because of that, I feel it's super easy for people to forget that we exist. So it's important for me to be a strong advocate for my profession to make sure we still have funding and that people know who we are and what we do."