AOTF Award for Community Volunteerism


To provide an award and honorarium (to be used to offset AOTA Annual Conference attendance) for an individual or group of occupational therapists and/or occupational therapy assistants who demonstrate commitment, excellence and/or innovation in providing community-based volunteer services using occupational therapy skills. The services must be performed in the United States and must help individuals or groups within a community and advance public understanding of the role and value of occupational therapy services. Priority will be given to projects aimed towards members of the community who are underserved or otherwise would have a difficult time accessing needed services. One award will be presented.  Nominations are due October 1, 2015.


  • Candidates must be currently licensed or certified in the jurisdiction in which they are practicing.
  • For teams, at least one member must be an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who meets the above criterion.
  • Volunteer work must be in the U.S. and can not be in fulfillment of university field work. 

Nomination Procedures

A nomination form must be completed by the candidate or a letter of nomination from a nominating individual (if the candidate is not self-nominating).

The nomination form or letter requires:
(a) A brief summary (in 300 words or less) of the project or program (1) including types of services, frequency and duration, and types and numbers of individuals served (2) the program’s volunteer staffing and its specific goals and objectives; (3) the program’s overall accomplishments, including any barriers to progress encountered and strategies/steps taken to overcome them; and (4) the nominee’s role in the programs and specific linkages that have been established with other programs because of this activity.
(b) A description (in 300 words or less) detailing the benefit of the volunteerism to the individuals served and to furthering the understanding of occupational therapy in the community-at-large. Reviewers will disqualify nominations that are over 300 words.

Two (2) letters of support (preferably from persons directly involved in the volunteer activity) are required. The letters should describe the value and benefit of the services provided to the community and/or the visibility or awareness the program has provided to improve understanding of occupational therapy.


Additional Materials Required of Nominees

Nominations must include:
• A recent, hi-resolution (300 dpi or over), photograph of the candidate or candidate group, suitable for reproduction.
• A short (not more than 150 words) description describing the volunteer program(s) that can be used for public dissemination.


Criteria For Selection

• Relevance of the occupational therapy volunteerism to a U.S. community need and the occupational therapy profession.
• Benefit to the organization
• Benefit to community of the occupational therapy volunteerism provided.
• Benefit to the profession of the occupational therapy volunteerism provided.
• Extent and quality of occupational therapy volunteerism provided.
• Recognition of project by others, which may include recognition outside the field of occupational therapy.


Award Recipients

Award winners will be recognized through public announcements and invited to travel to the AOTA Annual Conference to receive their award. A $500 stipend will be provided to the recipient to defer Annual Conference expenses. The award and stipend will be presented during the AOTA/AOTF Awards Ceremony. For awards involving groups, one honorarium and award certificate will be provided for the group. A lead contact may be designated to represent the group at the award ceremony.

Submission Instructions

Send the nomination package (including letters) as pdf attachments via email to the Chair of the AOTF Awards of Recognition Committee: with the subject line:  AOTF Volunteerism Award.