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About the Profession

Professional Organizations

American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA is a national professional society established in 1917 to represent the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners, and to improve the quality of occupational therapy services. Benefits of membership include advocacy for the profession, continuing education opportunities, toll-free information and consultation, on-line services through AOTA's web page, monthly subscription to American Journal of Occupational Therapy, access to advertised jobs in OT Practice, discounts on professional publications, professional liability insurance, and access to grants, loans, and scholarships.

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North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association

NCOTA is the state organization for occupational therapy in North Carolina. Membership benefits include an interactive website, newsletter, discounts to local conferences and continuing education, and a discounted membership for the first year of their professional careers.

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The American Occupational Therapy Foundation

AOTF was established in 1965 by AOTA as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. The mission of AOTF is to expand and refine the body of knowledge of occupational therapy and to promote understanding of the value of occupation in the interest of the public good. AOTF offers over 90 scholarships from the AOTF Scholarship Fund and from the ASCOTA and State Association Funds administered by the Foundation. To be eligible, students must be a member of AOTA, be currently enrolled in an OT program, demonstrate a need for financial assistance, have a record of outstanding scholastic ability, and complete the application with supporting documentation. For more information and/or to receive a scholarship application, contact AOTF at 4720 Montgomery Lane, PO Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220 or call the AOTF Scholarship information line at 301-652-6611 ext. 199 or the Scholarships Coordinator at 301-652-2682 ext. 2556.

The Wilma L. West Library is part of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and is located on the fifth floor of the National Headquarters of the American Occupational Therapy Association in Bethesda. The primary mission of the Wilma L. West Library is to acquire, organize, and preserve literature and other informational resources concerning the education, theory, and practice of occupational therapy. With this in-depth collection as its base, the library staff offers a variety of services that provide support to OT researchers, practitioners, students, consumers, and other health care professionals. Services include: Interlibrary loans, literature searches on OT BibSys only and other databases, photocopying of articles specific to occupational therapy, and quick reference questions on matters not available at local libraries.

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