Debra Young is the owner of EmpowerAbility® LLC, an occupational therapy consultancy specializing in environmental modifications and assistive technology.
Debra Young is a certified specialist in environmental modification, aging in place, and assistive technology. She is a registered and licensed occupational therapist with 22 years of experience, holding a Master’s in Education degree with specialization in Assistive Technology (AT) from Bowling Green State University, a graduate certificate in AT from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Elizabethtown College.
Debra is a Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place
Debra has been named a Fellow to the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA) and has also earned the Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM) from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Both distinctions have been accomplished by less than 1% of occupational therapists nationally. She is an elected Director to the American Occupational Therapy Association Board of Directors and is the 2014 recipient of the AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award for notable contributions to the profession and its consumers in the environmental modifications specialty area of practice.
Debra has published and presented on local, state and national levels. She previous work experience as an Assistant Professor and adjunct instructor teaching at post-professional doctoral, PhD, and Master’s levels.
Debra has also held external leadership positions as the NAHB State Associate Director, 55+ Housing and Industries Council Trustee, consultant governor to the CAPS Board of Governors and an NAHB approved instructor for the CAPS and Universal Design/Build courses. She is the recipient of the NAHB 2013 CAPS of the Year Award. Locally, she is the Associate Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBADE) Executive Board and is the President of the HBADE Associates Council.
This is a question that was asked on the OT Leadership Live Podcast. I would like to take the opportunity to expand my response beyond the 3 minute podcast limit. For me, this answer is a summary of the blog posts I have provided over the last few months on My OT Journey and My Leadership Journey. Each of these experiences has provided me with a unique skillset that makes me the best candidate for the position of Vice President.
What benefit I bring and WHY you should vote for me:
I value honesty and reliability; doing what I say I am going to do. I value authenticity, and being responsive to the needs of members and the profession. It is important to me that members can feel that they can speak openly--I welcome such openness. I value diversity of thought. My aim is to be readily accessible to the membership and to fuel excitement for the future of our profession. My thorough understanding of the Association, innovative approach to advance the profession, active listening skills, ability to meet people where they are and my experiences working with students, practitioners, educators, researchers as well as a diverse group of people within and outside of the profession make me the best candidate for Vice President of the American Occupational Therapy Association. A vote for me is inherently a vote for an advocate for the occupational therapy profession. A vote for me is a vote for the fresh and innovative candidate; a big thinker who is passionate about occupational therapy.
Here is a summary of My OT Journey & My Leadership Journey with links to the original posts:
My 22-year OT Journey: Who am I as an OT? I am a.....
• Clinician http://bit.ly/2zsOZAN • Business Owner http://bit.ly/2jyeZF3 • Educator http://bit.ly/2zXd43c • Collaborator http://bit.ly/2i3TGa6• Speaker/Author http://bit.ly/2ABhUmw• Advocate http://bit.ly/2CEQqu7
My Leadership Journey:
• AOTA Director to the Board of Directors (2015—Present) http://bit.ly/2BNkIux • AOTA Board for Advanced & Specialty Cert. (2013-2015) http://bit.ly/2CSQ2rV • National Assoc. of Home Builders Director, Board of Directors (2013-Present) http://bit.ly/2BWz53d• Home Builders Association of DE Associate VP (2013-2017) http://bit.ly/2BWz53d• AOTA HCHSIS Prof. Development Coordinator (2012-2015) http://bit.ly/2jsed8E • DE Rep to the AOTA Representative Assembly (2010-2013) http://bit.ly/2zTGC1p • DE OT Practice Board President (2006-2008), Secretary (05-06) http://bit.ly/2jqI8lp• President, Student Occupational Therapy Association, 1995 http://bit.ly/2id3nXo