Monday, 19 October 2020

Muriel Driver Memorial Lecture (Virtual) - October 29th


Muriel Driver Memorial Lecture (Virtual)

October 29th at 9:00 am PST
The Muriel Driver Memorial Lecture is given by the previous year’s Muriel Driver Memorial Award recipient. The Memorial lecture provides an opportunity to reflect on the current and future state of the profession, the way it is practiced and the way it could be practised. 
Deborah Laliberte Rudman is recognized for her extensive contributions to occupational therapy and occupational science, for her support of students and researchers, and for her ongoing contributions to CAOT. Her scholarly work exploring the broader socio-political systems and structures that shape occupational possibilities, particularly for marginalized populations, has brought a fresh perspective to understanding occupation – one that challenges us to apply a critical lens to the use of power and privilege that influences opportunities to engage in occupation.

Registration required.  Register HERE.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Evidence for your Practice: Interventions Addressing Vision, Visual-perceptual Impairments Following Acquired Brain Injury: A Cross-sectional Survey.

Photo by Andranik Hakobyan on 

Article: Yoo, P. Y., Scott, K., Myszak, F., Mamann, S., Labelle, A., Holmes, M., Guindon, A., & Bussieres, A. E. (2020). Interventions Addressing Vision, Visual-perceptual Impairments Following Acquired Brain Injury: A Cross-sectional Survey. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 87(2), 117–126.

Study Aim: To increase the understanding of intervention methods currently used by Canadian occupational therapists treating patients with visual and visual-perceptual impairments following an acquired brain injury (ABI), and to determine if these approaches are evidence based.

Key Findings: This cross-sectional survey was administered to a total of 25 Canadian occupational therapists working or having worked with adult patients presenting vision or visual-perceptual impairments as a result of ABI, in the last five years. The survey comprised two main sections: interventions commonly used and demographics.

Survey questions based on intervention methods supported by the literature were organized into four visual subsections:

1. Visual Acuity

  • Only 57% of the intervention items were “often” or “always” used by respondents
  • Evidence-based interventions included:
    • Referring patients to optometrist/ ophthalmologist for optical devices
    • Implementing general principles to increase the visibility of the task/environment
    • Prescribing non-optical assistive devices
    • Referring to low vision centres or specialized rehabilitation services
    • Using strategies for the management of glare sources
2. Visual Field (VF)
  • 52.2% of the intervention items were “often” or “always” used by respondents
  • Evidence-based interventions included:
    • Placement of items in the field of good vision
    • Increasing awareness of VF loss
    • Visual scanning training
    • Anchoring techniques for reading tasks or for activities of daily living
    • Implementation of general principles to increase the visibility of the task/environment
    • Dynavision
    • Referring to optometrist/ ophthalmologist for prism or occlusion optical devices 
    • Education on scrolling text or saccadic eye movement for reading, training for vertical oriented text reading, visual rehabilitation therapy (VRT), and audiovisual stimulation

3. Oculomotor Function

  • Less than half of participants reported using several of the oculomotor function interventions
  • Evidence-based interventions included:
    • Audiovisual stimulation “AVT”
    • Red/green reading sheets
    • Gaze stabilization activities, including: “Word games and puzzles,” “computer activities,” and “worksheets”
4. Visual Stress
  • 75% of respondents indicated that they rarely/never use several of the visual stress interventions
  • Evidence-based interventions included:
    • Binasal Occlusion (BNO)
    • Blue light filters on electronic devices
    • Filters/coloured overlays, and tinted filters
    • Referring to optometrist/ophthalmologist for optical devices or therapy.

Bottom Line for OT: Only about half of the occupational therapists in this study reported regular use of evidence-based interventions when targeting visual acuity and visual field, and very few use them for oculomotor dysfunction and visual stress. Further research is needed to explore reasons for the evidence-based practice gaps in vision rehabilitation. This study helps highlight the need for clinicians to explore current evidence-based interventions being used by fellow occupational therapists.

Post by CAOT-BC fieldwork student Amber Sands


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Coming This Month: Oct 27th is World Occupational Day!

World Occupational Therapy Day is coming on October 27, 2020...
How will you reimagine doing?

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Invitation: Sunday, October 18th - Second AmCan AHA Moment

You are invited to the second North America AHA (Access Health Activists) Moment – a meeting of health clinicians with disabilities AND their allies.

When: October 18th, 12:00 to 2:00 pm

What: Legal aspects of accommodations in health education and practice

                                    REGISTER HERE to attend 

On the Panel

Margot Young is Professor in the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.  She teaches and works in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, feminist theory, and social justice law. She is on the board of Justice for Girls and chair of the board of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Barbara L. Roberts is currently the Director of WorkLife and Senior Advisor to the Provost for WorkLife at Michigan State University. She is an OT with 28 years’ experience in serving students with disabilities, consulting across Canada on accommodations in applied settings. Barbara’s doctoral work focused on accommodation in clinical and applied programs.

Barbara L. Kornblau, JD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor of Occupational Therapy and a licensed attorney. Dr. Kornblau worked in the United States Senate as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for Senators Harkin and Rockefeller on Health and Disability Policy. She has litigated cases under the Americans With Disabilities Act as an attorney, and testified in disability cases as an occupational therapy expert witness.

Friday, 9 October 2020

CAOT Presidential Hand-Off


Join us in saying goodbye and thank you to current CAOT President Catherine Backman, and in welcoming incoming President Giovanna Boniface for her two year term. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and learn about how Giovanna intends to guide CAOT forward in the coming years.


October 16th at 9:00 am (PST)

Registration required. Please register HERE.

Invitation: Info Session on October 16th for the NEW Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care


UBC has a NEW! Graduate Certificate In Primary Health Care

On behalf of Dr. Bill Miller, PhD, MSc (OT), FCAOT, Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care Program at UBC in the Faculty of Medicine:

You’re invited to join us for a UBC Faculty of Medicine virtual lunch and learn plus Q&A on the new Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care on October 16 from 12:05pm to 12:55pm.

Hear from a diverse panel of experts and program advisors, and learn more about this comprehensive, first-of-its kind program. Bring your questions for the team.

The line-up of speakers includes:

  • Natasha Prodan-Bhalla, DNP, Chief Nurse and Professional Practice Officer, BC Ministry of Health 
  • Dr. Christine Newton, CCFP, FCFP, Associate Professor and Director, Continuing Professional Development and Community Engagement, UBC Faculty of Medicine Department of Family Practice 
  • Jason Giesbrecht, MSc, Adjunct Professor, UBC Faculty of Medicine & Executive Director of Primary and Community Care Transformation, Interior Health 
  • Susan Forwell, PhD, Head, UBC Faculty of Medicine Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy 

There’s no cost to participate, but registration is required. If you can’t make it, an email a recording of the session will be sent to everyone who registers.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Resource for Your Practice: NEW! Fieldwork Educator's Workshop


New! Fieldwork Educator’s Workshop Format!

With new placements and preceptors comes fieldwork education training needs. 

Here is a NEW on-line learning opportunity: 

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Education: Transitioning from Practitioner to Teacher

An accessible online-learning program designed by Donna Drynan for preceptors to learn about fieldwork education at their own speed. The new 8-module program, available from the online Workshop area, and has been designed to help preceptors work through the Fieldwork Educators Manual. There will also be twice monthly hosted Zoom drop ins to discuss any queries or questions, details of which can be found on the website.

Monday, 5 October 2020

October is Occupational Therapy Month and A Message from Our CAOT Board Director


October is Occupational Therapy month!  Give our profession your support by posting to your social media account using #OT365!

Here are greetings from your CAOT Board Director, Donna Drynan:

The Board has been extremely busy since March 2020 being responsive to the national needs of all CAOT members. 

Here is a recent update from the September 2020 Board meetings. 

Please reach out at any time to connect!

At its September 17th meeting, the Board of Directors approved a provisional budget and operations plan for 2020-21. Within the budget is funds earmarked in anticipation of the forthcoming plan from the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force, to be received at the next meeting of the Board, so that activities can be promptly initiated. The Board also approved:

·   Terms of Reference for the OTA & PTA Standard Review Sub-Committee. Standards for the education of OTAs and PTAs were last approved in 2012; this committee will review and revise standards 1 to 5.

·   Report from the 2020 Professional Issues Forum “Services for people with autism spectrum disorder across Canada: Initial step to mapping a shared voice.” The report will be available shortly on the CAOT website.

·   The revised Governance Manual, the document that outlines the responsibilities and processes for Board function.


In addition, a variety of reports and updates were shared:

·   Awards and certificates have been sent to all CAOT award recipients; these had been delayed as a result of canceling the conference and awards ceremony. Award recipients have been highlighted in social media postings and are listed on the Awards page on our website.  

·   CAOT is collaborating with COTF as they develop a new strategic plan and consider alternative business models for achieving their goals. In the meantime, the current partnership agreement remains in place.

·   The recent meeting of the Alliance of Canadian Occupational Therapy Professional Associations (ACOTPA, the provincial, territorial, and national associations) included agreement to share strategies and work together across organizations to advance anti-racist, anti-oppression, and social justice goals. 

·   Portions of the public awareness campaign will be tested during the fall. With a focus on aging in place, plus the value of occupational therapy in three practice areas (mental health, return to work, long term care), stories will be posted on multiple digital media platforms. This “soft launch” will inform future media campaign and sharing with the provinces. The Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists tagline, Making the Everyday Possible, will be used nationally.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

cOnnecT with Philipp Santiago

Interview with Mental Health & Substance Use Practice Network chair, Philipp Santiago.

Why did you choose occupational therapy as a career? 
I had always envisioned working in mental health and substance use. Discovering OT at a career fair at the University of Toronto during my undergrad studies (I did a double major in Integrative Biology and Psychology), I was immediately blown away.
I thought, “Whoa – there’s this career that is all about overcoming obstacles (i.e. rehabilitation), with a balanced approach to wellness (including mental health), AND!!! with focus on the core elements of day to day life. How fascinating! #dreamjob 

Where have you worked over your career? Where do you work now?
Oh boy, unbelievably, my OT career started in 2009!
 I started in a return to work program in Nanaimo. Not feeling it was a fit for me, I then moved back to my home province and worked at Ontario Shores, in the Older Adult Mental Health Program. I realized then again that this area of practice wasn’t the perfect match, in terms of my skills and interests. I returned to BC to then work at the Burnaby Mental Health Inpatient Unit (IPU) for approximately 8 years (on and off!), which truly, looking back, was where my passion for OT, and rehabilitation and recovery, really was discovered. Invigorated and #mOTivated, I knew that that was where my own strengths as an OT were optimized, in the same way that we support individuals we serve to discover how to be their best selves. Did an OT create the hashtag #livingmybestlife?!?
I’ve also worked briefly in private practice in Durham Region, Ontario, and over the past 3 years, have been working in different leadership capacities, in temporary positions: first at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Substance Use (Provincial Health Services Authority) as the OT Professional Practice Lead, then at Vancouver Coastal Health as the OT Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) Clinical Resource Therapist, and now again with Fraser Health as the Clinical Lead for OT MHSU.
On the side, I’ve worked with COTBC as a Continuing Competency Exam Sub-Committee Member from 2014-2016, and as a Small Group Tutorial Facilitator with UBC’s Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, starting in 2018.

What do you find most challenging about working as an occupational therapist?
The challenge in supporting the interprofessional team and leadership to truly appreciate the scope of OT practice, especially in MHSU services, continues!
I believe that outcome measures (e.g. COPM) can translate the value of OT (that we already know!) into universal information for others/stakeholders to really digest and understand, fully.
I believe that in OT MHSU practice especially, that us being mindful of how our assessment and intervention is connected to function is super important in keeping ourselves in check (in terms of scope), and being able to objectively reason (for clients, ourselves, our team, and the College) how what we’re doing is legit as OTs (e.g. use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a tool in supporting a client’s occupational goals, versus a stand-alone “therapy” session).

What do you think will change/shape practice over the next five years?
Now more than ever, I believe that virtual services will shape OT practice in the near future. Of course, in appreciating its limitations and how it may be the next best thing compared to how things were done in the past, on the flip side, it may open the door to opportunities, in serving clients in a different way, with broader breadth of outreach. Definitely lots to appreciate, including virtual “burnout” of staff and clients, effects on engagement and rapport-building, access to technology, and the effects of changes in daily routine (e.g. less structured use of time, accessing the outside environment less frequently, less physical movement and exercise, seeing others less, and overall effects on sense of self). We can all appreciate the effects that COVID-19 has had on our own mental health – I can only imagine its effects on those who live with mental illness and/or substance use challenges, especially on their hopes and dreams.

What has surprised you most about working as an occupational therapist?
I’d say that as a sole OT on several interprofessional teams, what has been surprising, in both positive and challenging ways, is the impact of the work that you do as a sole representative of the profession. At times, it’s a lot of pressure, especially if your advocacy for the client from an OT lens isn’t fully appreciated. But, in the instances that the team totally understands and values your involvement, and the work you’ve been doing with the client has been so positively impactful for them, it’s a pleasant surprise!

What is your favourite thing about CAOT-BC? 
I love the accessibility and variety of educational opportunities available! I also love the chance to network with OTs out of my worksite bubble. Each OT definitely puts their own mark on the delivery of OT services, so that is always neat to appreciate, in meeting a variety of OTs from all over the province. CAOT-BC also offers leadership opportunities, such as chairing a practice network (like the Mental Health & Substance Use Practice Network, which I have had the pleasure of chairing for about a year)! Thank you CAOT-BC!


Monday, 21 September 2020

Upcoming Chronic Pain & OT Practice Network meeting

Date: September 30, 2020

Time: 7:00 Pacific Time

Location: Webinar

Topic: Pain OT Happy Hour: Educating Through Lived Experience 

Presenter: Linda Crawford

Registration (free for CAOT-BC members, $20+tax for others)


Educating through Lived Experiences: Empowering People in Pain to Restore Their Bodies, Rebuild Their Lives, and Renew Their Joy

Occupational therapists are specially trained to address the biopsychosocial, or “whole person, whole-life” aspects of a person’s pain experience. This requires ongoing education and support to empower individuals with the skills they need to successfully self-manage and self-direct their lives.

How do we provide that ongoing education and support? Studies show that people only retain 25% of what they hear, and almost 50% of medical information retained is inaccurate. But with “practice by doing” people retain up to 75%!

In this presentation Linda will challenge occupational therapists to explore “practice by doing” teaching methods and explain how she integrates experiences that teach into her 3 part framework for working with people in pain: Restore Your Body, Rebuild Your life, Renew Your Joy.


Linda has a lived experience of four years of persistent pain and has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years. She owns a community based private practice, Brave Therapy, in Denver Colorado and specializes in working with people with complex pain conditions using her 3-part framework: Restore Your Body, Rebuild Your Life, Renew Your Joy.

Prior to her current practice, Linda spent over 10 years of her career specializing in brain injury and stroke rehabilitation. She has also been a complex seating and positioning specialist, and has worked in acute hospital, burn unit, acute and sub-acute rehabilitation, outpatient clinic, and home health settings.