Areas of Occupation

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Activities that are oriented toward taking care of one's own body. ADL also is referred to as basic activities of daily living (BADLs) and personal activities of daily living (PADLs). These activities are "fundamental to living in a social world; they enable basic survival and well-being".

Bathing, showering -

Obtaining and using supplies; soaping, rinsing, and drying body parts; maintaining bathing position; and transferring to and from bathing positions.

Bowel and bladder management -

Includes completing intentional control of bowel movements and urinary bladder and, if necessary, using equipment or agents for bladder control.

Dressing -

Selecting clothing and accessories appropriate to time of day, weather, and occasion; obtaining clothing from storage area; dressing and undressing in a sequential fashion; fastening and adjusting clothing and shoes; and applying and removing personal devices, prostheses, or orthoses.

Eating -

The ability to keep and manipulate food or fluid in the mouth and swallow it; eating and swallowing are often used interchangeably.

Feeding -

The process of settin up, arranging, and bringing food or fluid from the plate or cup to the mouth; sometimes called self-feeding.

Functional mobility -

Moving from one position or place to another(during performance of everyday activities), such as in-bed mobility, wheelchair mobility, and transfers (e.g., wheelchair, bed, car, tub, toilet, tub/shower, chair, floor). Includes functional ambulation and transporting objects.

Personal device care -

Using, cleaning, and maintaining personal care items, such as hearing aids, contact lenses, glasses, orthotics, prosthetics, adaptive equipment, and contraceptive and sexual devices.

Personal hygiene and grooming -

Obtaining and using supplies; removing body hair(e.g., use of razors, tweezers, lotions); applying and removing cosmetics; washing, drying, combing, syling, brushing and flossing teeth; or removing, cleaning, and reinserting dental orthotics and prosthetics.

Sexual activity -

Engaging in activities that result in sexual satisfaction.

Toilet hygiene -

Obtaining and using supplies; clothing management; maintaining toleting position; transferring to and from toileting position; cleaning body; and caring for menstrual and continence needs (including catheters, colostomies, and suppository management).


Includes activities needed for learning and participating in the environment.

Formal educational participation -

Including the categories of academic (e.g., math, reading, working on a degree), nonacademic (e.g., recess, lunchroom, hallway), extracurricular (e.g., sports, band, cheerleading, dances), and vocational (prevocational and vocational) participation.

Informal personal educational needs or interests exploration (beyond formal education) -

Identifying topics and methods for obtaining topic-related information or skills.

Informal personal education participation -

Participating in classes, programs, and activities that provide instruction/training in identified areas of interest.

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs)

Activities to support daily life within the home and community that often require more complex interactions than self-care used in ADL.

Care of others (including selecting and supervising caregivers) -

Arranging, supervising, or providing the care for others.

Care of pets -

Arranging, supervising, or providing the care for pets and service animals.

Child rearing -

Providing the care and supervision to support the developmental needs of a child.

Communication management -

Sending, receiving, and interpreting information using a variety of systems and equipment, including writing tools, telephones, typewriters, audiovisual recorders, computers, communication boards, call lights, emergency systems, Braille writers, telecommunication devices for the deaf, augmentative communication systems, and personal digital assistants.

Community mobility -

Moving around the community and using public or private transportation, such as driving, walking, bicycling, or accessing and riding in buses, taxi cabs, or other transportation systems.

Financial management -

Using fiscal resources, including alternate methods of financial transaction and planning and using finaces with long-term and short-term goals.

Health management and maintenance -

Developing, managing, and maintaining routines for health and wellness promotion, such as physical fitness, nutrition, decreasing health risk behaviors, and medication routines.

Home establishment and management -

Obtaining and maintaining personal and household possessions and environment( e.g., home, yard, garden, appliances, vehicles), including maintaining and repairing personal possessions(clothing and household items) and knowing how to seek help or whom to contact.

Meal preparation and cleanup -

Planning, preparing, and serving well-balanced, nutritional meals and cleaning up food and utensils after meals.

Religious observances -

Participating in religion, "an organized system of beliefs, practices, rituals, and symbols designed to facilitate closeness to the sacred or transcendent.

Safety and emergency maintenance -

Knowing and performing preventive procedures to maintain a safe environment as well as recognizing sudden, unexpected hazardous situations and initiating emergency action to reduce the threat to health and safety.

Shopping -

Preparing shopping lists (grocery and other); selecting, purchasing, and transporting items, selecting method of payment; and completing money transactions.


"A nonobligatory activity that is intrinsically motivated and engaged in during discretionary time, that is, time not committed to obligatory occupations such as work, self-care, or sleep".

Leisure exploration -

Identifying interests, skills, opportunities, and appropriate leisure activities.

Leisure participation -

Planning and participating in appropriate leisure activities; maintaining a balance of leisure activities with other areas of occupation; and obtaining, using, and maintaining equipment and supplies as appropriate.


"Any spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement, or diversion".

Play exploration -

Identifying appropriate play activities, which can include exploration play, practice play, pretend play, games with rules, constructive play, and symbolic play.

Play participation -

Participating in play; maintaining a balance of play with other areas of occupation; and obtaining, using, and maintaining toys, equipment, and supplies appropriately.

Rest and Sleep

Includes activities related to obtaining restorative rest and sleep that supports healthy active engagement in other areas of occupation.

Rest -

Quiet and effortless actions that interrupt physical and mental activity resulting in a relaxed state. Includes identifying the need to relax; reducing involvement in taxing physical, mental, or social activities; and engaging in relaxation or other endeavors that restore energy, clam, and renewed interest in engagement.

Sleep -

A series of activities resulting in going to sleep, staying asleep, and ensuring health and safety through participation in sleep involving engagement with the physical and social environments.

Sleep preparation -

(1)Engaging in routines that prepare the self for a comfortable rest, such as grooming and undressing, reading or listening to music to fall asleep, saying goodnight to others, and meditation or prayers; determining the time of day and length of time desired for sleeping or the time needed to wake; and establishing sleep patterns that support growth and health (patterns are often personally and culturally determined).

(2)Preparing the physical environment for periods of unconsciousness, such as making the bed or space on which to sleep; ensuring warmth/coolness and protection; setting an alarm clock; securing the home, such as locking doors or closing windows or curtains; and turning off electronics or lights.

Sleep participation -

Taking care of personal need for sleep such as cessation of activities to ensure onset of sleep, napping, dreaming, sustaining a sleep state without disruption, and nighttime care of toileting needs or hydration. Negotiating the needs and requirements of others within the social environment. Interacting with those sharing the sleeping space such as children or partners, providing nighttime care giving such as breastfeeding, and monitoring the comfort and safety of others such as the family while sleeping.

Social Participation

"Organized patterns of behavior that are characteristic and expected of an individual or a given position within a social system".

Community -

Engaging in activities that result in successful interaction at the community level (i.e., neighborhood, organizations, work, school).

Family -

Engaging in "[activities that result in] successful interaction in specific required and/or desired familial roles".

Peer, friend -

Engaging in activities at different levels of intimacy , including


Includes activities needed for engaging in remunerative employment or volunteer activities.

Employment interests and pursuits -

Identifying and selecting work opportunities based on assets, limitations, likes, and dislikes relative to work.

Employment seeking and acquisition -

Identifying and recruiting for job opportunities; completing, submitting, and reviewing appropriate application materials; preparing for interviews; participating in interviews and following up afterwards; discussing job benefits; and finalizing negotiations.

Job performance -

Job peformance including work skills and patterns; time management; relationships with co-workers, managers, and customers; creation, production, and distribution of products and services; initiation, sustainment, and completion of work; and compliance with work norms and procedures.

Retirement preparation and adjustment -

Determining aptitudes, developing interests and skills, and selecting appropriate avocational pursuits.

Volunteer exploration -

Determining community causes, organizations, or opportunities for unpaid "work" in relationship to personal skills, interests, location, and time available.

Volunteer participation -

Performing unpaid "work" activities for the benefit of identified selected causes, organizations, or facilities.