At its core, occupational therapy intervention serves to increase a person’s independence to enable them to participate socially within their community and to complete important tasks. When a person has a disability that impacts on their independence and functioning, they may be referred for an occupational therapy functional assessment. The purpose this assessment is to determine an individual’s current functioning, and to identify their strengths and limitations in all aspects of daily life. From this, a range of recommendations and intervention strategies can be developed that aim to alleviate difficulties so that the person can be as independent as possible. Therapy goals are developed that involve either enhancing the individual’s skills or modifying the environment to overcome difficulties.

Why would a person need an assessment?

A functional assessments aim to determine an individual’s level of function, and is often required to:

  • Establish an individual’s baseline functioning in a wide variety of areas
  • Determine the level of supports they may need and what type of accommodation setting would be most suitable.
  • Determine if the person needs specialized equipment or other assistive technology and resources
  • Guide future therapy and funding, based on identified goals and needs.