Open letter to the Representative Assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association


Dear Representative Assembly Members,

I am a program director of an occupational therapy program. I am shocked and concerned that the AOTA's Representative Assembly has accepted a new motion to re-litigate the entry level doctoral issue after it was just voted on and decided six months ago.

In any democratic process, issues should never be considered 'closed.' However, we also need to have some procedural safeguards to ensure that there is not an abuse of processes in order to effect a Small Group's will.

The Representative Assembly has such a process. In the document 'Rubric for RA Motions' it clearly states:

" Topic #4:
Motion originators/Rep articulate how the intended outcome of the motion is different from anything that other AOTA groups (ad hocs, COE, COP, EC, etc.) is working on or has already been addressed."

It is a mockery of the process to serially submit motions on the same topic that has already been litigated and when there is no intervening new context or information. The profession debated this issue for over five years. A decision was reached.

If time has passed, or if there is new information, or if the context has changed - that is another issue. However, none of that is the case.

Instead we have a Small Group attempting to hijack the Representative Assembly process to enforce their own will in support of a mandatory doctorate that the profession has already rejected.

This is severely disruptive to the educational community. We are attempting to move forward with curriculum planning and strategic planning. This uncertainty makes that impossible.

As a Program Director I am asking you to oppose this Representative Assembly motion and to engage an investigation of your Agenda Chair's process that this motion would come back up for debate. The community can't tolerate this uncertainty and it is both damaging and embarrassing for the occupational therapy profession.

Thank you for your consideration.
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