Analyzing the AOTA/ACOTE Data Dump, Part Two: Some Stakeholders Are More Equal Than Others

Please refer to this earlier post for background reading.

According to the 'ACOTE Entry-Level Task Force Report to ACOTE in December, 2014 (p. 381-393), some stakeholders appear to be 'more equal' than others.

The notion of being 'more equal' is a reference to Animal Farm and the pigs who ran the farm.  They famously stated that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."  In simple terms, the ruling elites of Animal Farm made claims that everyone is equal, but then we discovered that they provided benefits and power and privileges only to their elite comrades.

What privileges are handed out by AOTA/ACOTE?  The answer can be found starting on page 381.

AOTA/ACOTE overtly places stakeholders onto different 'lists.' These are not categories or labels of my design - these are the actual lists of AOTA/ACOTE:

The 'A' List:
Educational Program Directors
Academic Fieldwork Coordinators
OT/OTA Faculty
OT/OTA Clinicians a…

Analyzing the AOTA/ACOTE Data Dump, Part One

Today AOTA/ACOTE released 897 pages of information, stating 

In response to requests for background information on ACOTE’s decision on the entry-level-degree requirement, we are sharing this workbook (see link below). The workbook includes a timeline of events and discussions undertaken by the Council leading to publication of the 2017 mandate statement. It also includes reports, surveys, open hearings, and publications reviewed by the members of the Council in coming to their decision. These materials support both the pros and cons of the entry-level doctorate mandate. The Council took all of these materials into account when making their decision.
The materials are not organized at all, making understanding of the released data difficult.  Here is a link to a Google Sheets doc that might be helpful for interested parties to sort through the material:


Readers are directed in particular to those lines in the document th…

Part Three: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.

Part Two: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.

This is Part Three of a multi-part report about the Academic Leadership Council meeting that was held in Dallas Texas on Thursday October 26, 2017.


During the opportunity for conference participants to address ACOTE/AOTA a question was asked about the evidence used to inform the ACOTE Visioning Taskforce.  This is an ad hoc group that was reportedly created by ACOTE to further assess the current healthcare and educational environment. The goals of the Visioning Taskforce were to:

1) Identify trends from the previous ACOTE survey that related to the vision of OT education and the profession;
2) Review evidence and current findings regarding visioning in OT education and the profession; and
3) Address the perceptions of stakeholders in our communities related to the current and future status of OT education.

Reportedly, the work product fr…

Part Two: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017 posted here.


The morning meeting continued following President Lamb's remarks.

Paul Grace from NBCOT followed with a presentation that provided an update on certification issues.  The (ultimate) pass rate for OTR candidates is around 98% and for COTA candidates is around 88%.  The first time pass rate is lower: approximating the mid 80%s to the 90%s with obvious variation from program to program.  There was brief discussion about what states many new certificants are graduating from and where they are seeking their licensing.  None of this information was particularly surprising or new.

NBCOT will be conducting a survey of academic programs to determine what textbooks are most commonly used across curricula.  NBCOT uses this data to serve validation efforts for items that are developed.

NBCOT announced a new policy on 'presumptive denial' of certification eligibility for people who have committed serious offen…

Part One: Academic Leadership Council Meeting, October 2017

This is Part One of a multi-part report about the Academic Leadership Council meeting that was held in Dallas Texas on Thursday October 26, 2017.
Yesterday I participated in the Academic Leadership Council meeting in Dallas.  I have not participated in this meeting previously, except for perhaps a presentation I assisted with for NBCOT some years ago.  It was definitely my first participation associated with being in a program director role.
One of my persistent concerns about these meetings is that they are not generally open for public scrutiny, and there is little reporting to everyday practitioners out of these meetings.  In bygone days some OT-oriented periodicals might 'cover' some events but that generally doesn't happen any longer.  As a result, important information that is disseminated and discussed is only known by a privileged few.  That is problematic in my opinion because I have a longstanding opinion that many occupational therapists are separated from t…

Injuries from wearing heavy backpacks are not common in school-aged children

***As a commenter below noted, as of 9/22/17 the link to the AOTA infographic with dubious information is broken/has been removed and now serves a 404 error.  Hopefully this is an indication that there will be more care in the future about quoting statistics. The removal of the infographic does not address the question about whether or not there may be more impactful injury prevention efforts than concern with wearing heavy backpacks.  (edited, 9/22/17, CJA).

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, heavy backpacks can cause serious injury to children.  The AOTA claims that heavy loads carried by 79 million students across the United States "can cause low back pain that often lasts through adulthood."  The AOTA also claims that according to 2013 statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission nearly 22,200 strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures from backpacks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, physicians' offices, and clinics.  …

There is no app to solve this problem.

Her eyes still blurry from the night's rest, Emily reached for the beeping phone that alarmed her into wakefulness at precisely 6:00am each day.  Barely able to focus, but still noticing the tightness of her FitBit around her wrist, she swiped around her phone until she could find her SleepTracking app.  Noticing that she was restless and had 20% less REM sleep than the night before, she quickly determined that she was exhausted.

She glanced at the time.  6:01am.

"Alexa, what is my first appointment today?" she asked into the air.  She loved the syncing between her work calendar into her home.  "You have a meeting at 8am and a reminder to call Ella's teacher before 9am."  

Emily heard a sudden alert from her phone, indicating that her phone call with the teacher has been labeled as a stress event, based on previously collected data on heart rate changes based on time and event.  Her wellness app automatically scheduled 15 minutes of meditation prior to the pho…