Earlier in the year I was asked how long I had been creating and sharing patient education handouts with fellow OTs. Well, I quickly realized that 2022 is an anniversary year for the OT Toolkit! It was 25 years ago that I created my first website on Geocities and posted a series of patient education handouts I had created for one of my own patients.
I was a home health OT and at our first visit, when asked for his discharge notes from inpatient OT, my patient pulled out a pile of handwritten, sticky notes. It was at that moment I knew that as a profession, OT should and could do better. I had a little talent for drawing and was fascinated by the potential of the internet, so within a year of that patient encounter, the first Occupational Therapy Toolkit website was up and running.
The collection grew and grew, until 10 years later I published my first compilation of patient education handouts with accompanying OT treatment guides. My first book was published as a CD with 40 treatment guides and 140 handouts and was promptly embraced by the OT community.
Fast forward to today, after 25 years in the business of providing patient education resources, the 7th Edition of the Occupational Therapy Toolkit includes 97 treatment guides covering conditions experienced by adults, persons with disabilities and geriatric patients as well as 354 reproducible patient education handouts on everything from ADLs to therapeutic exercise. Mine is truly a small, family-run business staffed by me, with part time help from my husband, my brother, my sister and my OT bestie!
I sell three versions of the OT Toolkit on my website. First, a soft cover book which continues to be the most popular format. I also have an eBook with the option of purchasing the handouts in Spanish or French. And finally, an eBook business license for multi-user sites.
Another growing passion of mine is to work with OT communities in different parts of the world to make the handouts more accessible to their patients. I have collaborated with OTs on local translations into Greek and Lithuanian with Portuguese, Hebrew, Polish and Dutch in the works.
Thank you, OT community, for embracing my first efforts 25 years ago and always being such a supportive and engaged group of customers. I am humbled that my passion could lead to such a great career supporting the work of the OT community and the health of their patients.
© Cheryl Hall – Occupational Therapy Toolkit