Chicago to Host 10,000 Occupational Therapy Practitioners at Annual Conference & Expo April 7-10

CHICAGO, IL — An estimated 10,000 occupational therapy clinicians, educators, and students will gather in Chicago April 7-10 to attend the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) 96th Annual Conference & Expo. Occupational therapy experts will gather to network and provide innovative ways to help people live life to its fullest.

“AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo has grown significantly over the past five years and we will likely set an attendance record in Chicago,” says Director of Conferences Frank Gainer, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, CMP, CAE. “In addition to have attendees from across the U.S., this year will host more than 100 attendees from 15 different nations.”

Occupational therapy practitioners help people across the lifespan to live as independently as possible, despite illness, injury, or mental disability. Occupational therapy is the only profession that addresses the things patients want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).

The conference will include more than 1,000 educational sessions covering a variety of topics, including:

  • Early identification of the signs of autism spectrum disorder, and interventions that make a difference in the lives of families facing these challenges.
  • Helping Wounded Warriors regain function, manage PTSD, and lead meaningful lives after their military service.
  • Modifying homes and exploring community mobility options so aging baby boomers can age in place safely, increase confidence, prevent injury, and maintain their independence.
  • Breaking research that explains the lifelong benefits of ongoing occupational therapy for those seeking to regain function after a stroke.
  • Using animal assisted therapy to help motivate clients to thrive despite illness or injury.

The Expo Hall is the world’s largest gathering of occupational therapy companies representing products, professional development, and employment opportunities. Many of the more than 370 vendors and 480 booths will have interactive displays of the latest advances in technology and rehabilitation. In addition, a “Transportation Zone” will display specially adapted cars from Toyota Mobility, Vantage Mobility International, Inc., and BraunAbility, staffed with professionals who help both drivers and passengers with disabilities travel safely. Companies from Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, and Northern Mariana Islands will be among the crowd.

The award-winning annual conference and expo has an average overall economic impact of $12.1 million for host cities.

For more information and a full listing of presentations, visit All sessions and the Expo will take place at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

To schedule an interview with an event speaker, expert, or occupational therapy practitioner, call Media Relations Manager Katie Riley, 301-652-6611, ext. 2963 (office), 301-602-4526 (cell), or e-mail,

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting professional and educational standards, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to