International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 25 has been designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the United Nations General Assembly. The date marks the anniversary of the assassination of the Mirabal Sisters (Patria, Minerva, Maria &Dede), who were Dominican political dissidents and activists, who opposed the dictatorship of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961). Rafael Trujillo, was the country’s president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952, but ruled as a dictator from 1930 to his assassination in 1961.

Minerva Mirabal studied law in order to earn a Law Degree and become a Lawyer, and became involved in the political movement against Rafael Trujillo after she was refused a licence to practice law after declining Trujillo’s romantic advances. Her sisters followed suit, first Maria Teresa, who joined after staying with Minerva and learning about their activities, and then Patria, who joined after witnessing a massacre by some of Trujillo’s men . Dedé joined later, due to having been held back by her husband Jaimito, and they formed a group called the Movement of the Fourteenth of June (named after the date of the massacre Patria witnessed), to oppose the Trujillo regime. They distributed pamphlets about the many people whom Trujillo had killed, and obtained materials for guns and bombs to use when they finally openly revolted. Within the group, the Mirabals called themselves Las Mariposas (“The Butterflies”), after Minerva’s underground name. Minerva and Maria Teresa were incarcerated Amid mounting international opposition to Trujillo’s regime. Three of the sisters’ husbands (who were also involved in the underground activities) were incarcerated at La Victoria Penitentiary in Santo Domingo. Despite these setbacks, they persisted in fighting to end Trujillo’s leadership. In 1960, the Organization of American States condemned Trujillo’s actions and sent observers. Minerva and Maria Teresa were freed, but their husbands remained in prison.

Sadly On November 25, 1960, while Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and driver Rufino de la Cruz were visiting Patria and Minerva’s incarcerated husbands, they were stopped by Trujillo’s henchmen. The sisters and the driver were separated and were clubbed to death. The bodies were then gathered and put in their Jeep where it was run off the mountain road to look like an accident. After Trujillo was assassinated in May 1961, General Pupo Román admitted to having personal knowledge that the sisters were killed by Victor Alicinio and Peña Rivera, who were Trujillo’s right-hand men. The sisters’ assassinations “had greater effect on Dominicans than most of Trujillo’s other crimes”, noting that “it did something to their machismo” and paved the way for Trujillo’s own assassination six months later.

After the death of her sisters, Dedé Mirabal devoted her life to the legacy of her sisters. She raised her sisters’ six children, including Minou Tavárez Mirabal, Minerva’s daughter, who served as deputy for the National District in the lower House since 2002 and served as deputy foreign minister from 1996 to 2000. Of her own three children, Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, is the current Minister for Environment and Natural Resources and former vice president of the Dominican Republic. In 1992, she founded the Mirabal Sisters Foundation and in 1994 the Mirabal Sisters Museum in her hometown Salcedo. She published a book, Vivas en su Jardín, on August 25, 2009. She lived in the house where the sisters were born in Salcedo until her death.

The Mirabal sisters were eventually recognised as Public Martyrs and there are many homages to the Mirabal sisters, including an exhibition of their belongings at the National Museum of History and Geography and the transformation of Trujillo’s obelisk into a mural dedicated in their honor. Since 1981Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women and The UN has invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem which affects Women around the world, who are subject to rape, mental cruelty, domestic violence and other forms of violence. There is more information about the history of this day, and publications relating to violence against women, at the UN’s Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the The UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women).

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Equal Opportunities Day

Equal Opportunity Day Takes place annually on 19 November. The purpose of Equal opportunities day is to encourage equal opportunities in the workplace and in other areas of life and to educate those who feel they are not being given equal opportunities, about the things they can do to improve the situation.

Equal opportunities (also known as equality of opportunity) arise from the similar treatment of all people, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. According to this often complex and contested concept, the intent is that important jobs in an organization should go to those persons who are the “most qualified” – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for reasons deemed arbitrary or irrelevant, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, having well-connected relatives or friends, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, caste, or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Though accommodation of persons with special needs and disabilities are done through job restructuring activities considering their potential for same level of performance, for experiencing same level of benefits and privileges as others.

Chances for advancement should be open to everybody interested, such that they have “an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established”. The idea is to remove arbitrariness from the selection process and base it on some “pre-agreed basis of fairness, with the assessment process being related to the type of position” and emphasizing procedural and legal means. Individuals should succeed or fail based on their own efforts and not extraneous circumstances such as having well-connected parents. It is opposed to nepotism and plays a role in whether a social structure is seen as legitimate. The concept is applicable in areas of public life in which benefits are earned and received such as employment and education, although it can apply to many other areas as well. Equal opportunity is central to the concept of meritocracy.

The concept of Equal opportunities assumes that society is stratified with a diverse range of roles, some of which are more desirable than others The benefit of equality of opportunity is to bring fairness to the selection process for coveted roles in corporations, associations, nonprofits, universities and elsewhere. According to one view, there is no “formal linking” between equality of opportunity and political structure, in the sense that there can be equality of opportunity in democracies, autocracies and in communist nations,although it is primarily associated with a competitive market economy and embedded within the legal frameworks of democratic societies. People with different political perspectives see equality of opportunity differently: liberals disagree about which conditions are needed to ensure it and many “old-style” conservatives see inequality and hierarchy in general as beneficial out of a respect for tradition. It can apply to a specific hiring decision, or to all hiring decisions by a specific company, or rules governing hiring decisions for an entire nation. The scope of equal opportunity has expanded to cover more than issues regarding the rights of minority groups, but covers practices regarding “recruitment, hiring, training, layoffs, discharge, recall, promotions, responsibility, wages, sick leave, vacation, overtime, insurance, retirement, pensions, and various other benefits”.

The concept has been applied to numerous aspects of public life, including accessibility of polling stations, care provided to HIV patients, whether men and women have equal opportunities to travel on a spaceship, bilingual education,skin color of models in Brazil, television time for political candidates, army promotions, admittance to universities and ethnicity in the United States.The term is interrelated with and often contrasted with other conceptions of equality such as equality of outcome and equality of autonomy. Equal opportunity emphasizes the personal ambition and talent and abilities of the individual, rather than his or her qualities based on membership in a group, such as a social class or race or extended family. Further, it is seen as unfair if external factors that are viewed as being beyond the control of a person significantly influence what happens to him or her. Equal opportunity then emphasizes a fair process whereas in contrast equality of outcome emphasizes a fair outcome. In sociological analysis, equal opportunity is seen as a factor correlating positively with social mobility, in the sense that it can benefit society overall by maximizing well-being. There are different types of equality:

Formal equality of opportunity: This is sometimes referred to as the nondiscrimination principle or described as the absence of direct discrimination, or described in the narrow sense as equality of access. It is a basic “no frills” or “narrow” approach to equality of opportunity, a minimal standard of sorts, limited to the public sphere as opposed to private areas such as the family, marriage, or religion. What is considered “fair” and “unfair” is spelled out in advance and that:

“There should be an equal opportunity for all. Each and every person should have as great or as small an opportunity as the next one. There should not be the unfair, unequal, superior opportunity of one individual over another.”

John Roemer, used the term nondiscrimination principle to mean that “all individuals who possess the attributes relevant for the performance of the duties of the position in question be included in the pool of eligible candidates, and that an individual’s possible occupancy of the position be judged only with respect to those relevant attributes”.

Substantive equality of opportunity,: This sometimes called fair equality of opportunity, is a somewhat broader and more expansive concept than the more limiting formal equality of opportunity and it deals with what is sometimes described as indirect discrimination. It goes farther and is more controversial than the formal variant; and has been thought to be much harder to achieve, with greater disagreement about how to achieve greater equality; and has been described as “unstable”, particularly if the society in question is unequal to begin with in terms of great disparity of wealth. It has been identified as more of a left-leaning political position, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. The substantive model is advocated by people who see limitations in the formal model:

In the substantive approach, the starting point before the race begins is unfair since people have had differing experiences before even approaching the competition. The substantive approach examines the applicants themselves before applying for a position and judges whether they have equal abilities or talents; and if not, then it suggests that authorities (usually the government) take steps to make applicants more equal before they get to the point where they compete for a position and fixing the before-the-starting-point issues has sometimes been described as working towards “fair access to qualifications”. It seeks to remedy inequalities perhaps because of an “unfair disadvantage” based sometimes on “prejudice in the past”.

International Stand up to bullying Day

International STAND UP to Bullying Day takes place on 16 November. Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. The purpose of International Stand Up to Bullying day is to educate people how to prevent, reduce and stop bullying. Many campaigns and events are designated to bullying prevention throughout the world. Bullying prevention campaigns and events include: Anti-Bullying Day, Anti-Bullying Week, International Day of Pink, International STAND UP to Bullying Day and National Bullying Prevention Month. Anti-Bullying laws in the U.S. have also been enacted in 23 of its 50 states, making bullying in schools illegal.

Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The United Kingdom has no legal definition of bullying, while some states in the United States have laws against it. Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation. Bullying ranges from one-on-one, individual bullying through to group bullying called mobbing, in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.

Bullying is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations of such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.

A bullying culture can develop in any context in which humans interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. The main platform for bullying is on social media websites. In a 2012 study of male adolescent American football players, “the strongest predictor of bullying was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player’s life would approve of the bullying behavior”.

Individual bullying tactics can be perpetrated by a single person against a target or targets and can be classified into four types. Collective bullying is known as mobbing, and can include any of the individual types of bullying. Physical, verbal, and relational bullying are most prevalent in primary school and could also begin much earlier whilst continuing into later stages in individuals lives. It is stated that Cyber-bullying is more common in secondary school than in primary school.

Physical bullying hurts someone’s body or damages their possessions. Stealing, shoving, hitting, fighting, and destroying property all are types of physical bullying. Physical bullying is rarely the first form of bullying that a target will experience. Often bullying will begin in a different form and later progress to physical violence. In physical bullying the main weapon the bully uses is their body when attacking their target. Sometimes groups of young adults will target and alienate a peer because of some adolescent prejudice. This can quickly lead to a situation where they are being taunted, tortured, and beaten-up by their classmates. Physical bullying will often escalate over time, and can lead to a tragic ending, and therefore must be stopped quickly to prevent any further escalation.

Verbal bullying is conducted by speaking. Calling names, spreading rumors, threatening somebody, and making fun of others are all forms of verbal bullying. Verbal bullying is one of the most common types of bullying. In verbal bullying the main weapon the bully uses is their voice. In many cases, verbal bullying is the province of girls. Girls are more subtle (and can be more devastating), in general, than boys. Girls use verbal bullying, as well as social exclusion techniques, to dominate and control other individuals and show their superiority and power. However, there are also many boys with subtlety enough to use verbal techniques for domination, and who are practiced in using words when they want to avoid the trouble that can come with physically bullying someone else.

Relational bullying is done with the intent to hurt somebody’s reputation or social standing which can also link in with the techniques included in physical and verbal bullying. Relational Bullying is a form of bullying common amongst youth, but particularly upon girls. Relational bullying can be used as a tool by bullies to both improve their social standing and control others. Unlike physical bullying which is obvious, relational bullying is not overt and can continue for a long time without being noticed.

Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyberstalking, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail time. This includes email, instant messaging, social networking sites (such as Facebook), text messages, and cell phones.

Workplace bullying can occur in may jobs such as Information Technology, The legal Profession, medicine, nursing, teaching or blue collar jobs. It occurs when an employee experiences a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of workplace aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by someone in authority over the target. However, bullies can also be peers, and occasionally can be subordinates.

Research has also investigated the impact of the larger organizational context on bullying as well as the group-level processes that impact on the incidence, and maintenance of bullying behavior. Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be missed by superiors or known by many throughout the organization. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals, and may lead to a decline in employee morale and a change in organizational culture.

Collective bullying tactics are employed by more than one individual against a target or targets. Trolling behavior on social media, although generally assumed to be individual in nature by the casual reader, can sometime be organized by many. Mobbing refers to the bullying of an individual by a group, in any context, such as a family, peer group, school, workplace, neighborhood, community, or online. When it occurs as emotional abuse in the workplace, such as “ganging up” by co-workers, subordinates or superiors, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, humiliation, discrediting, and isolation, it is also referred to as malicious, nonsexual, nonracial / racial, general harassment.

Bullying is typically ongoing and not isolated behaviour. Common ways that people try to respond, are to try to ignore it, to confront the bullies or to turn to an authority figure to try and address it. Ignoring it often does nothing to stop the bullying continuing, and it can become worse over time. It can be important to address bullying behaviour early on, as it can be easier to control the earlier it is detected. Bystanders play an important role in responding to bullying, as doing nothing can encourage it to continue, while small steps that oppose the behaviour can reduce it. Authority figures can also play an important role, such as parents in child or adolescent situations, or supervisors, human-resources staff or parent-bodies in workplace and volunteer settings. Authority figures can be influential in recognising and stopping bullying behaviour, and creating an environment where it doesn’t continue.

In many situations however people acting as authority figures are untrained and unqualified, do not know how to respond, and can make the situation worse. In some cases the authority figures even support the people doing the bullying, facilitating it continuing and increasing the isolation and marginalising of the target. Some of the most effective ways to respond, are to recognise that harmful behaviour is taking place, and creating an environment where it won’t continue. People that are being targeted have little control over which authority figures they can turn to and how such matters would be addressed, however one means of support is to find a counsellor or psychologist that is trained in handling bullying.

UNESCO

UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ) Was founded 16 November 1945 .The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (French:Organisation des Nations unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedomproclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.UNESCO has 195 member States (it recently added Palestine in November 2011) and nine Associate MembersMost of the field offices are “cluster” offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices.UNESCO pursue its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.

Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes; international science programmes; the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press; regional and cultural history projects; the promotion ofcultural diversity; translations of world literature; international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.UNESCO’s aim is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information”.

Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community — as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) — underpin all UNESCO’s strategies and activities.

More events and holidays taking place on 16 November
• Have a Party With Your Bear Day.
• International Day for Tolerance.
• National Button Day.

National Sundae Day

National Sundae Day is observed each year on November 11. National Sundae Day celebrates Ice cream Sundaes. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure; however, it is generally accepted that the spelling “sundae” derives from the English word “Sunday.

The oldest known record of an ice cream sundae is an advertisement in the Ithica Daily Journal dated October 5, 1892, with the conventional day of the week spelling – Sunday. It has been hotly debated where the sundae originated. There has been a friendly rivalry between Ithica, New York, and Two Rivers, Wisconsin over which city is the true birthplace of the sundae. The Two Rivers’ claim is that in 1881, Druggist Edward Berners served the sweet concoction when customer George Hallauer ordered an ice cream soda. Because it was the Sabbath, ice cream sodas were prohibited at that time. As a compromise, Berners served the ice cream in a dish without soda and topped it with chocolate syrup. This story is disputed by some because Berners would have only been 18 at the time the story takes place. In Ithica on a Sunday after church in 1892, Chester Platt, proprietor of Platt & Colt Pharmacy, and the Reverend John M. Scott stopped at the pharmacy to enjoy a bowl of ice cream. Instead of just plain vanilla, Platt topped the scoops with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. The dessert looked and tasted so delightful it required its own name. It was named for the day it was created. Ithica also has some historical evidence supporting this, including the advertisement for a Cherry Sunday.

Sundae

Ice cream sundae soon became the weekend semi-official soda fountain confection in the beginning of the 1900s and quickly gained popularity. The Ice Cream Trade Journal for 1909 along with plain, or French sundae, listed such exotic varieties as Robin Hood sundae, Cocoa Caramel sundae, Black Hawk sundae, Angel Cake sundae, Cherry Dip sundae, Cinnamon Peak sundae, Opera sundae, Fleur D’Orange sundae, Knickerbocker sundae, Tally-Ho Sundae, Bismarck and George Washington sundaes, to name a few.

The original sundae consists of vanilla ice cream topped with a flavored sauce or syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. Classic sundaes are typically named after flavored syrup employed in the recipe: cherry sundae, chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, raspberry sundae, etc. The classic sundae is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped, footed glass vase. Due to the long association between the shape of the glass and the dessert, this style of serving dish is generally now known as a sundae glass. The banana split is another type of Sundae, This dessert consists of two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. The classic banana split consists of strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with crushed pineapple, and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry syrup. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Amother type of Sundae is the Knickerbocker Glory, This ice cream sundae is served in a large tall glass, consisting of layers of ice cream, jelly, and cream, topped with syrup, nuts, whipped cream, and often a cherry; it is popular in the United Kingdom. Another popular Sundae is the Black and white (Tin Roof Sundae). This sundae features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with creamy white marshmallow sauce, topped with Spanish peanuts.[citation needed] The Tin Roof Sundae was created in 1916, at the Potter Drug Co., in Potter, Nebraska, owned by pharmacist James Earl Thayer. His son, Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, worked in the soda fountain as a teenager, and is credited for inventing the ice cream treat. According to Dr. J.E. Thayer of Sidney, there are two stories of how the sundae got its name. The first is that it was inspired by the tin ceiling in the business; the other is that the stable across the street had a tin roof and that he named it after that. The Tin Roof Sundae can still be enjoyed in Potter, Nebraska, where the Potter Drug Co. now called the Potter Sundry, is still in operation.

World Freedom Day

World Freedom Day is a United States federal observance and is celebrated on 9 November. It was declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communistrule in Central and Eastern Europe. It started in 2001 when conservative youth groups such as Young America’s Foundation and the College Republicans urged students to commemorate this day (which they mark as the start of “Freedom Week,” thus including Veterans Day) by “celebrating victory over communism” through provocative flyer campaigns and activism projects. Many conservative political commentators and activists use World Freedom Day as an occasion in which to acclaim President Ronald Reagan, whom they regard as being responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall cut off (by land) West Berlin from virtually all of surrounding East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and finished in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany.

GDR authorities officially referred to the Berlin Wall as the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall). The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame”, a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement.[5] Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from there they could then travel to West Germany and to other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989 the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period over 100,000 people attempted to escape and over 5,000 people succeeded in escaping over the Wall, with an estimated death toll ranging from 136 to more than 200 in and around Berlin.

In 1989 a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries, Poland and Hungary in particular, caused a chain reaction in East Germany that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of what was left. The “fall of the Berlin Wall” paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.


More Holidays and National Days taking place on November 9
• Carl Sagan Day.
• Go to an Art Museum Today Day.
• National Chaos Never Dies Day.

Occupational Therapy Day

Occupational Therapy day is celebrated annually on October 27. The purpose of National Occupational Therapy day is to educate the public and give an insight concerning the valuable work which is done by occupational therapists.

Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities. It is an allied health profession performed by occupational therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants. OTs often work with people with mental health problems, disabilities, injuries, or impairments. The American Occupational Therapy Association defines an occupational therapist as someone who “helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, injury rehabilitation, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.” occupational therapists are university-educated professionals and must pass a licensing exam to practice. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech therapy, audiology, nursing, social work, clinical psychology, and medicine.

The earliest evidence of using occupations as a method of therapy can be found in ancient times. In c. 100 BCE, Greek physician Asclepiades treated patients with a mental illness humanely using therapeutic baths, massage, exercise, and music. Later, the Roman Celsus prescribed music, travel, conversation and exercise to his patients. However, by medieval times the use of these interventions with people with mental illness was rare, if not nonexistent. In 18th-century Europe, revolutionaries such as Philippe Pinel and Johann Christian Reil reformed the hospital system. Instead of the use of metal chains and restraints, their institutions used rigorous work and leisure activities in the late 18th century. This was the Moral Treatment era, developed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, where the roots of occupational therapy lie. Although it was thriving in Europe, interest in the reform movement fluctuated in the United States throughout the 19th century however during the 20th century is became Occupational Therapy. The Arts and Crafts movement that took place between 1860 and 1910 also impacted occupational therapy. In the US, a recently industrialized country, the arts and crafts societies emerged against the monotony and lost autonomy of factory work. Arts and crafts were used as a way of promoting learning through doing, provided a creative outlet, and served as a way to avoid boredom during long hospital stays.

Eleanor Clarke Slagle (1870-1942) is considered to be the “mother” of occupational therapy. Slagle, who was one of the founding members of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy (NSPOT), proposed habit training as a primary occupational therapy model of treatment. Based on the philosophy that engagement in meaningful routines shape a person’s wellbeing, habit training focused on creating structure and balance between work, rest and leisure. Although habit training was initially developed to treat individuals with mental health conditions, its basic tenets are apparent in modern treatment models that are utilized across a wide scope of client populations. In 1915 Slagle opened the first occupational therapy training program, the Henry B. Favill School of Occupations, at Hull House in Chicago. Slagle went on to serve as both AOTA president and secretary. In 1954, AOTA created the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award in her honor. Each year, this award recognizes a member of AOTA “who has who has creatively contributed to the development of the body of knowledge of the profession through research, education, and/or clinical practice.”

The health profession of occupational therapy was conceived in the early 1910s as a reflection of the Progressive Era. Early professionals merged highly valued ideals, such as having a strong work ethic and the importance of crafting with one’s own hands with scientific and medical principles. The National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy (NSPOT), now called the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), was founded in 1917 and the profession of Occupational Therapy was officially named in 1921. William Rush Dunton, one of the founders of NSPOT and visionary figure in the first decades of the profession struggled with “the cumbersomeness of the term occupational therapy”, as it lacked the “exactness of meaning which is possessed by scientific terms”. Other titles such as “work-cure”,”ergo therapy”(ergo being the greek root for “work”), and “creative occupations” were discussed as substitutes, but ultimately, none possessed the broad meaning that the practice of occupational therapy demanded in order to capture the many forms of treatment that existed from the beginning.

The emergence of occupational therapy challenged the views of mainstream scientific medicine. Instead of focusing purely on the medical model, occupational therapists argued that a complex combination of social, economic, and biological reasons cause dysfunction. Principles and techniques were borrowed from many disciplines—including but not limited to physical therapy, nursing, psychiatry, rehabilitation, self-help, orthopedics, and social work—to enrich the profession’s scope. Between 1900 and 1930, the founders defined the realm of practice and developed supporting theories. By the early 1930s, AOTA had established educational guidelines and accreditation procedures.

The early twentieth century was a time in which the rising incidence of disability related to industrial accidents, tuberculosis, World War I, and mental illness brought about an increasing social awareness of the issues involved. The entry of the United States into World War I was also a crucial event in the history of the profession. Up until this time, occupational therapy had been concerned primarily with the treatment of people with mental illness. However, U.S. involvement in the Great War and the escalating numbers of injured and disabled soldiers presented a daunting challenge to those in command. The military enlisted the assistance of NSPOT to recruit and train over 1,200 “reconstruction aides” to help with the rehabilitation of those wounded in the war. With entry into World War II and the ensuing skyrocketing demand for occupational therapists to treat those injured in the war, the field of occupational therapy underwent dramatic growth and change. Occupational therapists needed to be skilled not only in the use of constructive activities such as crafts, but also increasingly in the use of activities of daily living.

There was a struggle to keep people in the profession during the post-war years. Emphasis shifted from the altruistic war-time mentality to the financial, professional, and personal satisfaction that comes with being a therapist. To make the profession more appealing, practice was standardized, as was the curriculum. Entry and exit criteria were established, and the American Occupational Therapy Association advocated for steady employment, decent wages, and fair working conditions. Via these methods, occupational therapy sought and obtained medical legitimacy in the 1920s. The 1920s and 1930s were a time of establishing standards of education and laying the foundation of the profession and its organization. Eleanor Clarke Slagle proposed a 12-month course of training in 1922, and these standards were adopted in 1923. Educational standards were expanded to a total training time of 18-months in 1930 to place the requirements for professional entry on par with those of other professions. The first textbook was published in United States for occupational therapy in 1947, edited by Helen S. Willard and Clare S. Spackman. The profession continued to grow and redefine itself in the 1950s. The profession also began to assess the potential for the use of trained assistants in the attempt to address the ongoing shortage of qualified therapists, and educational standards for occupational therapy assistants were implemented in 1960.

During The 1960s and 1970s Occupational Therapy changed and grew as new knowledge was incorperated and developments in the areas of neurobehavioral research led to new treatments, including the sensory integrative approach developed by A. Jean Ayers. As technology has increased the profession has Also grown and expanded its scope and settings of practice. Occupational science, the study of occupation, was created in 1989 as a tool for providing evidence-based research to support and advance the practice of occupational therapy, as well as offer a basic science to study topics surrounding “occupation”.

Mental health and moral treatment can also be improved with the use of occupational therapy. According to the World Health Organization, mental illness is one of the fastest growing forms of disability. OTs focus on prevention and treatment of mental illness in all populations. In the U.S., military personnel and veterans are populations that can benefit from occupational therapy, but currently this is an under served practice area. Occupational therapy practitioner’s roles have expanded to include political advocacy (from a grassroots base to higher legislation); The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had a habilitation clause that was passed in large part due to AOTA’s political efforts. Many Occupational therapy practitioners have been striving personally and professionally toward concepts of occupational justice and other human rights issues that have both local and global impacts. The World Federation of Occupational Therapist’s Resource Centre has many position statements on occupational therapy’s roles regarding their participation in human rights issues at http://www.wfot.org/ResourceCentre.aspx.


Other Holidays and National Days for 27 October are listed below.
• American Beer Day.
• Boxer Shorts Day.
• Cranky Co-Workers Day.
• National Forgiveness Day.
• National Potato Day.
• Navy Day.