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Statements of Excellence in Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy in Disaster Response

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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David



I help as many people as I can in the area of Occupational Therapy for a variety of reasons. I have found over the years drafting statements for applicants in OT that these clients are among the kindest people in the world. I admire their ethic of service. I also find Occupational Therapy relevant in special ways to my own academic field of Religion, especially with the emphasis on the importance of human dignity and spiritual fulfillment.

The Statement of Purpose letter is perfect. Wish me luck! Thank you again, I will recommend your services.

M.S. (Application for M.S. in Occupational Therapy, April 2011)

Occupational therapy is a health profession that was created over 90 years ago to help people of all ages help themselves participate in meaningful activities (occupations), to take care of themselves, be productive, learn, play and interact with others to the best of their abilities. Classes, labs, and internships are based on the belief that staying occupied and engaged is how people stay healthy, create their identity, participate in life, and feel good about themselves.

These programs will help you to integrate knowledge from both the arts and sciences and to assess and treat each individual client in a way that meets their individual needs and goals. You will learn how to promote health and well-being by helping people stay occupied in meaningful ways. You will learn how to become a leader among your colleagues and the public and how to help others to understand how occupation impacts health. You will have the opportunity to practice in various settings with people across the lifespan, with or without a disability or illness.

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I want to help you get admitted to graduate school in Occupational Therapy

Many years ago as an undergraduate student at Indiana University, I enjoyed very much working with autistic adolescents, despite the great challenges involved. As a result, I especially appreciate the opportunity as a statement writer to help applicants to graduate school in OT to get accepted and to have fulfilling careers.

There are many excellent graduate programs in Occupational Therapy that will prepare you for a lifetime of distinguished service in OT, providing you with the knowledge, skills and value of lifelong learning to practice occupational therapy in customary and innovative ways within an ever-changing world. Throughout the course of your studies, you will become an exceptionally keen observers, active listener, creative strategist, critical thinker, resourceful leader and practical educator who helps people set and meet goals, overcome challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

I began my studies in the humanities and social sciences, first thinking about psychology and ending up majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate student. Along the way, I had several work study jobs that made big impressions on my long term career development, including in the area of occupational therapy. I was employed for about one year for the Occupational and Developmental Training Center in Bloomington, Indiana. I went in at night in order to care for developmentally disabled adolescents, getting them up and rolling in the morning to greet their day, breakfast, toiletries, etc. One client in particular has proven to have etched out a most enduring memory in my mind. My client Tracy was 16 years old and built like a Sumari Warrior. She also had razor sharp teeth, all of which made her rather dangerous because she had the mental development of a 6-month-old baby. On my first day of work, within hours of my arrival, I found myself prying her mouth open to secure the release of the fingers of shrieking staff person whose fingers had been bitten to the bone.

It is our duty to make sure that Tracy’s life is fulfilling. Given what Tracy has to work with, this is no easy task. OT is a science and an art of its own with some of the greatest challenges in the world. I am convinced that this area of studies attracts applicants many if not most of whom have golden hearts and a passion for service to the weak and disabled, those who need them most. This is why it is a great pleasure and honor for me to help you in the drafting of a statement that is highly effective and will be successful at getting you admitted to the program of your choice in Occupational Therapy.

The Humanitarian Side of Occupational Therapy

Many, many American occupational therapists and physical therapists have volunteered in Haiti in clinics, hospitals, and through medical missions. They have come with varying tasks in mind and organized their trips through various different organizations.

While Haiti is a very appealing place to work, there is a common regret that therapists express when they return home—that they had to leave projects and therapy programs unfinished. 

Others regret that they didn't know enough about the lives of the Haitian people, they tried therapy approaches that did not work, or they didn't realize how they would be received.

Thankfully, things are changing in Haiti: little by little, big things are happening in the Haitian rehabilitation community. For example:

  • Haiti now has a professional PT association, recognized by the government. There have about 24 members who are Haitian PTs with bachelor's degrees from foreign universities such as the Catholic University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
  • The government of Haiti now has an agency that protects the rights of people with disabilities. The French acronym for the agency is SIEPH, meaning "the society for integration of people with handicaps”. They plan for the improved accessibility of buildings and access to jobs.
  • The government of Haiti is planning to increase the size of the public health infrastructure. They will build public health clinics in rural areas and develop a health insurance system.
  • Rehabilitation technician training programs have worked together to form a unified curriculum. They have applied to the government of Haiti for a certification process, including a certification exam.
  • The first OT and PT academic degrees are now being offered at the Episcopal University of Haiti.

Building Rehab Education

A small group of U.S. faculty members are working now on building the curriculum for each program, which will meet the international standards for bachelor's degrees. 

A four-year programs is recommended as the minimum entry-level degree length by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (although a three-year certificate would also meet the international standard for OT). A four-year bachelor's degree is also the minimum for physical therapy, as per the World Confederation of Physical Therapy.

In the U.S., a nonprofit foundation is now being formed to provide ongoing support for the Faculté Science Réhabilitation de Léogâne (FSRL). The nonprofit is called "Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation”. In addition, the Quinnipiac University of Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut, is working on a University Partnership agreement.

They will also develop agreements with fieldwork sites in Haiti, with professional supervision, to meet the WFOT and WCPT standards. Building a positive working relationship with clinical affiliation sites will bear fruit in job openings for the new graduates in 2018.  The intention of the UNEPH/FSRL program is to move to an all-Haitian faculty. Master's level OT and PT degrees will need to be developed as well to achieve this.

In the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities to explore humanitarian work through organizations like Doctors without Borders, Handicap International, Helen Keller International, HelpAge International, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Check them out and let us know if you need a personal statement or other document to ensure your success!