Occupational Justice’s Intents and Impacts: From Personal Choices to Community Consequences

  • Rachel Thibeault


Community development constitutes the main arena where occupational justice may unfold on a larger scale. In this chapter, I develop the idea that true community development is still rarely mentioned in the fields of occupational therapy and occupational science. Building on the familiar concepts of occupation, client-centeredness, social justice and meaning, I discuss the concept of community development as a realm where the client is plural; yet the methods and principles so fundamental to occupational therapy and occupational science remain unchanged in response to this realm. Among the key steps to address the issue are the explicit recognition and sharing of power in its many forms, a careful analysis of local dynamics and contexts, and a thorough examination of one’s values and motives. All these steps inform an occupational process that spans the continuum, from needs assessments and mobilization to community monitoring and maintenance. The ideal result is carefully selected occupations fostering dignity, growth, self-discovery, solidarity, leadership building, and collective inquiry.


Community Development Occupational Therapy Host Community Wheelchair Basketball Occupational Science 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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