Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Patents Pending...

How many OTs does it take to change a lightbulb?

NONE; we'll teach it how to change itself!!

Our ingenuity is obvious, and if we can't teach you to do it yourself....

We will use our creative minds and design something, and hopefully with this new handy-dandy tool and a little therapy you'll be out on your own again! Today we practiced this handy work and shared our prototypes with our peers:

This cardboard and tape, multifunctional tool can be used to open and shut cabinets, turn on and off light switches, and reach just about anything.

This excellent cardboard and tape stand  can hold your hairdryer, camera, laptop, and a table top, among many dozen of things...
And just in time for gardening....How about this energy saving device that you strap on your back!

At first glance this may seem to be only a cardboard briefcase--but it is a table, desk, sliding board, vanity, all in one!

What's that you ask?                   A fishing rod--for the REALLY, REALLY big fish!
(You only need one arm for this one too!)

This lunch tray is "Too Cool for School!"

Here are some links to various companies that take these cardboard and tape ideas and turn them into the "real thing".  
Maura and I had the chance to try some of these out at the AOTA Conference in April (see previous pictures).
(The sensory rocking chair is amazing!)

In the Fall, Fred Sammons, the OT who started Sammons Preston (now owned by Patterson Medical), came to talk to us about how his ideas turned into a company.
Patterson Medical, Sammons Preston: http://www.pattersonmedical.com/

If only I could catch their creativity!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Are you listening?


  • Episode 20 Children's Mental Health (May 2010)
  • Episode 19 What Is Occupational Therapy? (April 2010)
  • Episode 18 Yoga (March 2010)
  • Episode 17 Disaster Response & Amputations (February 2010)
  • Episode 16 Disaster Response and Preparedness (January 2010)
  • Episode 15 Older Driver Safety (December 2009)
  • Episode 14 Diabetes (November 2009)
  • Episode 13 Breast Cancer Intervention and the Role of Occupational Therapy (October 2009)
  • Episode 12 Make Your Home Fit You (September 2009)
  • Episode 11 Backpack and General School Ergonomics (August 2009)
  • Episode 10 Community Mobility for Seniors (July 2009)
  • Episode 9 Home Safety (June 2009)
  • Episode 8 Arthritis (May 2009)
  • Episode 7 Autism (April 2009)
You can download these and listen to them on your IPod or simply listen to them on your computer while you are Facebooking, etc.

Are you Connected??


Stay up-to-date and connected with other OTs from around the nation: Read blogs, join forums and discussions, look at pictures from AOTA happenings, join special interest groups, and read OT's Blogs!

This is how the AOTA is communicating with everyone now.  There are no more mailing lists.  (Please let me know if you need help, or if you think it would be helpful if I explain how to sign up and navigate this cite at our next RAMSOTA meeting.)

Ask questions, find OT friends in every town and specialty, and "be in the know."

What are you interested in?

Sorry for the silence.  Exams are finished!

There is still so much more about conference, and it is very hard to find a constructive way to post it all!  I did want to make you all aware that the AOTA has a link for you to download any of the presentations you are interested in. Maura and I (Ann-English) still plan to update, through this blog or through a presentation, you all on the sessions that we attended Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  However, I understand that we all have varying interests.  I encourage you to look through the posted presentations, find what you are interested in, and download the PowerPoint presentations for future reference.


Once you get to the above link, click on handouts.
This will open up a new webpage, "OASIS."
Click:  Browse: Explore sessions by Category, Type, or Date.
From there you can browse by Day, Session Type, Session Category, and/or Secondary Content Focus.
(Please note that anything in red will take you to a new page or open a new document.)
Once you are in the "Session Detail" scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Presentation date, time, name, authors, etc.
If the Session has handouts that you can save or download you will see "Handouts"

Please shot me a message if you have any trouble.  I am happy to help you!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Expo Grand Opening and Welcome Reception

Maura with Fred Sammons at the Ambucs booth. (http://www.ambucs.com/amtryke/)

AOTA 2010 Welcome Ceremony

STAR Award Con't...

I was also inspired by the incoming president of the AOTA, Florence Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA.  She is a feisty, tenacious, strong-spirited, and bold woman-leader.  Very well spoken, with lots to say (and a lot in support of our young generation of OTS) she actually had to be asked to sit down---And had to be asked multiple times!  She didn't want to give up the fight!  I hope that someday I will exhibit these admirable characteristics.

And if there is one thing I will remember most of all, it is the passion of the exiting president, Penny Moyers Cleveland, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA.  As she addressed the RA in closing, before leaving the meeting, she couldn't hold back the tears of defeat for the motion and vision she had worked towards, the sorrow for leaving her position, the anxiety she felt pulse around the whole room due to the controversy the motion created, and her pure passionate want for the Association to grow and develop into something better and more prepared for the future decisions it will have to make. I find this an amazing quality!  So often people in big, high, powerful positions lose the very emotion that got them there, but she has kept that as a driving force in her very successful career.  In her presentation to the ASD, she explained pure joy as the "Bone Dance" her dog Bella does.  It is because of people like her who are willing to share and bare it all that the up-and-comers, like me, will be able to dance that "Bone Dance" of pure joy!  My heart pours with gratitude to her and all of the inspiring women I have written about!

The reason I am so proud to be a part of AOTA is because of the strong-confident women-leaders, who will stand-up and speak out for what they believe is best.

I really want you all to know that you have a support group who has and continues to keep your profession (OT) alive!!! (That means, they make sure you have work!!!!) They want to support you, and they truly believe in the good work that you do/will do.  Join AOTA and continue you membership---be a part of a wonderful Association.  Your job depends on it!

Dr. Bell Receives the RA Star Award!!!!

Task group 3, chaired by Dr. Bell brought forward the most controversial motion for the Representative Assembly (RA) this year.  The RA is the decision making body of the AOTA, consisting of representatives from every state, and task group 3 was working on and presenting a motion to dissolve the RA and reorganize into a smaller decision making body. The push for this change came as a part of the whole Association's change and move towards the Centennial Vision.  This vision states, "We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs."

And so, the debate about the motion begins... It goes without saying that change is never easy and rarely ever peaceful.  I want to write that I love change, but I don't--I find change hard, but I like the tough road because of where it takes you.  I acknowledge that I am new to this organization, but this is my shared blog, so my opinion is all over it! I see the need for change if the AOTA is ever going to be the organization it once was (back in the good ole days) and more.

My opinion on this matter is strongly shared by other students and members of the ASD.  We, students, see a need for the Association to adopt new ways (technology) where individuals (including the young practitioners) feel empowered and able to get involved. Part of the reorganization would have included this technology!

In the end, at the "Calling of the Question" the motion was defeated 35 to 28.  The RA had decided at that point not to dissolve and recreate.

Truly inspirational moments come from defeat:
My smile was busting at the seams as I watched Dr. Bell's colleagues give her a huge round of applause and standing ovation for her efforts and leadership in the task group.  I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to watch a professor and mentor receive such enthusiasm and appreciation from her leader-colleagues.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

First morning at the 2010 AOTA Conference!

Hi All!

I (Maura) just got in from a relaxing morning lounging by the pool and floating down the lazy river!

Just kidding!  All my professors who are reading this, can now pick up their jaws...
I just returned from the first session that I attended this morning- the Role of Occupational Therapy in Addressing Sensory Needs, presented by Sandra Schefkind, MS, OTR/L, the Pediatric Coordinator for the AOTA, and Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, the SISIS (Sensory Integration Special Interest Session) Chairperson from Tacoma, Washington. 

They discussed the AOTA goals: disseminate, support, advocate, collaborate, and translate, and how these goals can be applied to Sensory Integration.  Ms. Schefkind and Dr. Walting talked about the SISIS goals and mission and expressed how important it was to clarify what SI intervention is and is not, the need to increase awareness of OTs as experts in providing SI information, the need to increase awareness of SI across the lifespan (so much of it focuses on the pediatric population, but it is important to understand that sensory processing disorders impact the lives of adults and their ability to successfully function in their every day lives), and the need to link research to practice.

Dr. Walting and Ms. Schefkind wanted to develop a presentation that practitioners could use to explain what Sensory Integration is, what the intervention looks like and what it does.  Their hope is that practitioners use this powerpoint presentation for in-services to teach others about Sensory Integration.  The powerpoint will be available within the next month on the AOTA website.  They really want to hear back from people about what they think about the powerpoint- is it good or is it missing anything?  So check out the AOTA website within this next month for the presentation!! I will also post a link to the powerpoint on this blog when it becomes available. 

Other than wanting to immediately write down everything I learned this morning...I also wanted to run to the fabric store right away because I got a new idea on how to make a new fabric tunnel!  (Tyler, I promise our whole house will not be filled with tunnels or other things I have made...)

Anyway, some interesting points from the presentation that I thought were interesting, think everyone should know or understand, or may help clarify something:
  • The AOTA has identified Autisum as a primary area to address and focus on
  • Sensory Integration is both a theory and an approach
  • Sensory Integration supports the child to: organize himself and organize himself in the world around him
  • For those still confused about what the proprioceptive system is...I really liked the way they explained the proprioceptive vs. vestibular system, which may help some understand it a little better.  They explained proprioception as the "pressure sense" (not to get this confused with deep pressure addressing the tactile system) so anything that you move against resistance (crawling, throwing, walking, etc.) activates the proprioceptive system. 

Here are some more resources and information they gave us:

Please let me know if you want any more information about any of this- I have a lot more information about the presentation and the specific resources they provided.

Ms. Schefkind is a fellow Bethesda, MD resident and after the presentation we had a great discussion about life in Bethesda, Walt Whitman High School, Burning Tree Elementary, and how small this world is!  She provided me with some more information and ideas and I am really looking forward to taking the information to the next step!

Until later...


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy

I hope that I am providing you with some helpful information...

Here are some suggestions from the NCBOT test makers.  Review the following:
1. Examination Blueprints
2.  Exam Readiness Tool
3. NBCOT Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NBCOTCertification
Exam Review Questions are posted on Monday and Answers to each question are then posted on the following Friday.
NBCOT recommends forming a group with your peers to discuss each question.
You will also note that the questions from each week are banked and saved for your review.
4. Use the Self-Assessment Tool just before your Field Work 2 experience.  This can give you further insight about your strengths and weaknesses in practice.
5. NCBOT Study Guide
6. Practice Test
7.  Simulation Tutorial


I promised excitement....

Now for the overwhelming part I promised: The guest speaker for the ASD tonight was……..

drum roll, please…….

……Gary Kielhofner, DrPH, OTR/L, FAOTA (CV).  As in Dr. Kielhofner the man who edited our Research textbook; Dr. Kielhofner, who was a major developer of the MOHO (Model of Human Occupation); The Dr. Kielhofner (As if all of the letters behind his name didn’t tell you he was important)! 

Not only is he a big wig (in his own words, one of those who sits in the ivory tower doing research), his ideas of combining research and practice are inspiring.  His novel (or not so novel) ideas are for researchers to do the research for the practitioners.  Through this collaboration, researchers will be able to meet the need for relevant evidence, or the evidence based practice (EBP) that the clinicians/practitioners need to support their “real world” work.  Dr. Kielhofner further defines relevant evidence by stating that it includes: clinical (expert knowledge), clients’ perspectives, applied research studies, and basic studies that contribute to the understanding of a particular phenomenon.   Only from the true blend of “real world OT” and the “ivory research tower” will relevant research take place.  He even gave a shout out to Dr. Jean Ayres, praising her and noting that she always had one foot in practice (working as a clinician and serving clients throughout her professional life) and one foot in research.

We learned about the MOHO last semester, but what we read in our text only scrapes the bottom of the barrel.  There is so much more-- theory, research, evidence based assessments, evidence based treatments, and the MOHO list goes on.  There are around 500 scholarly articles or chapters that have been published regarding the MOHO. 

I encourage you all to take a look at the MOHO Clearinghouse. http://www.moho.uic.edu/  I look forward to sharing more about the website in the future.  It will be very helpful when doing research in grad school, but it will also be an excellent source when you are a practitioner in the “real world”.

Update from Tuesday Evening (Late is still fashionable right?)

It has been a busy, exciting day!  This can all quickly become overwhelming.  

The ASD met this evening for introductions and dinner. The dinner was nothing worth writing about; however the company was fantastic!  It was very interesting to hear what other students across the nation were learning about in their programs and to hear how other SOTA (Student Occupational Therapy Association) organizations are organized, raise money, and carry out business.

"So what is an ASD?"

First and foremost I guess I should tell you what I am doing here.  What is an ASD anyway?  The Mission Statement for the Assembly of Student Delegates reads, “The mission of the [ASD] is to support student members of AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) by communicating their interests and advancing their professional contributions.  This Assembly upholds the AOTA mission, promotes Association membership, and provides a forum for the development of student leadership and political awareness to enhance the viability of the profession.”

So are you more confused now?  In other words an ASD acts as a liaison between their Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) at their College/University and the ASD Steering Committee.  All members of the ASD Steering Committee serve as the student members on many of the AOTA’s decision making bodies. So we (ASDs) are the way that the big guys making all the decisions get your (student) input.  

As an ASD my goal is to get provide you with more information to enhance your awareness of and become more involved in your profession’s organization, so that you can have the career you dream of in all of those 4 hour long classes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Going to the OT event of the year!"

I (Ann-English) hope you can feel my excitement!  My bags are packed, and I'm ready for this adventure!

Itinerary for Tuesday: Leave the house by 7a.  Orlando by Noon!  Meetings at 4p.  Meet & Greet with the RA (Representative Assembly) at 8p.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Start of a New Meaningful Activity (Blogging)

Maura and I (2 OTSs) are very excited about our trip to the American Occupational Therapy Association's Conference.  Our hope is that through cOnText you too can share in this experience.

Blog Basic's definition of a blog is a journal on the internet, and this is exactly what we have in mind for cOnText. Through blogging we will collect, reflect and document our adventures.  Context includes the cultural, personal, temporal, and virtual aspects of one's life.  All of these conditions within us and surrounding us will directly influence the direction of our thoughts, the pictures we capture, and the blog we produce.  Please enjoy!

Comments and suggestions are welcome!  And if you feel so inclined, please keep your criticism constructive so that we can put it to use.

I (Ann-English) am attending the preconference meetings for the Assembly of Student Delegates as Winston-Salem State University, Occupational Therapy Department's representative.  I will also be serving as a volunteer during the AOTA's Representative Assembly.  It is my understanding that WSSU-OT and RAMSOTA have not had a delegate at this meeting before, and I am thrilled to be able to share this experience with my peers in hopes that this will encourage others to participate in future years.

We look forward to sharing more....