Eleanor Clarke Slagle: The Father Of Occupational Therapy

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Eleanor Clarke Slagle became known as the leader of occupational therapy. Today she is known as “The mother of occupational therapy” (Ali, 2013, p.1). There is very little known of her life before the age of thirty. She lived with her father in Hobart, NY, who became physically disabled as a result of an injury he acquired during World War 1(Karplus,2014,para.2.). It was in her late thirties that her interest in occupational therapy was sparked. Eleanor Clarke Slagle was a major influence on occupational therapy as we know it today. She was a major spokeswoman to the government, for the educational requirements and medical prospects of occupational therapy. She was also one of the founders of what is known today as the American Occupation Therapy Association or AOTA (Schwarts,2009,p682). She began working at the Hull House in in social welfare. She worked Jane Adams and Julia Lathrop, both who were greatly concerned with treatment for mental illness. She was one of the first to take a course from Chicago School of Physics and Philanthropy in “Invalid…show more content…
She returned to Chicago in 1915, and was named the director of the Henry B. Favill School of Occupations for occupational therapy aides. She began by starting courses for the training of therapy aides at the Hull House. In 1918 the Department of Welfare in Illinois named her superintendent of occupational therapy. She created a therapy program for the states mental hospitals. As a result she was given the position of director of occupational therapy for the state of New York’s Hospital Commission. She was able to establish programs that worked for the state hospital system. In a few short years 70,000 patients actively participated in her programs. Occupational wards and institutions were created. She was said to be “ the model for institutions throughout the nation” (James, 1971,

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