Rebecca M. Aldrich, Tessa L. Boston, Claire E. Daaleman; Justice and U.S. Occupational Therapy Practice: A Relationship 100 Years in the Making. Am J Occup Ther 2016;71(1):7101100040. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.023085
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
At 99 years old, occupational therapy is a global health care profession with a growing orientation toward justice. Because much of the occupational justice discourse has developed outside the United States, parallels between the profession’s ethos and its current focus on justice must be examined more closely in this country. Although occupational therapy practitioners in the United States are better equipped than their predecessors with language and theories that explicitly emphasize justice, the potential for bringing that focus to bear depends on practitioners’ willingness to think differently about their practices. We argue that a focus on justice can be naturally integrated with curriculum standards by emphasizing the link between cultural humility, client-centeredness, and embodied habits of “seeking out unknown others.” Outside formal education, practitioners can be encouraged to think of justice as something that already intersects with practice, not something that practitioners must choose whether to take up.
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