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World OT Day

Occupational Therapy Day was first launched on 27th October 2010. Since then, it has become an important date in the occupational therapy calendar to promote and celebrate the profession internationally.

What is World Occupational Therapy Day?

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) is the international voice of the occupational therapy profession which globally comprises of 92 national occupational therapy professional organisations. World Occupational Therapy Day is the opportunity to heighten the visibility of the profession’s development work and to promote the activities of WFOT locally, nationally, and internationally.

When is it? Annually on October 27th

The aim is that the WFOT World Occupational Therapy Day will be integrated with other national celebrations and promotions of the mission and goals of occupational therapy. Many countries hold occupational therapy week or month in October. If this does not fit with your country or time frame then individual events can be scheduled to suit any local time frames. This will help to increase the awareness of occupational therapists and society of the truly global impact of occupational therapy.

Promoting and Celebrating World Occupational Therapy Day 2017 - Information and Resources

There are many ways to promote and celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day 2017. The theme for this year is “Inform Inspire Influence.”

The WFOT is providing a range of resources that you can utilise to help promote the event. Many of these items have been designed exclusively for World Occupational Therapy Day 2017 and they can be downloaded from Resource Centre > World O Day from 30 August 2017. These resources will include:

  • Guide to World Occupational Therapy Day 2017– A useful resource to help you plan and organise the event together with links to exclusive promotional offers.
  • World Occupational Therapy Day 2017 official logo free for you to download - available with and without the date in five languages. 
  • Desktop calendars for use as your computer wallpaper.
  • Posters for you to print or use online.
  • Social Media Pack with artwork for Facebook, Twitter and banner advertisements for you to use.
  • Join the Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION) and network with people around the world to share news and ideas about World Occupational Therapy Day.


This year's OT Virtual Exchange (#OTVx17) was held on October 27, 2017 using the World Occupational Therapy Day theme: Inform, Inspire and Influence. 

The OTVx was an 8-hour interactive online conference with invited speakers including Handicap International who discussed conflict and emergencies, World Health Organization (WHO) discussing the Assistive Technology/GATE Programme;and a keynote presentation by Marleen van Doesburg-Kaijen and Claire Craig from the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE) Annual Meeting in Zagreb, Croatia. Liliana Alvarez Jaramillo, WFOT Interim Programme Coordinator Research, stepped in for President, Marilyn Pattison, who could not participate due to illness. Liliana presented an overview of World Occupational Therapy Day and then facilitated a discussion on future possibilities for World Occupational Therapy Day and then facilitated a discussion on future possibilities for World Occupational Therapy Day. Here is the OTVx17 session list with links to the available recordings:



Topic & Speaker

Tiny URL

Session 1a


Meet & Greet - catch up with online friends

Recording is not available for this session

Session 2a


Welcome - Launch OTVx17 Social Media - WFOT Executive Project Team

Anita Hamilton - WFOT Executive Project Team

Session 2b


Using Social Media to leverage and protect the OT brand

Session 3


doing: a powerful way of learning; Keynote by Marleen van Doesburg-Kaijen

ENOTHE Keynote by Marleen van Doesburg-Kaijen


Session 4


Where OT meets IT: harnessing the potential of digital technologies to promote health and wellbeing; Keynote by Claire Craig

ENOTHE Keynote by Claire Craig


Session 5


Conflict and Emergencies (Handicap International)

Session 6


WFOT Congress 2018 and Occupational Therapy in South Africa

Lana van Niekerk and colleagues 


Session 7a


Global Cooperation for Assistive Technology

(World Health Organization)


Session 7b


Opportunities to Enhance Occupational Therapists' Wheelchair Service Provision Knowledge & Skills (International Society of Wheelchair Professionals

Session 8


Keynote by

Liliana Alvarez Jaramillo, WFOT Interim PCo Reseach

Future Plans and Possibilities for World Occupational Therapy Day and Vx: Share your thoughts: 


The OT 24-hour Virtual Exchange (OT24VX) started in 2010 and has been held each year to celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day. It has been organized and run by Online Technology for Occupational Therapy (OT4OT), a small group of occupational therapists from the United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom; who are passionate about using online technology to advance entry level education, continuing professional development, research, and practice.

We are proud to be transitioning OT24Vx to becoming OTVx in 2017 and look forward to continuing to support knowledge transfer activities using online technologies in collaboration with the WFOT for occupational therapy practitioners and students around the globe. #OTVX17 is this year’s official Vx hashtag

Thanks to our University supporters Eastern Washington University(USA), Boston University (USA) and University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia).



WFOT is partnering with to support the OT Global Day of Service (OTGDS).

The OT Global Day of Service (OTGDS) will take place on Thursday 27th October 2017.

Who can participate?

Occupational therapy practitioners and students who would like to volunteer community service to an individual or organisation.

Who will benefit?

Everyone who receives volunteered community service benefits by the generosity of the participating occupational therapy practitioners and students.

How can I help?

Service is not always about direct action—it can be providing free professional, creative and organisational services which can have an equally profound effect on the programs and causes that need your help. Basically, when you engage in an unpaid activity intended to benefit others, that is service.

What kinds of things can I do?

A list of examples can be found via this link

How do I sign up to promote?

  1. Register to participate in the Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service.
  2. Arrange to engage in a volunteer activity on October 27, 2017.
  3. Participate in the Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service.
  4. Complete the survey about your Occupational Therapy Global Day of Service experience

Where do I register?

Follow this link to the registration page.

Where do I complete the post-event survey?

After completing your service, follow this link to tell us about it:


We ask you to consider ways in which you can help the WFOT support the development and provision of services internationally.

Many people may not know that the WFOT delegates and the WFOT Executive are volunteers and give their time and expertise at no cost to the organisation.

The WFOT is currently funded through subscriptions from national associations and individual members. On many occasions the WFOT is asked for assistance and it does not have the resources to respond or the assistance that can be provided is limited due to lack of funding. Your contributions will assist the development of the profession internationally. Please consider fundraising for the WFOT. Payments can be made by credit/debit card and PayPal via this dedicated link

All donations received incur a 12% + $0.40 levy to cover banking and administrative costs. Categories covered by the donations include; grants, translation, education consultations and scholarships. Award recipients must meet the stated obligations and are subject to its restrictions.

Be Inspired - World Occupational Therapy Day 2016 Activities Summary

Celebrations were held around the world and on social media to celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day 2016. Examples of how people promoted the global profile of the profession are presented in the document below.

Read the World OT Day 2016 Roundup (PDF)

Read the World OT Day 2016 President's Message

World Occupational Therapy Day 2017 Roundup - see the celebrations from around the world at

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