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Department of Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 93,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy. APTA seeks to improve the health and quality of life of individuals in society by advancing physical therapist practice, education, and research, and by increasing the awareness and understanding of physical therapy's role in the nation's health care system.

Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession and Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision

Adopted by APTA's House of Delegates (House) in 2013, APTA's Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession is supported by Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision, which demonstrate how the profession and society will look when the vision is achieved. APTA's strategic plan helps the association work toward this vision.

Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession

Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.

Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision

Movement is a key to optimal living and quality of life for all people that extends beyond health to every person's ability to participate in and contribute to society. The complex needs of society, such as those resulting from a sedentary lifestyle, beckon for the physical therapy profession to engage with consumers to reduce preventable health care costs and overcome barriers to participation in society to ensure the successful existence of society far into the future.

While this is APTA's vision for the physical therapy profession, it is meant also to inspire others throughout society to, together, create systems that optimize movement and function for all people. The following principles of Identity, Quality, Collaboration, Value, Innovation, Consumer-centricity, Access/Equity, and Advocacy demonstrate how the profession and society will look when this vision is achieved.

Click here to read the guiding principles. 


The current vision statement succeeds Vision 2020, which was adopted by the House in 2000 and was influential in guiding the profession over its 13 years. Although elements of Vision 2020 are not explicitly mentioned in the current vision or its guiding principles, the values of Vision 2020 remain significant to the successful fulfillment of the new vision.

In creating the current vision statement, the House gave due attention to each word. California delegate Terrence M. Nordstrom, PT, EdD, spoke about the meaning of the words "human experience."

Last Updated: 9/9/2015


American Physical Therapy Association Website