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California Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice 

How does California define occupational therapy?

“Practice of occupational therapy” means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful goal-directed activities (occupations) which engage the individual’s body and mind in meaningful, organized, and self-directed actions that maximize independence, prevent or minimize disability, and maintain health. Occupational therapy services encompass occupational therapy assessment, treatment, education of, and consultation with, individuals who have been referred for occupational therapy services subsequent to diagnosis of disease or disorder (or who are receiving occupational therapy services as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)). Occupational therapy assessment identifies performance abilities and limitations that are necessary for self-maintenance, learning, work, and other similar meaningful activities. Occupational therapy treatment is focused on developing, improving, or restoring functional daily living skills, compensating for and preventing dysfunction, or minimizing disability. Occupational therapy techniques that are used for treatment involve teaching activities of daily living (excluding speech-language skills); designing or fabricating selective temporary orthotic devices and applying or training in the use of assistive technology or orthotic and prosthetic devices (excluding gait training). Occupational therapy consultation provides expert advice to enhance function and quality of life. Consultation or treatment may involve modification of tasks or environments to allow an individual to achieve maximum independence. Services are provided individually, in groups, or through social groups.

Advanced Practices

Hand Therapy

Physical Agent Modalities

Topical Medications

Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation, or Intervention

Application for Approval in Advanced Practice Areas


Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code ยง 2570.2

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