When are OTs Going to Start to Use the News to Showcase themselves to the Public

The last 35 days have featured many news stories relating to Occupational Therapy that immediately captured my attention, and others in the field. But my reaction and perspective when reading them may be different, and hopefully, can serve as a wakeup call to the profession.   Instead of “that’s great”, ” how wonderful”, or “how sad”, I read these articles and thought:
1. Were OTs consulted on the product creation, design and marketing?
2. Were any OTs sought out and quoted in the article?
3. Did any OT seize the moment, capture the opportunity and write a letter to the editor or send a letter to the manufacturer offering congratulations, input, suggestions, planting seeds for other products as a way to get your foot in the door?

If the answers are no, these will be lost opportunities for us to showcase our unique perspective, our critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and how we are much more than just direct service providers.

A quick recap:
(1) Target recalls weighted blankets after the death of 2 babies – So many ways OTs can weigh in (no pun intended) talking about the danger of making therapeutic products available commercially without proper guidance and instruction. Did Target get input from therapists before getting the blanket mass produced? Link to article
(2) L’Oréal’s launches Hapta, an assistive grip designed for those with limited arm or hand mobility in order to keeps lipstick level while it’s being applied – Were OTs involved in any way, and if not, can OTs jump to get in touch with the company as they plan to roll out other products (Boy does it resemble quad cuffs we used at Rusk Institute 40 years ago…) Link to article

(3)  Washington Post’s article Cooking with Physical Limitations? Try these creative workarounds.  – I am happy (and relieved) to report that OT was mentioned several times, more than one OT were interviewed and hopefully OTs are using this article as a marketing tool. Link to article

(4) Jansport announces an “adaptive “collection of backpacks and packs designed specifically for mobility devices. Were OTs involved in any way, and if not, can OTs jump to get in touch with the company, offer feedback, ways to improve it – perhaps other ideas??? Link to announcement

The good news?  It’s not too late to seize the opportunity and do something about it!
And if anyone reaches out and something good comes of it, please let me know!!

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