Showing posts from January, 2013

Good job Wisconsin OTs!

This letter from Teri Black WOTA President is worth re-publishing.  Diligence for these kinds of threats is imperative.  I doubt this is the last time we will see something like this - and it serves as a demonstration of the potential weaknesses.  Too many states lack the resources to meet this kind of issue head on and practitioners need to be more engaged. Good job on this one, Wisconsin! ACTION ALERT RESOLUTION!   It Worked!! From Teri Black WOTA President Thank you to those who wrote to your local school board members.   The resolution by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to create a new level of personnel in the therapies to deal with the shortage of Speech, OT and PT in schools was voted down at their annual convention.     The three Presidents of OT, PT and SLP Associations met with the school board association lobbyist and let him know our issues with the resolution. He agreed to ask the WASB to take OT and PT out because we had the assistant level a

Destruction and deconstruction of occupational therapy documentation

In the novel 1984, Winston Smith had the responsibility to take old documentation that no longer was determined to reflect current reality and then dispose of that documentation down a 'memory hole.'  I don't know how often most occupational therapists think about the things they write.  I think about it a lot.  In part I spend a lot of time thinking about it because I have this pragmatic issue with where I have to store all of my patient files.  When I worked for other institutions I never worried about the long term storage of my documentation.  I would write things, and eventually they would end up in files somewhere, and maybe those files were microfilmed and stored - I really have no idea. Now I have the responsibility for keeping my own files and since there is a pragmatic space concern to it all I also have the understanding that I can't keep those files forever.  That gives me the power of purging, which I actually explored a little bit here .  The issue fl

New regulations promote risk of FERPA violations

I mentioned a while ago that I was going to write about FERPA violations that I see on a regular basis.  There are new regulations in New York that promote electronic record keeping by educational programs, so now seems like a good time to document some of my experiences in the last couple years related to FERPA violations. As background I will report that I am a strong proponent of technology and I believe that technology applications provide us with excellent opportunities to improve efficiencies in service delivery.  I am not a Luddite.  Or anything even remotely similar.  However, parents should take note that educational records are not as secure as they should be.  Here is a new ruling that should make parents  be even more concerned with privacy of their educational records: SECTIONS 200.2 and 200.4 Teacher Access to Students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) Consistent with Chapter 279 of the Laws of 2012: Section 200.2(b)(11)(i) pr

Public systems continue march toward paraprofessional service delivery models

The subtitle to this should be: A Wisconsin case study of how the system REALLY feels about the value of therapist training, licensing, and certification. I am going to pick on Wisconsin today, but this is a problem that people need to be aware of because it stretches beyond the borders of that state. What does a municipality do when there are rules to follow and they can't meet the mandates of the rules? Make up their own new rules, of course! Wisconsin bureaucrats demonstrate their true Machiavellian nature when they allow otherwise unqualified teachers in the classroom in the presence of personnel shortages.   They are not alone; there are several other states that have such 'emergency' routes to teacher certification - although now they have been largely replaced by programs called 'alternative' teacher certification.  When we use words like 'alternative' instead of 'emergency' then the spotlight is taken off of the bureaucrats who faile

Social justice follow up: Brass tacks for the occupational therapy profession

This post is a follow up to the 2011 Social Justice Debates in Occupational Therapy and also in general response to the ongoing conversation on this topic that can be found on the OT Connections public forums. Here are some Monday brass tacks that I hope will generate some thought and conversation.  These are not the same brass tacks that address the concern about what to do with the social or occupational justice heathens who have made public proclamations on forums and on websites; these are brass tacks that hopefully start a conversation on how the social justice provisions have actually been operationalized in the occupational therapy profession.  There is a lot to talk about from different perspectives, to be sure. In context of this old and lengthy conversation, and as reported by the original author of the motion, one of the significant concerns with this motion was that it was de facto law in several states due to its inclusion in several practice acts by reference. A cou

The meaning of a barrel

I would like to introduce you to my barrel. It is 20 years old.   One of its principal identifying characteristics is its blue color.  Although I haven't done the math to determine whether or not it is of optimal dimension (a la Keppler) I have always considered that it is the precisely correct size  for many purposes.  Toddlers can stand it it quite well and not be overwhelmed by its height, and although that is no confirmation by differential calculus it is a pragmatic measure that I have always appreciated.  So what is the meaning of a barrel?  To Keppler it was an obsession based on not wanting to be ripped off by a wine merchant and it ended up feeding his thought process that led to our understanding of planetary motion.  That intrigues and amuses me more than I can probably express. For me the meaning of my barrel is both personally and socially derived, just as described by Hasselkus (2002, p.3).  I purchased the barrel when I was working at another facility as a