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Illinois Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice

How does Illinois define occupational theray?

"Occupational therapy" means the therapeutic use of purposeful and meaningful occupations or goal-directed activities to evaluate and provide interventions for individuals, groups, and populations who have a disease or disorder, an impairment, an activity limitation, or a participation restriction that interferes with their ability to function independently in their daily life roles, including activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).

Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of habilitation, rehabilitation, and to promote health and wellness. Occupational therapy may be provided via technology or telecommunication methods, also known as telehealth, however the standard of care shall be the same whether a patient is seen in person, through telehealth, or other method of electronically enabled health care.

What is included in the practice of occupational therapy? 

Occupational therapy practice may include any of the following:

  • Remediation or restoration of performance abilities that are limited due to impairment in biological, physiological, psychological, or neurological processes;
  • Modification or adaptation of task, process, or the environment or the teaching of compensatory techniques in order to enhance performance;
  • Disability prevention methods and techniques that facilitate the development or safe application of performance skills; and
  • Health and wellness promotion strategies, including self-management strategies, and practices that enhance performance abilities.

The licensed occupational therapist or licensed occupational therapy assistant may assume a variety of roles in his or her career including, but not limited to, practitioner, supervisor of professional students and volunteers, researcher, scholar, consultant, administrator, faculty, clinical instructor, fieldwork educator, and educator of consumers, peers, and family.

Occupational Therapy Services

"Occupational therapy services" means services that may be provided to individuals, groups, and populations, when provided to treat an occupational therapy need, including the following:

  • Evaluating, developing, improving, sustaining, or restoring skills in activities of daily living, work, or productive activities, including instrumental activities of daily living and play and leisure activities;
  • Evaluating, developing, remediating, or restoring sensorimotor, cognitive, or psychosocial components of performance with considerations for cultural context and activity demands that affect performance;
  • Designing, fabricating, applying, or training in the use of assistive technology, adaptive devices, seating and positioning, or temporary, orthoses and training in the use of orthoses and prostheses;
  • Adapting environments and processes, including the application of ergonomic principles, to enhance performance and safety in daily life roles;
  • For the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant possessing advanced training, skill, and competency as demonstrated through criteria that shall be determined by the Department, applying physical agent modalities as an adjunct to or in preparation for engagement in occupations;
  • Evaluating and providing intervention in collaboration with the client, family, caregiver, or others;
  • Educating the client, family, caregiver, or others in carrying out appropriate nonskilled interventions;
  • Consulting with groups, programs, organizations, or communities to provide population-based services;
  • Assessing, recommending, and training in techniques to enhance functional mobility, including wheelchair management;
  • Driver rehabilitation and community mobility;
  • Management of feeding, eating, and swallowing to enable or enhance performance of these tasks;
  • Low vision rehabilitation;
  • Lymphedema and wound care management;
  • Pain management; and
  • Care coordination, case management, and transition services.

Are there any specifically regulated services?

Illinois OT Physical Agent Modalities


225 ILCS 75/2

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