Our field, recreation therapy, is at a critical juncture, and the profession needs your help! We need everyone to do their part! The process is simple and can be completed in a short amount of time.
There is legislation that has been introduced in the US House of Representatives called H.R. 1906: The Access to In-Patient Rehabilitation Therapy Act of 2015. If this legislation passes, it will be a game-changing development for our profession. However, the bill will not pass without the support of individual recreation therapists.
Essentially, the bill will amend the Social Security Act to include recreational therapy in the mix of modalities that constitute intensive rehabilitation. The effects of the passage of this bill will be very positive for all recreation therapists, but it will not pass without co-sponsors.This is where your help is needed.
Currently, H.R. 1906 has two co-sponsors, Rep. Glen GT Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. GK Butterfield (D-NC). Without many more sponsors, the bill will not pass. No Utah Representatives have sponsored the bill yet, and each recreation therapist needs to reach out to her or his member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1906! Here’s how you do it.
Step 1: Check out the advocacy kit and read the three files in URTA Box. (1) is a set of talking points that summarize the situation and the bill. (2) is ATRA’s position statement about the bill. (3) is a template letter that you can customize and send to your Representative.
Step 2: Find the name of your Representative at house.gov by scrolling down to House Overview and entering your zip code, then browse your way to your Representative’s official website. From there, find a link that reads “Email Rep. [Name]” or “Contact Rep. [Name].” You will need your 9-digit zip code, which you can find at usps.com by entering your full address.
Step 3: Customize the letter template found in URTA Box. Please be sure to customize EVERYTHING in the highlighted areas of the template and to include your contact information and title.
Step 4: Copy the contents of your customized letter, paste it into the “Text of Message” field, then complete the email contact form at your Representative’s website. You can no longer directly email your member of Congress. You’ll have to complete the form on their website that you found in Step 2.
Step 5: Encourage your colleagues, friends, and consumers to support H.R. 1906 by sending messages to their Representatives.
Step 6: Spread the contents of these instructions to all the social media you have access to. #HR1906
To learn even more information, you can view the PowerPoint slides from the opening general session for the 2015 ATRA Annual Conference conducted by Dr. Thom Skalko and Dr. Richard Williams:
Thanks! We’re all in this together, and your support is desperately needed. Please comment below after you have contacted your Representative so we can keep track!
Your friends at the Utah Recreation Therapy Association