Module 1: Understanding the Legislative Process

Objectives

By the end of this module, occupational therapy practitioners and students will:

  1. Define the three branches of government

  2. Describe the general roles of the branches of government in creating legislation and the general steps of how a bill becomes a law

  3. Demonstrate the process of identifying one’s own legislators(s)

  4. Discriminate the legislators’ roles in the branches of government

  5. Evaluate legislator’s committee and/or legislative history

  6. Create an action plan and/or applying to vote in upcoming general election

 

Defining the 3 Branches of Government

Confused about construct of the federal government? Learn more about the executive, legislative and judicial branches. 

 

Finding your State and Federal Legislators

It is important that you know who represents your voice in federal and state governments.  Did you know a third of U.S. Congress is up for re-election every two years? Learn more about how your legislators are.

 

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Sometimes it feels like it can take forever for a bill to become a law.  Well, there are many steps to the process! Learn more about how an idea is started, how a bill moves through Congress, and how it becomes a law. 

 

Make Your Move: Register to Vote!

It's important to register to vote and to obtain an absentee ballot by necessary deadlines if a college student.  Learn more about resources available to you about voting processes in your state. 

How do you feel about your understanding of the legislative process?

Your confidentiality will be maintained.  Your answers may be used for research or program improvement.

Share your experience with us!

Or, help us spread the word too!

Tweet at us @LEAPforOT

Module 2: Identifying OT Priorities

Objectives

By the end of this module, occupational therapy practitioners and students will:

  1. List resources for locating AOTA and State OT association websites.

  2. Define emerging practice area as identified by AOTA and locate resources to share with peers.

  3. Use the AOTA Legislative Action Center to identify current legislation deemed as priorities by the AOTA Federal Affairs Staff

  4. Use the Congress.gov website to examine the current progress of one OT-related bill and where it currently stands in the legislative path

  5. Evaluate own priorities related to healthcare legislation to determine stance on legislative issue.

  6. Create an action plan for staying informed.

Locating State, National and International OT Associations

Not only is it important to know who represents you in your local, state and federal governments, but it is important to know who represents you as an occupational therapy practitioner! Learn more about national and state association information, including the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

 

AOTA Legislative Action Center

The Legislative Action Center from AOTA is an outstanding resource for tracking progress of OT legislation and providing opportunities to write your legislators.  Learn more about this resource, even if you aren't an AOTA member.

 

Emerging Practice Areas

AOTA has identified emerging practice areas for the occupational therapy profession.  Advocacy for the role of OT in these areas is particularly important for advancing the role of OT in various areas.  Learn more about emerging practice areas from AOTA.

 
 

Congress.gov- a useful site for tracking US legislation

Search Congress.gov by bill number or topic to find relevant health care legislation or to track progress of current or prior legislation introduced in Congress.  Consider searching bills listed in the AOTA Legislative Action Center.


How do you feel about your understanding of OT priorities?

Your confidentiality will be maintained.  Your answers may be used for research or program improvement.
 

Share your experience with us!

Or, help us spread the word!

Tweet at us @LEAPforOT

Need some help finding legislation? Want a reminder to stay informed?

 
 

Module 3: Taking Action

Objectives

By the end of this module, occupational therapy practitioners and students will:

  1. State two resources for locating information related to the effective advocacy participation.
  2. Discuss at least three advocacy activities at the local, state, and national levels.
  3. Contact a legislator regarding support of a policy affecting occupational therapy practice.
  4. Examine the roles of an occupational therapy student and practitioner in a legislative meeting.
  5. Select two advocacy activities that one can participate as a student and/or practitioner.
  6. Construct an advocacy plan for taking action in the future!

 

ADVOCACY WORKS!

Knowing that your actions make a difference can help motivate you to act.  Check out outstanding successes regarding advocacy here- perhaps it will motivate you to act! Don't forget to share your accomplishments on Twitter and tweet at us, @LEAPforOT.

 

 

CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS!

As inboxes get full, there is always an option to call your legislator.  You might know what is important to you, but do you know what to say? This activity provides a tip sheet with a script and a live video example of a successful call. 

 

 

WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATORS!

Nothing is more powerful than contacting your legislator again and again.  You know your legislators, you know your priorities, now write!  This activity will provide templates for writing an email or letter and also show you another great feature of AOTA's Legislative Action Center.

 

 

MEET WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS!

Federal and state legislators have offices in your district and the Capitol.  Meeting with your legislator is a great way to create a personal connection.  This activity will teach you how to schedule a meeting, prepare talking points, and prepare a professional follow-up. AOTA has amazing resources to support your meeting.

 

ATTEND AOTA HILL DAY IN SEPTEMBER!

Every September, the AOTA Federal Affairs team organizes an annual AOTA Hill Day.  Over 700 students and clinicians have participated in this live event, meeting with their legislators and advocating for OT. 

This activity provides reflections from prior students about their AOTA Hill Day experience.

Mark your calendars for September 25, 2017!

 

HOST A VIRTUAL HILL DAY

Unable to advocate in person? Organize a virtual Hill Day, where you can write legislators or host a virtual meeting with a staffer.  Participate with your class or department and show strength in numbers!  This activity will provide some tips for organizing your day.

 
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ADVOCACY FOR CONSUMERS

How to teach our clients to advocate for themselves and the need for occupational therapy


How do you feel about your understanding of opportunities to take action?

Your confidentiality will be maintained.  Your answers may be used for research or program improvement.
 

Share your experience with us!

Or, help us spread the word!

Tweet at us @LEAPforOT

Need some help finding legislation? Want a reminder to stay informed?