Title

Volunteering: An Essential Component of Social Participation for People with Disabilities

Start Time

14-10-2009 7:00 PM

End Time

14-10-2009 9:00 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to define volunteering, review current research and theory about volunteering and to link these concepts to occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy. Volunteering is a form of altruistic behavior focused on helping others without any expectation of pay or other material rewards. It is an important occupation for youngsters doing “good deeds” as part of church or scouting organizations, adults working in corporations that take work days to paint homeless shelters or clean parks, and community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Volunteering is central to American life and has contributed to the well being of communities and the people within them. While volunteering has been an important part of civic life, occupational therapy and occupational science has paid little attention to this occupation. The revised ICF terminology, although not mentioning volunteering specifically, considers activity participation in local environments an important determinant of health. The 2009 Occupational Therapy Practice Framework does acknowledge volunteering as a subset of the occupational area of work. Volunteering is divided into the process of finding volunteer opportunities and actually engaging in these activities which are “unpaid” and match the skills and interest of the individual. Participation in volunteer activities has the potential to facilitate skill acquisition and adaptive strategies to enhance performance in other areas of occupation such as social participation, education and leisure pursuit. In addition, volunteering can be used as therapeutic outcome for adults with chronic conditions who are unlikely to be able to return to work. Volunteering provides these individuals with social involvement reducing isolation and depression and promoting additional skill development.

References

Black, W., & Living R. (2004). Volunteerism as an occupation and its relationship to health and wellbeing. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67, 526-532. Access Article

Musick, M.A., & Wilson, J. (2007). Volunteers: A social profile (philanthropic and nonprofit studies). Indiana University Press.

Putnam, R.D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Comments

Poster Session

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 14th, 7:00 PM Oct 14th, 9:00 PM

Volunteering: An Essential Component of Social Participation for People with Disabilities

The purpose of this paper is to define volunteering, review current research and theory about volunteering and to link these concepts to occupational science and the practice of occupational therapy. Volunteering is a form of altruistic behavior focused on helping others without any expectation of pay or other material rewards. It is an important occupation for youngsters doing “good deeds” as part of church or scouting organizations, adults working in corporations that take work days to paint homeless shelters or clean parks, and community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Volunteering is central to American life and has contributed to the well being of communities and the people within them. While volunteering has been an important part of civic life, occupational therapy and occupational science has paid little attention to this occupation. The revised ICF terminology, although not mentioning volunteering specifically, considers activity participation in local environments an important determinant of health. The 2009 Occupational Therapy Practice Framework does acknowledge volunteering as a subset of the occupational area of work. Volunteering is divided into the process of finding volunteer opportunities and actually engaging in these activities which are “unpaid” and match the skills and interest of the individual. Participation in volunteer activities has the potential to facilitate skill acquisition and adaptive strategies to enhance performance in other areas of occupation such as social participation, education and leisure pursuit. In addition, volunteering can be used as therapeutic outcome for adults with chronic conditions who are unlikely to be able to return to work. Volunteering provides these individuals with social involvement reducing isolation and depression and promoting additional skill development.