President’s Message – January 2017WFOT is looking forward to an exciting 2017, however, at the beginning of any new year it is important to reflect on the previous year. Once again, WFOT is proud of its’ significant achievements in 2016, and thanks all who contributed to promoting and supporting the work of the organisation.
In the President’s Messages posted on the WFOT website I reflected on the issues, work and outcomes of WFOT during 2016. World Occupational Therapy Day on 27 October was again a resounding success, and I thank all who supported this event and celebrated our profession. I hope that you enjoy reading the reports from various countries.There are some significant and exciting activities that WFOT will undertake during 2017, beginning with a new website which will provide an up-to-date platform for the delivery of information and services to members and others. Access to online educational opportunities and discussion groups are examples of these important services.
The WFOT Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists (revised 2016) will be implemented in January 2017. There are now around 1,200 entry-level occupational therapy educational programmes around the world, and it is exciting to see many new programmes being established, particularly in countries where these programmes have not previously been available.
The WFOT Congress 2018 Call for Abstracts will open in January. I encourage you to consider submitting an abstract, with the potential for sharing your experiences and expertise with international colleagues who will be attending the Congress in May 2018, in Cape Town South Africa. Please monitor the WFOT Congress 2018 website for the latest information – start planning now. I am looking forward to meeting many of you in South Africa.
WFOT will be again be submitting statements on various issues to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board meeting in January, and will be attending ‘Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action’ meeting with WHO Disability and Rehabilitation section in Geneva in February. WFOT statements submitted to previous WHO meetings are available at this website.The WFOT Executive Management Team (EMT) meeting will be held in the week prior to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 2017 Annual Conference & Expo and Centennial Celebration, in Philadelphia in April. The EMT look forward to their annual meeting to address the business of WFOT. This four day meeting covers a range of agenda items, including those submitted by Member Organisations. Various programmes and projects will be reviewed to ensure that they are achieving the progress and goals of the Federation. We are also looking forward to participating in the Conference and Centennial celebrations with our American colleagues – 100 years of the profession of occupational therapy in the USA is certainly to be celebrated.
During 2017 WFOT will also be participating in various Member and other Organisation conference and events, all with the aim of promoting both our profession and our Federation. The use of our social media platforms enables us to participate in these events in many different ways, including video presentations, when it is not possible to attend in person. These technologies assist WFOT to manage its financial and human resources in a prudent manner.
WFOT is rich with the goodwill of volunteers and partners, and access to international experts, rather than with financial resources. The success of WFOT activities depends on the contribution of many volunteers – Executive, Council, and occupational therapists who are experts on various topics. I would like to build on the many successful activities, including submissions to WHO, that were achieved with the significant contributions of volunteers who responded to requests to assist WFOT to ensure the promotion of the profession at the international level. I look forward to your participation, and support of WFOT during 2017.
With Best Wishes for a year of great achievements for all.