Name: Jaime Spencer, OTR
Location: Long Island, NY
Practice Area: School-based
Favorite Occupation: Advocating for School OTs
How often do you engage in your favorite occupation?
What do you get out of it?
“It makes me feel proud to advocate for equal opportunities for school occupational therapists. Change is needed, and there are so many school OTs who aren’t fighting for change. Many people feel like “there’s nothing they can do” or that “one person won’t make a difference”. In most states, Occupational Therapy practitioners can’t advance to leadership positions in the education department. I’m inspired to make a change and passionate about making it happen. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. If Occupational Therapists had a seat at the table, there would be so many opportunities for us to help children. We could use our creativity and knowledge in mental health to make an impact in the school setting.”
What does it mean to your lyfe?
“Advocating for School Occupational Therapists is my passion. I’m determined to see a change in legislation so that School Occupational Therapy practitioners are in the same category as school social workers, psychologists, and school counselors. It is something I’ve been working on for many years. Through social media, conference presentations, and networking, I’ve been able to spread the message and get people thinking. It feels great to make a difference.”
Advocating for our profession is so so so important and something that I dedicate a lot of time towards. I am constantly talking about what OT is and how we can benefit in different practice settings. How do you advocate for occupational therapy?