Live your best lifeWhat is OT?

Occupational therapists (OT) and occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work with people of all ages in order to help them live their best lives!

Occupational therapy practitioners believe that for people to be healthy and happy, they must be able to engage in a wide variety of "occupations," which refers to any and every activity people are "occupied" with during their daily lives. These occupations may be as basic as caring for oneself (grooming, personal hygiene, eating) or as complex as learning to play with other children, participating in school activities, holding a job, caring for one's children, participating in sports, or maintaining meaningful relationships with others.

In Colorado, individuals may directly request OT services (without a referral) or the request may come from a family member, an employer, teacher, friend, physician, or other professionals. 

Occupational therapy is offered in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, neonatal units, skilled nursing facilities, mental health organizations, private practice clinics, home health agencies, community settings, and more. 

Occupational Therapy is a service provided by professionals who have successfully completed an extensive postsecondary OT education program AND who have passed a national certification examination. Registered Occupational Therapists (OTRs) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) work with people of all ages to enhance their performance of important everyday activities (occupations) despite the effects of illness, disability, or injury.Helping with Grocery shopping

Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled problem solvers who are committed to finding ways to reduce the negative impacts of a disability, illness, or injury on everyday functioning.

Live your best life with occupational therapy!

For more information about occupational therapy, please visit the web site for the American Occupational Therapy Association at AOTA.




Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant Roles

NOTE: This is a general description for information purposes only. Licensed CO practitioners need to follow current state rules and regulations which can be found at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) at 


Occupational Therapist Roles

Occupational Therapy Assistant Roles

  • Performs and documents initial and ongoing assessments of patient's condition.

  • Establishes a plan of care which is appropriate to deficit areas identified and involves the patient/family according to their capabilities and desires. Educates the patient and family/caregiver about patient deficits.

  • Plans and/or assists with patient discharge from therapy services and treatment settings. Provides information regarding appropriate selection/use of adaptive equipment and support programs.

  • Supervises and delegates the care provided by certified occupational therapy assistants and therapy technicians according to established licensing laws, state regulations and practice standards.

  • Performs and documents patient treatment with supervision of registered occupational therapist.

  • Implement established plan of care under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

  • Collaborates and provide feedback to registered occupational therapist on patient progress.

  • Collaborates with occupational therapist on therapeutic goals for patient. 

  • Collaborates with registered occupational therapist in analyzing client factors, performance skills, performance patterns, and contexts and environments necessary for patients to engage in their everyday activities.

(AOTA, 2021)



Supervision: OT/OTA Relationship. The OT/OTA relationship is a collaborative team that works together to determine goals and interventions to support patients in participating in daily meaningful occupations.he OT/OTA relationship is a collaborative team that works together to determine goals and interventions to support patients in participating in daily meaningful occupations.

"Supervision," is a process in which two or more people participate in a joint effort to promote, establish, maintain and/or evaluate a level of performance. The occupational therapist is responsible for the practice outcomes and documentation to accomplish the goals and objectives. 


Levels of Supervision

  • "Close supervision" requires daily, direct contact in person at the work site.

    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “close” supervision: A therapist who is new to a particular task, a new graduate or an experienced practitioner who has switched to a new specialty. 

  • "Routine supervision" requires the supervisor to have direct contact in person at least every two weeks at the work site or via telehealth with interim supervision occurring by other methods, such as telephone or written communication.

    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “routine” supervision: Once a new practitioner has increased his/her level of expertise and knowledge of the task at hand, he/she may be able to transition from “close” to “routine” supervision. 

  • "General supervision" requires the supervisor to have at least monthly direct contact in person with the supervisee at the work site or via telehealth with supervision available as needed by other methods.

    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “general” supervision: A skilled OTA that has worked in the area of practice for many years and has been observed in a treatment session by their OT supervisor. If the OT is confident with the OTA, and the OTA has demonstrated service competency, they can go forward with once per month check in meetings (AOTA State Affairs Group, 2021). 

  • Supervision of students in level II settings:

    • Please reference the following document from AOTA.