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TOTA Award Categories

OT and OTA of the Year

This person displays professionalism, leadership and service to the profession at the local, state, and/or national level. This person has at least five years of experience in the field of OT, contributes above and beyond his/her typical job responsibilities, and demonstrates sustained membership to professional organizations including TOTA. This person demonstrates exceptional contributions to the profession with consideration of the following criteria: provides fieldwork supervision, contributes works to professional journals, volunteers in his/her community to further OT awareness,  membership in additional professional associations, additional certifications (CHT, NDT, etc.) and demonstrates advocacy in the profession. Two separate honors will be awarded. 

Roster of Merit

Members of TOTA who, through their efforts, over a period of fifteen years or more, have made significant contributions in two or more of the following areas (other areas not listed will be given consideration also): a) Therapeutic practice - education, research, public relations, administration and recruitment; b) Communication - through written publication, oral presentations, seminars or workshops; c) Association activities - serving on committees, task forces, boards and elected positions in district, state or national OT associations. A written statement should describe the nominee’s contribution to the profession over fifteen years or longer, including therapeutic practice, publications, professional activities, etc. 

Distinguished Service Award

This award is given to an individual or group, OT or non-OT, which has provided notable contributions to the development, growth or promotion of the occupational therapy profession or the state association. Additional considerations will be given for those who have provided scholarly contributions and volunteer organizational leadership to TOTA. The nominator should include a statement defining the nature of the service to the profession or TOTA.

Letter of Appreciation

An individual or group which has made a significant contribution to TOTA or the profession of OT in a special area through the use of special talents or that goes beyond those of normal professional duties or responsibilities. (Can be given to individuals or groups, members of TOTA or not; both OTs and
non-OTs) A written statement should state the contribution of the individual to the association or profession of occupational therapy.

Award for Clinical Excellence

This award is given to an individual, clinic, facility, research group or district, which has demonstrated a short-term innovative or exceptional activity in clinical occupational therapy. The nominator should provide a written description of the nominee’s act of excellence.

Clinical Educator of the Year Award

This award is given to an occupational therapy practitioner who demonstrates exceptional contributions in some or all of the following areas: a) development and/or revision of a facility’s fieldwork program; b) exhibits expertise in student supervision; c) trains student supervisors; d) contributes to the profession through in-service education/publications. This clinician demonstrates professional leadership by participating in local and state organizations and encourages professional behaviors in others.

Honorary Life Member

This award is given to an occupational therapy practitioner who has demonstrated significant and notable contributions to the profession throughout his/her career and has reached the age of retirement or limited professional duty. This person has also provided exceptional contributions to TOTA as evidenced by (but not limited to): service on committees, holding offices with TOTA and service on task forces. The nominator should provide a written statement of this person’s contributions to the profession and TOTA throughout their professional career. 

OTA/OT Collaboration Award

Awarded to a COTA and an OTR who have worked together in a collaborative effort to make significant contributions to the profession of occupational therapy. These areas include research, practice and education, as well as presentations and publications. Both of the nominees must be an active member of TOTA.  A written statement should describe their achievements  together.

Interdisciplinary Team Award

Recognition of a team of interdisciplinary professionals, which includes an occupational therapy practitioner, who have made significant contributions in some or all of the following areas: a) participation in community projects that affect the lives of persons served by the profession; b) participation in  patient advocacy activities; c) involvement in legislative activities to improve the quality of life of persons served by the profession; d) participation in joint research efforts; e) participation in a non- traditional program. A written statement with specific examples should describe the achievements of the  team. 

Academic Educator of the Year Award

This award is given to recognize a faculty member in an occupational therapy program who has made outstanding contributions to academic education in the following areas: a) exhibits innovative teaching skills and serves as a role model; b) makes substantial contributions to the profession in the forms of presentation, publication and research; c) provides community service through membership on state or local OT boards, chairs committees or is an officer of a community organization. The nominee demonstrates professional responsibility by membership and participation in professional organizations.

Student Leadership Award

Recognition of a student member of TOTA who has made outstanding contributions and has shown leadership in one of the following areas: a) participation in community projects that positively affects the lives of persons served by our profession; b) active involvement in a leadership capacity in local or state professional organizations related to occupational therapy and/or the persons served by the profession; c) participation as an advocate for the profession or for the persons served by the profession. A written statement should describe the specific achievements of the person.

Horizon Award

This award is given to an occupational therapy practitioner who has been in the profession less than five years and has been recognized by his/her peers for contributions to the profession. This individual demonstrates exceptional contributions in some or all of the following areas: a) participation in community projects that positively affects the lives of persons served by our profession; b) active involvement in a leadership capacity in local or state professional organizations related to occupational therapy and/or the persons served by the profession; c) participation as an advocate for the profession or for the persons served by the profession. The nominator should provide at least one peer letter of recognition.