Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy ?

An occupational therapist will try to find out why a client cannot do what they would like or need to do.

An OT may check:

  • Your physical abilities like strength, balance and coordination
  • Your mental abilities like memory, coping strategies, organizational skills
  • What materials or devices you use to participate in activities like furniture, utensils, tools or clothes
  • What social and emotional support is available to you at home, school, work or in the community, and the physical setup of your house, classroom, workplace or other environment


Depending on what the problem is, the occupational therapist can help you solve it by:

Helping you overcome your disability. OTs do this by:

  • educating or instructing you on how to do things with the abilities you have – e.g. getting around your community in a wheelchair
  • suggesting activities that will help you improve or maintain the abilities you have – e.g. improving your coping strategies
  1. Adapting the materials you use. OTs do this by changing the things you use:
  • around the house – e.g. a special key holder to make turning keys easier
  • in sports or leisure activities – e.g. a playing cards holder
  • at work or school – e.g. special tools that help prevent injury to hands and back
  • to take care of yourself – e.g. special bath or toilet seats
  • to get from place to place – e.g. car modifications such as one-handed steering wheels

Recommending changes to the environments where you do your everyday activities. OTs do this by recommending that you:

  • change the physical layout of your workplace, home or school – e.g. lowering/raising desk tops, countertops or cupboards
  • find out about the supports in your community – e.g. specialized public transportation
  • work with the people in your community – e.g. providing education about a disability to the teacher or employer
  • work with the government to encourage health living – e.g. request funding for special equipment