Advocacy is a planned, deliberate, sustained effort to raise awareness of an issue. It’s an ongoing process in which support and understanding are built incrementally over an extended period of time and using a wide variety of marketing and public relations approaches.
While OSOT assumes an assertive advocacy role promoting the positions and perspectives of the profession of occupational therapy, successful advocacy is supported by involved participation of members across the association. An important strategy to promote the profession is to ensure that it is known and its issues understood by policy makers at every level of decision-making.
The following resources are intended to support OSOT member participation in the profession’s advocacy agenda.
OSOT's Advocacy Resource Guide
The Advocacy Resource Guide is developed to assist you to make contacts with important audiences that can be influential in decision-making about our issues. Designed to make the call, letter or visit to your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) an easy step to take, the strategies in this guide will be useful to facilitate connecting with any influential decision-maker - your hospital administrator, the Executive Director of your Local Health Integration Network, your Municipal Counsellor, industry stakeholders, etc.
Tips on Taking a Positive Approach to making your Points
Advocacy is most effective when you take a positive approach. Taking a positive or solutions-focused approach is a natural choice for occupational therapists who exercise such approaches in their day to day practice! See OSOT's resource Tips on Taking a Positive Approach.
Provincial Ministries with Responsibility for Issues of Interest to OTs
Several of Ontario's provincial Ministries have policy and funding responsibilities that affect access to and delivery of occupational therapy services in the province. Keeping key government officials informed of issues affecting OT practice and the needs of clients that OTs serve is always an important advocacy activity. View access to key Ministries.
Sample Advocacy Letter OT Psychotherapists to Insurers or Employers
This sample letter can be used by an occupational therapist, psychotherapist who has clients that have been denied psychotherapy service coverage from their extended health care plans. This letter requests employers and insurers to include coverage of psychotherapy services provided by OTs in their existing policies. Please input the relevant information in the [highlighted fields] to personalize your letter.
Sample Advocacy Letter OT Psychotherapy Client to Insurers or Employers
This sample letter can be used by clients that have been denied OT-provided psychotherapy service coverage from their extended health care plans. This letter requests employers and insurers to include coverage of psychotherapy services provided by OTs in their existing policies. Please input the relevant information in the [highlighted fields] to personalize your letter.
Sample Advocacy Letter for Ontario Community Health Compensation Market Salary Review Recommendations
This sample letter can be used by occupational therapists to provide feedback on a 2023 market salary review that recommended OTs on a lower salary band than expected in Family Health Teams and Community Health Centers. Please input the relevant information in the [highlighted fields] to personalize your letter.