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New York Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice

How does the state define the practice of occupational therapy?

The practice of the profession of occupational therapy is defined as the functional evaluation of the client, the planning and utilization of a program of purposeful activities, the development and utilization of a treatment program, and/or consultation with the client, family, caregiver or organization in order to restore, develop or maintain adaptive skills, and/or performance abilities designed to achieve maximal physical, cognitive and mental functioning of the client associated with his or her activities of daily living and daily life tasks. A treatment program designed to restore function, shall be rendered on the prescription or referral of a physician, nurse practitioner or other health care provider acting within his or her scope of practice pursuant to this title. However, nothing contained in this article shall be construed to permit any licensee to practice medicine or psychology, including psychotherapy or to otherwise expand such licensee's scope of practice.

What is the definition of a functional evaluation?

A functional evaluation may include screening, observing, consulting, administering and/or interpreting standardized and non-standardized assessment tools, and simulating and analyzing activities or environments for the purpose of:

  • Assessing levels of functional abilities and deficits resulting from developmental deficit, injury, disease or any limiting condition; and/or
  • Identifying areas of function and dysfunction in daily life tasks; and/or
  • Determining the need for and the types of initial and/or subsequent occupational therapy.

Purposeful activity is defined as goal-directed behavior aimed at the development of functional daily living skills in the categories of self-care, work, homemaking or play/leisure.


NY EDN Law 156 § 7901

NYCCR §76.5

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