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1700s and 1800s

1797 - Spring Grove psychiatric hospital founded

1896 - Springfield Hospital Center founded


1911 -  First OT courses held in fall at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital

1913 - OT program Established at Johns Hopkins Hospital

1921 - AOTA Conference held in MD


1946 - AOTA appointed Ms. Messick to be chair of their legislature committee in 1946. They asked the national legislative committee to concentrate in the states of Maryland and New York. (Summary of Actions – Exhibit A.pdf). The attached amendments show the progression from looking at licensure to solidifying its stand against licensure at the time.

December 9, 1946 – Letter to Ruth Brunyate, President of Maryland Occupational Therapy Society to serve on AOTA’s Legislative committee (Exhibit B)

December 19, 1946 – Member letter to Maryland Occupational Therapy Society from Ruth Brunyate, informing members that Maryland Medical and Chirurgical Society (Med Chi) of Maryland is willing to assist in taking steps to amend the Medical Practice Act to recognize Physical Medicine which term includes occupational therapy and physiotherapy. (Exhibit C)


February 11, 1947 – Letter from Ruth Brunyate, OTR, to the executive committee of Med Chi asking that their advisory committee on physical therapy also function in an advisory capacity to occupational therapy. (Exhibit D)


October 30, 1951 – MOTA membership voted unanimously to support AOTA’s Board of Management and the House of Delegates of the AOTA in its stand against state licensure for OTRs. Obviously, a change in tactic, taking a stand against a flawed law was better than having a law on the books that did not represent occupational therapy but seemed to limit the scope of practice.  (Exhibit E)

1955 - Letter of proposed salaries for OT sent to DHMH (1955 letter.pdf)

1959 - Clifton T. Perkins established


September 1974 – AOTA’s Handbook on licsensure, completed and forwarded to all legislative chairs of state affiliates and others. (Exhibit H - Memorandum and Handbook, compliments of Donna Lucke)

November 19, 1974 AOTA’s delegate assembly adopted Resolution 400, that instructs the national office to develop a national strategy for licensure efforts. Ruth B. Weimer shared the resolution with all state and local occupational therapists. (Exhibit I)

December 1974 – OT licensure is back on center stage in the USA. Maryland OT licensure committee is back to work, independently and in collaboration with AOTA. Maryland committee, Liz Hyde, Charlotte Exner, Pat Carlsen, Ellen Schmidt and Sue Price, are planning a licensure workshop, scheduled for March 22, 1975 at Towson College. (Exhibit G – program for workshop)


March 22, 1975 – Plans for Maryland Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA) workshop on licensure is underway. The workshop was held at Towson State College on (Exhibit J)

Licensure committee begins to discuss liscensure with other state associations. (Exhibit K)

1975: Towson  OT Program under Chair Marie-Louise Blount

October – December 1975 – Licensure committee prepares for another follow up workshop scheduled for November 1, 1975. It is recognized that the Maryland bill could not be introduced until 1976, but the group acknowledged the need to keep the OT base in Maryland on board for the support needed next year. (Exhibit L) 


January 1976 – Orthotists and Prosthetists Bill introduced to create a Board of Examiners as part of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (Exhibit M)

Occupational Therapy immediately responded asking for an insertion of and exclusion clause to exempt OTRs and COTAs. OTs have been included in designing, fabricating and fitting orthotics for many years. The bill was revised.


May 5, 1977 – Maryland Art Therapy Association made a request to the MOTA licensure committee. As MOTA progresses other health professions such as physical therapy support the effort (Exhibit N)

June 8, 1977 -  Interesting letter from the Health Insurance Association of America, supporting OT. (Exhibit O)

July – October 1977 – Now the work really begins! Senator Rosalie Abrams agrees to sponsor the OT licensure bill! Communications began with other associations to garner support. (Exhibit P)

November – December 1977 – Work continued on the OT licensure bill and additional co-sponsors were secured. Other organizations were willing to vote in favor of OT legislature, and some organizations chose not to respond to requests. (Exhibit Q)


Licensure passed! The first Maryland OT Licensure Board included Lillian Byrd, Tom Philip, Carole Hays, Bonnie May and Charlotte Seltser.

1978: MOTA Incorporated


July 1, 1979 – 1st MD licenses signed. 

1979 - 1st MOTA conference


1989 - AOTA conference in MD


1993 - OTA program began at Aleghaney College of Maryland (ACM) under director Jeff Hopkins, MS, OTR/L

1995 - First class from ACM graduated

1998 - AOTA conference in MD


2000 - Practice Act is Revamped and OT Board relocates to Spring Grove Hospital Campus

2001 - OT Board Webpage goes live

2002 - Affiliation agreement between AOTA and MOTA signed February 10

2003 - OT Board accepts NBCOT certification and implements online License renewal

2003 -  Rae Ann Smith OTD, OTR/L became directer of ACM


2014: AOTA conference in Baltimore

2015 - OTA Program at Wor Wic accredited

2016 -  First class from Wor Wic graduated

2016 - Biennial Licensure renewal implemented

2017 - Criminal background checks required

2019 - MD OT centennial

2025 - Legislative Sunset Review

Blue = Academic

Black = Legislature

Green = Mental Health

Purple = Other

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Stevenson, MD 21153-9998
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