Who do you see?

People who live at home and have an injury or illness and require support to access and engage in their community and meaningful activities.

What do you do?

The occupational therapist completes assessments of the person’s environment and identifies potential barriers to community engagement. This would involves applying a client centred approaches to include advising, accessing and skills training to support performance and engagement in local community settings such as the shops, school, recreational centre, accessing transport, university and work place.

Where do you work?

  • outpatient hospital services
  • government and non-government community organisations
  • health promotion services.

Case Example:

Sam is a 24-year-old female who experienced a spinal cord injury 1 year ago in a motor vehicle accident. Since her injury Sam has engaged in functional rehabilitation to support a variety of occupational performance areas such as ADLs and wheelchair mobility skills. Sam has also received support from home visiting occupational therapists to make necessary home modifications; and to engage in ADLs and home management skills within the home environment. Recently Sam has reported feeling isolated and depressed due to limited social opportunities and would like to develop more independence in accessing her local community.

The occupational therapist begins by establishing Sam’s goals and priorities. An interest checklist is utilised to identify past and current interests, and the occupational therapist and Sam could begin exploring local community resources aligned with her interests. The occupational therapist would use an activity analysis approach to observe Sam transporting to/ from shops, accessing shops and engaging in chosen activities.

The occupational therapist completes a comprehensive assessment of the physical environment and facilities (entrances, toilets, seating etc.) and provide education and skills training to facilitate engagement. Furthermore, the occupational therapist is aware of any social barriers/ stigma that may impact on Sam’s confidence and engagement.
The occupational therapist establishes a graded program and assist with linking Sam with additional community supports to facilitate her engagement in leisure and social occupations.

How can I find out more?

Please contact the WA Occupational Therapy Association if you would like further information – info@waota.com.au