Session Descriptions

Friday, November 18, 2016 

Registration Open/Exhibits Open

Preregistration required. Join us for a playful morning exploring two inclusively designed playgrounds in Ypsilanti, MI.  Must have access to a car to participate.  Limited to 25 registered attendees.  Email Frank Gainer at to reserve your spot and get the particulars.
Ingrid M. Kanics, OTR/L, President, Kanics Inclusive Design Services, LCC, New Castle, PA; Jennifer R. Smith, CPSI, LEED AP, Penchura, Brighton, MI

Early Bird Session: Practical Therapeutic Technology: Evidence and Exposure Lab
Robert C. Ferguson, MHS, OTRL, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Technology is a natural component of our treatment ecology that can enable or enhance performance. This hands-on lab presents the current evidence for different therapeutic technologies as well as the opportunity to explore various types of practical therapeutic technologies that can be implemented in most clinics.

Early Bird Session:  Animal Assisted Therapy - A Practical Demonstration
Kate Thomas Zawodni, BA, Animal Assisted Therapy - OT & PT Pups, Ann Arbor, MI; A'via Marie Coleman, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI,Christine Johnson, MOT, OTR/L, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
Practice Animal Assisted Therapy with three smart, sweet, patient pups.  Rotate through the stations playing the role of the occupational therapist, the patient, and even practice being a Therapy Dog Handler.  An experienced OT, an experienced Therapy Dog Handler/Teacher and an OT student - familiar with the pups, will guide you through your hands on experience.  Animals enrich the therapeutic process.  Patients working with Therapy Dogs often report lowered pain levels, have greater enthusiasm for the therapy experience, and feel more relaxed. Many medical institutions embrace Animal Assisted Therapy.  Come explore this exceptional modality.  Brief lecture (20 minutes), followed by hands on experience.

Posters Available

Hear introductory remarks from the leadership of AOTA and NBCOT and then prepare to have fun. Three educational programs will be randomly chosen to participate in the Exam Prep competition. Any program that has more than 10 students registered could be selected. All attendees will benefit from hearing exam questions. The 10 winning program participants - that scores the most points - will have breakfast with the AOTA President and Vice-President.

Networking Break

Concurrent #1: Career Prep: The Therapist "X" Factor: Tips and Strategies For Entering The Workforce In Today's Environment
Brandon Seigel, CRP, Every Child Achieves, North Hollywood, CA
This fun and informative workshop will provide tips and strategies related to entering the workforce inclusive of maximizing your fieldwork experience, crafting an effective resume and cover letter,   and a brief overview of trends and shifts in the current therapist work environment."

Concurrent #2: Deep Dive:  Opportunities in Academia: What to Consider When You are Considering a Career in Research
Andrew Persch, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
There is a growing need for research faculty in occupational therapy programs. Therapists with PhD training are ideally positioned to conduct the research that will inform occupational therapy practice as it enters its second hundred years as a profession. In this presentation, the speaker will outline a process that potential PhD students may use when pursuing a PhD and important considerations regarding a career in research.

Concurrent #3: Deep Dive: Building Your Inclusive Playground Toolbox!
Ingrid M. Kanics, OTR/L, President, Kanics Inclusive Design Services, LCC, New Castle, PA; Jennifer R. Smith, CPSI, LEED AP, Penchura, Brighton
This presentation will take OTs into the world of playground design. Learn what it takes to create a cutting edge inclusive playground in your community and the unique perspective and knowledge that OTs can bring to a community playground.  Walk away with a new knowledge of how playground are designed and how universal design can be applied to a playground design to make it a place where everyone of all ages and abilities can come and play.

Networking Break

Concurrent #4: Career Prep: Mock Interviews/Resume Critiques
Preregistration required (available at time of registration). Bring your Resume and plan on spending 20 minutes one-on-one with an OT practitioner to have it critiqued. All participants will be provided with a useful packet of information to include potential interview questions.

Concurrent #5: Ask an Expert: Level II Fieldwork Panel

Concurrent #6: Ask an Expert: Rehabilitation, Disability, & Participation Panel
Robert C. Ferguson, MHS, OTRL, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI; Tina Marie Truhol, OTRL/CHT, Michigan Hand and Sport Rehab Center, Roseville, MI
Learn from master clinicians! Each clinician will give a brief description of their current position and share insights in this practice area.  Attendees are encouraged to ask questions to learn more about areas of interest.

Student Meet and Greet & Happy Hour with AOTA Leaders
Meet the Assembly of Student Delegates Steering Committee, have a photo op with AOTA’s President and Vice-President, and mingle with students from across the country.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Registration Open/Exhibits Open

Exhibits Open/ Posters Available 

An Overview of NBCOT’s Certification Products and Services
Becky Russell, OTR, NBCOT, Gaithersburg, MD
Learn the role NBCOT plays to verify practice excellence through certification, and see first-hand the tools NBCOT provides to support certificant’s competency journey.

NBCOT:  Strategies for Success
Ashley Satter, OTR, NBCOT, Gaithersburg, MD
Connect with NBCOT and hear about THE best approaches to achieve your goal for Occupational Therapy Certification.

Networking Break

Concurrent #7: Career Prep: Vision 2025: Students are the Future
Amy Jo Lamb, OTD, OTRL, FAOTA, President, American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD
As the occupational therapy profession turns 100 this year, planning is underway for our professional future beyond the Centennial. In this session, AOTA President Dr. Amy Lamb introduces students to Vision 2025 and describes how students can play a distinct role in shaping the future of the profession.

Concurrent #8: Deep Dive: Is Academia Right for You?: Thinking Ahead
Andrea Zakrajsek, OTD, OTR/L, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI; Gerry Conti, PhD, OTRL, FAOTA,Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
This presentation will discuss the need for future educators in the field of occupational therapy, varied paths to academia, and opportunities that entry-level occupational therapy practitioners can take to prepare for teaching and scholarship.

Concurrent #9: Career Prep: Wondering about Wandering? Travel Therapy 101

Amy M. Beribak, OTD, OTR/L, Delta Healthcare, Calumet, MI; Kaia Wiley, MS, OTR/L, CBIS, Cariant Health Partners, Bourne, MA
Come join us and learn about the Who-What-When-Where-Whys (or Why Nots) and Hows of travel therapy from current travel therapists! This session, about the in's and out's of travel therapy, is designed as two parts: informative presentation and Q&A. Bring any questions that you might have -- we would love to answer them and help you understand this exciting field. For OT and OTA students.

Sponsored Lunch 

Concurrent 10: Deep Dive: Policy, Advocacy, Future of OT
Abe Saffer, AOTA, Bethesda, MD
Empower yourself through advocacy. The policy debates of today will surely have long lasting impacts on the future of the profession. Hear how issues like Medicare payment reform, Affordable Care Act implementation, and education funding may impact the job market and your career. Learn how to become an effective advocate for the profession and use your voice to ensure the future of occupational therapy is bright. Get Informed, Get Involved!

Concurrent 11: Deep Dive: Healthy Habits for Children: How Sleep, Diet, and Exercise Can Improve Health
Andrew Persch, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Healthy habits is a psychoeducational construct that refers to the preventive practice of analyzing and then adapting the sleep, physical, and eating routines of children in ways that enhance health and well-being. This approach is based on evidence that demonstrates the positive therapeutic value of engaging in proactive, healthful behaviors. In addressing healthy habits, occupational therapy practitioners have an opportunity to contribute to the Triple Aim of health care reform while demonstrating the value of occupational therapy in educational, medical, community, and other settings.

Concurrent #12: Career Prep: Becoming a Resilient Practitioner: Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout
Donna Costa, DHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV
This presentation will focus on how you can find balance as a new practitioner. The demands of working in healthcare can produce stress as you attempt to meet productivity standards, learn new clinical skills, and develop professional relationships with your colleagues. In this workshop you will learn some effective strategies through didactic and experiential learning.

Networking Break


Concurrent #13: Ask an Expert: New Practitioners Panel
The light at the end of the tunnel is employment. Fortunately, occupational therapy is a rewarding profession that is in high demand. After you complete fieldwork and graduate, how do you decide what job you should take? When do you start to look for a job?  Learn about strategies new graduates used to pass the NBCOT examination. New OT and OTA graduates will share their personal journeys from student to occupational therapy practitioner.  Participants in the panel will represent various practice settings.

Concurrent #14: Deep Dive: The Distinct Value of Occupational Therapy in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Kristen R. Clore, MOT, OTRL, CWC, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
This session will discuss: the valuable role of the occupational therapist in the ICU; how to use models of practice to direct client centered evaluation, develop goals, and interventions; how OTs can work with a multidisciplinary team in an Early Mobility ICU program, and identify our holistic approach and distinct interventions. Methods and resources to gain additional training will be identified.

Concurrent #15: Stevie Speaks: Self Determination & The Social Model of Disability
Stevie Hopkins, 3E Love LLC, Batavia, IL
Stevie Hopkins, co-founder of 3E Love, home of the wheelchair heart, shares his story of how he fell in love with life. Through the highs and lows of adventuring through his life with a disability, running a business, and forging his own path in the face of adversity and tragedy, he tells a tale of inspiration and strength unlike any other.

Concurrent #16: Ask an Expert: Children & Youth

Cyndi Haynes, OTD, OTR/L, EBS Healthcare, West Chester, PA; Denise Justice, OTR/L, University of Michigan Medical Center Brachial Plexus Program, Ann Arbor, MI; Andrew Persch, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Learn from master clinicians!  Each clinician will give a brief description of their current position and share insights in this practice area.  Attendees are encouraged to ask questions to learn more about areas of interest.

Concurrent #17:  Career Prep: Developing Your OT Professional Power Workshop
Joseph Christian Ungco, OTR/L, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Sarah Szymczyk, COTAL, West Bloomfield Nursing Center, West Bloomfield, MI; Jeffrey Cendejas, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
Hosted by the Assembly of Student Delegates, this interactive session will include workshops to develop your professional power, strengthen your networking skills, and highlight opportunities for student involvement.

Concurrent #18: Deep Dive:  Stroke Rehabilitation: Taking the Mystery Out of Mastery
Robert C. Ferguson, MHS, OTRL, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
This presentation will provide participants a practical and relevant way to approach the development of clinical competence in order to put them on a path toward mastery of practice. Participants will also learn practical ways to locate and translate current evidence into their everyday stroke rehabilitation practice.

Room Switch

Come prepared to ask your questions of the AOTA and NBCOT leadership. This will be your opportunity to ask the panelists about any burning issues. The panel will be moderated by the ASD Steering Committee. Closing remarks will be provided by the President of AOTA - Dr. Amy Jo Lamb.