The history began way back in the 1970's when the Alberta Association of Occupational Therapists started pursuing the Alberta government for professional legislation. They lobbied the government for free standing legislation in the early 1980's. The government legislated the Occupational Therapy Profession Act on May 15, 1990.


On May 19 1999 the Alberta Government passed a piece of umbrella legislation called the Health Professions Act that governed all the health professions. Part of this legislation was the development of Professional Colleges who's role was to regulate competency, register, develop restricted practice and provide a disciplinary role.


In the spring of 2006 the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists was proclaimed and with that the beginning of the Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists.

Prior to the proclamation the society was forming itself, developing by-laws.

The first mission statement: Helping Occupational Therapists achieve their potential.

The vision: Taking care of members' needs for practice excellence.


The founding board members were:

Evelyn Wevik-president

Pat Hamilton-vice-president

Denise Wagner-secretary

CarrieLee Waters-director

Cal Haws-director

Donna Gravel-ex-offico

Kim Omar-ex-offico

The first business plan stated that the society is owned by members and is governed by a membership elected Board of Directors. The board follows the Carver Model of Governance.

The out come goals were:

OT practice at the highest degree

OT is recognized as an integral part of essential health care and community services.

Integrity and sustainability of the profession is maintained

Members value professional relationships facilitated through SAOT

Members have access to relevant information, products, and services

SAOT remains feasible

First Strategic Plan