CHAPTER 376a*
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS

*Chapters 369 to 381, inclusive, cited. 207 C. 674, 679.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-74a. Definitions.
Sec. 20-74b. Licensing examination.
Sec. 20-74c. Licensing without examination.
Sec. 20-74d. Practice prior to licensing; limited permits.
Sec. 20-74e. Exempt activities.
Sec. 20-74f. Licensing fee. Use of title or designation.
Sec. 20-74g. Disciplinary action against a licensee. Grounds.
Sec. 20-74h. License renewed.
Sec. 20-74i. Regulations.
Secs. 20-74j to 20-74n.


Sec. 20-74a. Definitions. As used in this chapter:
(1) "Occupational therapy" means the evaluation, planning and implementation of a program of purposeful activities to develop or maintain adaptive skills necessary to achieve the maximal physical and mental functioning of the individual in his daily pursuits. The practice of "occupational therapy" includes, but is not limited to, evaluation and treatment of individuals whose abilities to cope with the tasks of living are threatened or impaired by developmental deficits, the aging process, learning disabilities, poverty and cultural differences, physical injury or disease, psychological and social disabilities, or anticipated disfunction, using (A) such treatment techniques as task-oriented activities to prevent or correct physical or emotional deficits or to minimize the disabling effect of these deficits in the life of the individual, (B) such evaluation techniques as assessment of sensory motor abilities, assessment of the development of self-care activities and capacity for independence, assessment of the physical capacity for prevocational and work tasks, assessment of play and leisure performance, and appraisal of living areas for the handicapped, (C) specific occupational therapy techniques such as activities of daily living skills, the fabrication and application of splinting devices, sensory motor activities, the use of specifically designed manual and creative activities, guidance in the selection and use of adaptive equipment, specific exercises to enhance functional performance and treatment techniques for physical capabilities for work activities. Such techniques are applied in the treatment of individual patients or clients, in groups or through social systems. Occupational therapy also includes the establishment and modification of peer review.
(2) "Occupational therapist" means a person licensed to practice occupational therapy as defined in this chapter and whose license is in good standing.
(3) "Occupational therapy assistant" means a person licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy, under the supervision of or with the consultation of a licensed occupational therapist, and whose license is in good standing.
(4) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health.
(5) "Department" means the Department of Public Health.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 1, 11; P.A. 82-472, S. 78, 183; P.A. 89-115, S. 3, 7; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-57, S. 2, 3.)
History: P.A. 82-472 replaced alphabetic Subdiv. indicators with numeric indicators revising Subpara. indicators accordingly; P.A. 89-115 removed the definition of "association", renumbering Subdivs. as necessary; P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-57 added the establishment and modification of peer review to the definition of "occupational therapy", effective May 7, 1996.

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Sec. 20-74b. Licensing examination. Any person who (1) if an applicant for licensure as an occupational therapist, has attained a bachelor's degree and has graduated from an educational program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, or has completed educational preparation deemed equivalent by the commissioner, or if an applicant for licensure as an occupational therapy assistant, has attained an associate's degree or its equivalent and has graduated from an educational program approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association, or has completed educational preparation deemed equivalent by the commissioner, and (2) has successfully completed not less than twenty-four weeks of supervised field work experience in the case of an occupational therapy applicant or eight weeks of such field work in the case of an occupational therapy assistant applicant at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the educational institution where he met the academic requirements, and (3) has successfully completed an examination prescribed by the commissioner shall be eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist or assistant. An applicant who has practiced as an occupational therapy assistant for four years with a minimum of twenty-four weeks of supervised field experience and has earned a bachelor's degree shall be eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist, provided such applicant has successfully completed the examination for licensure not later than January 1, 1988. The department shall prescribe examinations for licensure and their passing scores.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 2, 11; P.A. 88-357, S. 6; P.A. 89-115, S. 4, 7; P.A. 90-230, S. 88, 101.)
History: P.A. 88-357 required completion of examination prescribed by commissioner, deleted provision imposing fifteen-dollar examination fee and deleted former Subsec. (b) re applicants' rights to obtain examination scores, review results, and retake examination upon failure to pass; P.A. 89-115 made technical changes, removed language describing the content of the examination and the application process, substituting statement that the department prescribe the examinations and their passing scores, and amended Subsec. (4) to add requirement that the examination be completed by January 1, 1988; P.A. 90-230 made technical changes to the internal numbering system.

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Sec. 20-74c. Licensing without examination. The commissioner may waive the examination for any person certified as an occupational therapist registered (OTR) or as a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) by the American Occupational Therapy Association, if the commissioner considers the requirements for certification to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure in this chapter. The commissioner may waive the examination for any applicant who shall present proof of current licensure as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant in another state, the District of Columbia, or any territory of the United States which requires standards for licensure considered by the commissioner to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure of this chapter in respect to examination, education, and experience. No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 3, 11; P.A. 88-357, S. 7; P.A. 89-115, S. 5, 7.)
History: P.A. 88-357 deleted obsolete provisions re commissioner's power to waive examination requirements; P.A. 89-115 removed some obsolete language, specified the type of certification required and added the prohibition against issuing a license to an application against whom disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.

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Sec. 20-74d. Practice prior to licensing; limited permits. Permits limited as to eligibility, practice and duration, shall be issued by the commissioner to any eligible applicant who is a graduate of an educational program in occupational therapy who meets the educational and field experience requirements of section 20-74b and has not yet taken the licensure examination, except that such permit shall only be effective until the results of the examination next following the issuance of such permit are announced. A permittee shall be authorized to practice occupational therapy only under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist and shall practice only in a public, voluntary or proprietary facility. The fee for a limited permit shall be twenty-five dollars.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 4, 11; P.A. 89-115, S. 6, 7.)
History: P.A. 89-115 removed language pertaining to limited permits for foreign occupational therapists.

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Sec. 20-74e. Exempt activities. (a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing or restricting the practice, services or activities of: (1) Any person licensed in this state by any other law from engaging in the profession or occupation for which he is licensed; (2) any person employed as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant by the government of the United States, if such person provides occupational therapy solely under the direction or control of the organization by which he is employed and limits the use of such title to such employment; (3) any person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate in occupational therapy at an accredited or approved educational program if such activities and services constitute part of a supervised course of study and if such person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his or her status as a student or trainee; or (4) any person fulfilling the supervised field work experience requirements of section 20-74b if such activities and services constitute a part of the experience necessary to meet the requirements of that section.
(b) Any occupational therapist who is licensed or authorized to practice in another state, United States possession or country who is either in this state for the purposes of consultation, provided such practice is limited to such consultation for less than thirty days in a three-hundred-and-sixty-five-day year, or for conducting a teaching or clinical demonstration in Connecticut with a program of basic clinical education, graduate education or postgraduate education in an approved school of occupational therapy or its affiliated clinical facility or health care agency or before a group of licensed occupational therapists, provided such teaching demonstration is for less than thirty days in a three- hundred-and-sixty-five-day year, shall not be prohibited from such consultation or teaching by this chapter.
(c) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit physicians or qualified members of other licensed or legally recognized professions from using occupational therapy as part of or incidental to their profession, under the statutes applicable to their profession, except that such persons may not hold themselves out under the title occupational therapist or as performing occupational therapy.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 5, 11.)

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Sec. 20-74f. Licensing fee. Use of title or designation. (a) The department shall issue a license to any person who meets the requirements of this chapter upon payment of a one-hundred-dollar license fee. Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapist under the terms of this chapter may use the words "occupational therapist", "licensed occupational therapist", or "occupational therapist registered" or he may use the letters "O.T.", "L.O.T.", or "O.T.R." in connection with his name or place of business to denote his registration hereunder. Any person who is issued a license as an occupational therapy assistant under the terms of this chapter may use the words "occupational therapy assistant", or he may use the letters "O.T.A.", "L.O.T.A.", or "C.O.T.A." in connection with his name or place of business to denote his registration thereunder. No person shall practice occupational therapy or hold himself out as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, or as being able to practice occupational therapy or to render occupational therapy services in this state unless he is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) No person, unless registered under this chapter as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or whose registration has been suspended or revoked, shall use, in connection with his name or place of business the words "occupational therapist", "licensed occupational therapist", "occupational therapist registered", "occupational therapy assistant", or the letters, "O.T.", "L.O.T.", "O.T.R.", "O.T.A.", "L.O.T.A.", or "C.O.T.A.", or any words, letters, abbreviations or insignia indicating or implying that he is an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant or in any way, orally, in writing, in print or by sign, directly or by implication, represent himself as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. For the purposes of this section, each instance of patient contact or consultation which is in violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense. Failure to renew a license in a timely manner shall not constitute a violation for the purposes of this section.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 6, 11; P.A. 84-526, S. 7; P.A. 89-251, S. 81, 203; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 22, 117.)
History: P.A. 84-526 amended section by changing penalty for violation of any provision of section to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment of not more than five years, and added provisions that each instance of patient contact or consultation shall constitute a separate offense and failure to renew license in timely manner is not a violation for purposes of section; P.A. 89-251 increased the fee for licenses from twenty-five dollars to fifty dollars and changed the fee for licenses for persons eligible on the basis of foreign licensure from fifty dollars to one hundred dollars; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 amended Subsec. (a) to increase license fee from fifty to one hundred dollars and made technical changes.

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Sec. 20-74g. Disciplinary action against a licensee. Grounds. The commissioner may refuse to renew, suspend or revoke a license, or may impose probationary conditions, where the licensee or applicant for a license has been guilty of unprofessional conduct which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, welfare or safety of the public. Such unprofessional conduct shall include: Obtaining a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts; being guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined by the rules established by the commissioner, or violating the code of ethics adopted and published by the commissioner; being convicted of a crime other than minor offenses defined as "infractions", "violations", or "offenses" in any court if, in accordance with the provisions of section 46a-80, the acts for which the applicant or licensee was convicted are found by the commissioner to have a direct bearing on whether he should be entrusted to serve the public in the capacity of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant. The clerk of any court in this state in which a person practicing occupational therapy has been convicted of any crime as described in this section shall, immediately after such conviction, transmit a certified copy, in duplicate, of the information and judgment, without charge, to the department containing the name and address of the occupational therapist, the crime of which he has been convicted and the date of conviction. The hearing on such charges shall be conducted in accordance with regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 20- 74i. If any registration is revoked or suspended, notification of such action shall be sent to the department. Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the commissioner may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183. Such appeal shall have precedence over nonprivileged cases in respect to order of trial. The Attorney General shall act as attorney in the public interest in defending against such an appeal. One year from the date of the revocation of a license, application for reinstatement may be made to the commissioner. The commissioner may accept or reject an application for reinstatement and may, but shall not be required to, hold a hearing to consider such reinstatement.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 7, 11; P.A. 96-47, S. 4.)
History: P.A. 96-47 required any decision appealed from to be a "final" decision.

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Sec. 20-74h. License renewed. Licenses issued under this chapter shall be subject to renewal once every two years and shall expire unless renewed in the manner prescribed by regulation upon the payment of two times the professional services fee payable to the State Treasurer for class B as defined in section 33-182l. The department shall notify any person or entity that fails to comply with the provisions of this section that his license shall become void ninety days after the time for its renewal unless it is so renewed. Any such license shall become void upon the expiration of such ninety-day period. The commissioner shall establish additional requirements for licensure renewal which provide evidence of continued competency. The holder of an expired license may apply for and obtain a valid license only upon compliance with all relevant requirements for issuance of a new license. A suspended license is subject to expiration and may be renewed as provided in this section, but such renewal shall not entitle the licensee, while the license remains suspended and until it is reinstated, to engage in the licensed activity, or in any other conduct or activity in violation of the order or judgment by which the license was suspended. If a license revoked on disciplinary grounds is reinstated, the licensee, as a condition of reinstatement, shall pay the renewal fee.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 8, 11; P.A. 89-251, S. 82, 203; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-16, S. 66, 89; P.A. 97-15, S. 2.)
History: P.A. 89-251 increased the renewal fee from twenty-five dollars to fifty dollars; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-16 replaced fifty-dollar biennial license renewal fee with renewal fee equaling two times the professional service fee class established pursuant to Sec. 33-182l; P.A. 97-15 added requirement that department notify persons or entities who fail to comply with section that their licenses shall become void ninety days after time for renewal unless renewed, and deleted late renewal provisions and fees, and five-year limitation thereon.

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Sec. 20-74i. Regulations. The Commissioner of Public Health shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to chapter 54, establishing application and examination procedures, standards for acceptable examination performance, waiver of the examination requirement, continued competency and any other procedures or standards necessary for the administration of this chapter.
(P.A. 78-253, S. 9, 11; 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: P.A. 78-303 allowed substitution of commissioner of health services for commissioner of health pursuant to provisions of P.A. 77-614; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995.

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Secs. 20-74j to 20-74n. Reserved for future use.

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