Occupational therapists are concerned with 'occupation'. Practitioners use client-centred approaches for enabling participation in occupations. The profession takes a broad view of occupation to mean everything people do to participate in daily life. The concerns are that all persons, regardless of (dis)ability, age, gender, race, or other characteristic, have opportunities and resources to choose and perform the occupations that they need and want to do for quality of life. Examples include enabling children to play and learn; enabling seniors to discover or continue with meaningful occupations throughout their old age. Work may be with individuals in health services. An increasing number of occupational therapists work with families in distress, communities where industrial or environmental changes deprive a population of meaningful occupations, or organizations where ergonomic and mental health accommodations make for safe and productive work force.
Occupational therapists are concerned with developing skills, restoring function and independence, maintaining ability and promoting health and safety to enable individuals to achieve personal goals and occupational performance in the areas of self-care, productivity and leisure.
Occupational therapists are health professionals who are university-trained, undertake supervised on-the-job training, successfully complete a certification exam and are registered with their provincial regulatory body.