National Rehabilitation Awareness Week during the third full week in September recognizes the outstanding services provided by rehabilitation professionals. The goal of the week is to express appreciation for rehabilitation experts and assistants who work as physical, occupational, cardiac, and speech therapists.

Rehabilitation therapists need both a thorough knowledge of the human body and the right mix of patience and understanding. Their expertise continues to expand, so that modern rehab techniques employ yoga, mental health, and nutritional counseling.

HOW TO OBSERVE #RehabilitationAwarenessWeek

Invite a rehabilitation specialist to address your office staff, workplace, or school class. Make it a brown bag session! More than 50% of Americans will utilize the service of a rehabilitation specialist. So this week would be a good week for those who have benefited from dropping off baked good with a rehab staff.

Some rehab clinics offer free screenings this week, Watch for local opportunities. Learn more about rehabilitation services and career at

Use #RehabilitationAwarenessWeek or #RehabWeek to follow the conversation on social media.


Since 1976, the observance began as a small even sponsored by a Pennsylvania company called Allied Service. It promoted the value of rehabilitation, highlighting the capability of the professionals who help minimize disabilities and restore those affected by disease or injury.

The profession began in World War I to take care of injured soldiers. At the time, it was a female-only profession with 274 members of the American Women’s Physical Therapy Association. Graduates of physical therapy schools were in short supply. More schools offered course work to meet the demand in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Schools started employing thousands of occupational therapists in the last half of the 20th Century to help disabled children.

Speech therapy began in England in the 1700s. In the early 1900s, it grew in importance as many World War II soldiers suffered brain injuries and needed speech rehabilitation.