Conference program

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  View the program        Pre-conference workshops     At a glance (titles only)   

Special events: 

CarFit Event Technician & Coordinator Training

This is now a free event but registration is mandatory. Please contact Julie Lapointe- 

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown Tuesday 20 - Train the Trainer- 8:30-16:00  Wednesday 21- Public event 8:30-13:00

This workshop is designed to train participants to become a CarFit Event Technician and Coordinator. CarFit is a community-based education program that offers mature drivers the opportunity to discover how well their cars “fit” them so they can become safer and more comfortable behind the wheel.

Occupational therapists and driver rehabilitation specialists have a unique role in the program as they bring an understanding of aging and medical conditions to the conversation. They have the opportunity to discuss specific concerns with drivers related to driving safety with compassion and sensitivity. For more information about the CarFit program: please visit

A Technician can:

  • Review the 12-point CarFit checklist with participants
  • Assist the CarFit Event Coordinator in conducting CarFit Event
  • Promote CarFit priorities and goals

An Event Coordinator can:

  • Host CarFit events following proper programmatic procedures
  • Train CarFit technicians to assist at your events
  • Secure dates and locations for CarFit events
  • Participate in and manage CarFit events
  • Communicate with the national organizations CAA and CAOT

Participants will be able to:

  1. Promote the event and disseminate the information to key seniors’ organizations and partners of the CarFit program in Canada.
  2. Organize a CarFit Event in their community.
  3. Identify the resources to support their CarFit Event.
  4. Recruit, train and supervise the CarFit technicians and other CarFit volunteers.
  5. Identify and secure a location to train the volunteers and a site to hold the event.


Occupation & Trauma: Expanding Occupational Therapy Practice

Delta Hotel- Chandler  June 20 & 21 8:30-16:30

This two-day workshop will explore the nature and prevalence of trauma and resulting impacts, current evidence-based assessment and intervention approaches using a framework based on client readiness, and holistic practice methods that include families and support networks. The workshop will use both small and large group learning methods, and participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share their own practice experiences. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance electronically upon completion of the workshop.

Day 1

  • Defining trauma: Prevalence, diagnoses, key terms
  • Current trauma interventions and approaches
  • Best practices in assessment and intervention

Day 2

  • Best practices in assessment and intervention
  • Including families and support networks
  • Resilience and post-traumatic growth

Goals and learning objectives

After taking part in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe trauma-related diagnoses and explain its impact on daily life;
  2. Better understand the exposures of first responders, military personnel and veterans;
  3. Utilize a framework for assessment and intervention approaches related to trauma based on client readiness;
  4. Consider the impact on families and support networks; and
  5. Increase their evidence-informed practice and critically consider emerging trends.

Target audience
This workshop is relevant for occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants and students in occupational therapy or OTA/PTA programs who work with (or are interested in working with) adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or operational stress injury (OSI) from any source (e.g., military, first responders, auto accident, victim of abuse, workplace injury, natural disasters).

Megan Edgelow, MSc, OT Reg. (Ont.) is a Lecturer in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University. She has clinical, teaching and research experience in the area of mental health and activity participation. She also has a clinical practice serving Veterans.

Heidi Cramm, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University and Head of Knowledge Translation for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR). Her program of research focuses on military family health.
Costs: prices vary - view fee schedule .

Effective Adult Education Design to Promote Occupational Engagement

Delta Hotel- Brown 8:30-16:30 Mary McNamara and Theresa Straathof

This one-day workshop will explore how to utilize the Adult Learning Model (Kolb, 1984) to design, deliver and evaluate effective occupational therapy interventions with adult clients. Participants will gain insight into using the complete learning cycle and a client-centred coaching process so clients can discover how to apply the information to enable their own occupations and activities. Participants will learn how to write learning objectives and how to evaluate the effectiveness of client education. Group discussions and case scenarios from a variety of practice settings with adults will allow participants to apply and integrate the information for their area of practice.

Goals and learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Write learning objectives that specify a change in the domain of knowledge, skill or attitude to facilitate occupational engagement, and that include standards of measurement for evaluation.
  2. Respect the components of the Adult Learning Model (Kolb, 1984) by choosing questions and activities that support diverse learning preferences and promote change;
  3. Construct an education session relevant to their practice setting using the adult learning cycle.

Target audience:
Occupational therapists who work with adults (in individual or group settings), OTAs, and students in occupational therapy programs who wish to work with adults.

Mary McNamara O.T. Reg.(Ont.) has practised OT in Acute Psychiatry for 20 years, developing and delivering patient education modules on stress management, relaxation, and cognitive behavioural strategies, as applied to occupational performance goals.  Prior to that, she worked in physical rehab settings.  She has a special interest in adult education and the role of mindfulness-informed interventions in mental health.

Theresa Straathof O.T. Reg. (Ont.) has practiced in acute care at The Ottawa Hospital for 25 years.  Primary area of practice is mental health, but also included rotations on the Geriatric Assessment Unit, Medicine/Neurology, and the Heart Institute. Special interests include coping strategies development, resilience and student education.

Costs:  prices vary - view fee schedule

Knowledge translation: Getting research into practice

Delta 13:00- 15:00
By Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy Editorial Board

Have you ever tried to implement recommendations from research into your everyday practice? It can be harder than you think. This 2-hour interactive workshop will provide participants with an overview of knowledge translation principles that can help researchers and occupational therapy clinicians close the gap between research and practice. Knowledge translation principles will be discussed in relation to planning research so it is ready for translation, the processes involved in translating evidence into practice, common barriers and enablers for knowledge translation, and strategies that can be used to bring about practice change in the light of key research findings. Participants will leave with handouts and information about the process of knowledge translation and practical strategies to its use.

Cost: $10.00

Opening ceremonies

Palmer/Pope 19:00 – 20:30

  • Delegate welcome and entertainment
  • Keynote speaker: CAOT President Nicola MacNaughton. Read more

Trade Show Grand Opening
Sir John A/MacDonald/Coles 20:30 -
Check out our trade show exhibitors who will be showcasing their latest innovations, products and services. You’ll have an opportunity to:

  • Expand your national contact network of suppliers, distributors and service providers;
  • Learn about and compare the latest innovative products;
  • Visit the CAOT Marketplace, where you can purchase publications, products and meet the national office staff;
  • Enjoy snacks and beverages as you meet our exhibitors
  • Win fabulous prizes!

Breakfast with the President 

Palmer/Pope 7:30 -8:15
Join CAOT President, Board of Directors and national staff for an informal town hall-style meeting while enjoying a sit-down breakfast. This get-together will provide members with a brief Association update followed by the opportunity to discuss emerging issues or bring forward your great ideas.  

Awards ceremony

Palmer/Pope 8:30-10:00
CAOT & COTF will honour fellow occupational therapists that have made outstanding contributions to advancing the profession by presenting our award winners.

Social networking: Tweet up-meet up

Tupper 10:00-10:30

Whether you are active on social media or just thinking about it, join us at CAOT’s second annual Tweet Up-Meet Up. Hosted by CAOT’s Giovanna Boniface, this dynamic session helps you expand your social occupational therapy network, meet fellow colleagues, tweeters, bloggers and Facebook friends and share ideas on how we can use social media to promote occupational therapy.

Muriel Driver Memorial Lecture

Palmer/Pope 13:00-14:00
Dr. Whalley Hammell’s lecture is sure to awaken our intellectual curiosity and will inspire us to push farther, modify our practices and take pride in our profession. She will share keen insights that will encourage us to deepen our vision of occupational therapy. Read more .

PEI Kitchen Party

New Glasgow Lobster Suppers 16:30 – 12:00

Don your clamdiggers or other casual wear and join us for a lively evening at the longest-running, traditional lobster supper on PEI! You will arrive, via a scenic bus ride, at the venue situated along the picturesque River Clyde and begin your evening with a mussel bar, followed by a lobster/steak or vegan meal and the choice of four desserts including their famous “mile-high” lemon pie. Don't let the pie distract you, COTF will be holding a live auction during dessert! Once the auction is over, we’ll push back the tables and bring on the deejay who has a reputation of getting everyone involved in at least one or two jigs. Memorialize your evening with shots from our kitchen party photo booth.  Buses start returning at 21:30. 

Ticketed event- $70.00. Bus transportation included.



Plenary panel – Learning through lived experience

Palmer/Pope 13:00
Two clients and two occupational therapists from entirely different settings and domains will share experiences and perspectives regarding their journey with occupational therapy. Read more

"The Great Amazing Race Charlottetown!"

Location: Downtown Charlottetown 19:00

Join us for an Island version of the Race. The starting line for the race will be at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, where you will form teams, and be given clues to weave your way on foot around the historic hotspots of Charlottetown, the waterfront and downtown. Clues will eventually lead you to 'The Pour House' (second level of The Old Triangle), where we will end the night with drinks, snacks and music, all while learning Island traditions and celebrating the winning team! Get your sneakers on, thinking caps ready and........GO............The Race is on!

There is a free gift for the first 75 to arrive!
Ticketed event: $20.00

Conversations that matter

Saturday, June 24 9:30 - 9:55

New for Conference 2017! Grab a coffee and connect with like-minded colleagues from across Canada. Facilitated by CAOT staff, these informal discussions will provide delegates with an opportunity to discuss topics that matter to the profession. All sessions will take place during the morning coffee break on Saturday, June 24. Choose your topic and come ready to chat!

Room: Tilley      Topic: Evidence for Occupational Therapy: A discussion of recent literature that supports the value of occupational therapy

Room: Cartier    Topic: Advocating & Promoting Occupational Therapy: Challenges, strategies and innovating for change

Room: Langevin Topic: Seniors: Occupational therapy and aging in place

Room: Tilley      Topic: Military and Veterans: The role of occupational therapy

Featured speaker and Closing luncheon

Palmer/Pope 12:15-13:00
Speaker Mark Henick

Mark dedicated his life from an early age to opening minds and creating change. Informed by his direct experience with stigma and the mental health care system as an adolescent, Mark explores the complicated relationship between suicide and choice. He breaks down the experience from an insider’s view – his own.

We are pleased to extend an invitation to hear Mark Henick speak at this closing, sit-down lunch; a new highlight of this year’s program.  Read more .

The Hand-off

Palmer/Pope 13;00-13:30 
The CAOT 2017 Conference Host Committee will carry on the tradition of passing on the conference journal to next year’s committee. CAOT 2018 Conference will be held in Vancouver, BC, June 20-23.


Professional issue forums

Supporting the Contribution of Occupational Therapist Assistants
Tupper, Thursday, June 22 14:00
Since inception of the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant (OTA & PTA) Education Accreditation Program (EAP) in 2012, some employers and health care teams are beginning to recognize accredited programs by requesting graduates of these programs in job applications. Additionally, there is a much greater awareness of the role, value and contribution of occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) on the inter-professional health care team.

CAOT has actively collaborated with the OTA & PTA EAP and would like to continue efforts to enhance education and practice, and provide greater visibility and support to the role that OTAs play in the delivery and capacity-building of occupational therapy services across the health care system. OTAs work within the regulatory environment of occupational therapy and are a viable health human resources solution.

This forum will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about current issues and to discuss strategies needed to nurture collaborative OT/OTA relationships and promote future practice initiatives. Panelists will present on topics related to assistants including survey results of OTs/OTAs and employers regarding perceptions of OTA roles and needs, accreditation of education programs, inter- and intra-professional education needs, fieldwork education and clinical practice. Participants will be encouraged to generate recommendations and provide input towards a broader vision of assistants in Canada. What is an achievable vision for OTAs in the next 5 years? What supports are needed to help OTAs practice safely and effectively?

Recovery in mental health
Pope, Friday, June 23 8:30
Recovery in mental health is a recognized best practice paradigm in delivering mental health services in Canada (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2015). Advancing recovery so that it permeates all levels of the service system is an ongoing and evolving process; one that occupational therapists need to play a role in. What is that role? This professional issue forum (PIF) will challenge occupational therapists to define their top priorities in relation to recovery-oriented practice by considering the following: what can occupational therapy offer the recovery-oriented approach in the mental health system, how can occupational therapists address gaps in the system, and what strategic actions can our profession take to advance the recovery-oriented approach?

The session will begin with four expert panelists; each contributing a unique piece of the dialogue about occupational therapy in a recovery-oriented practice. Sequentially, the panelists will address: the multiple definitions of recovery discussed in our service systems; the social and political landscape of recovery in Canada; how occupational therapy might be situated to provide a unique and valued contribution to the evolution of recovery-oriented services; and how occupational therapists can use evidence-based strategies to strategically disperse their contributions. Following the panel presentations, audience members will divide into small groups to discuss the central question, “How should we position occupational therapy to advance the recovery vision in the coming years?” Possible action plans for moving forward will be discussed as a large group to conclude the session.

CAOT Sessions

Truth and reconciliation: A call to action for occupational therapy
Tupper, Thursday, June 22 11:00 - 12;00

Angie Phenix, Kaarina Valavaara, Gayle Restall and Havelin Anand
Introduction: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its landmark report in 2015. The report challenges all Canadians to redress the ongoing marginalization and oppression of Indigenous peoples. Objectives: The purpose of this session is to raise awareness of the role that occupational therapists have in understanding the history and consequences of colonization in Canada, and responding to the Commission’s Calls to Action. By the end of this session participants will: 1) use an anti-oppressive lens gain greater understanding of how social positions in Canadian society, including those of occupational therapists, are assigned value and privilege; 2) increase their awareness of the influence of colonization on the inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples; and 3) identify opportunities for occupational therapists to partner with Indigenous peoples to redress these colonial consequences. Approach: We will present a summary of the Commission’s findings and Calls to Action. Through case examples and small group discussions, participants will identify ways in which occupational therapy practices can create or reduce inequities and oppression. In a large group, participants will share ideas and insights on the ways that occupational therapists can respond to the Calls to Action in partnership with Indigenous peoples. Practice Implications: Occupational therapy clinicians, educators and researchers can use an anti-oppressive lens to analyze the ways in which their practices have the potential to create or reduce inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples and identify their roles in responding to the Calls to Action. Conclusions: The Commission called on all Canadians to engage in a process of reconciliation. This session will involve occupational therapists in developing a growing awareness of how they can meet their moral and ethical responsibility to respond to the Calls to Action. The session also will facilitate the ongoing work and advocacy efforts of CAOT and the Occupational Therapy and Aboriginal Health Network with decision makers, government stakeholders and other health professionals.

Enabling safety, health and well-being for drivers with musculoskeletal conditions
Gray, Thursday, June 22 11:00 - 11:30
Julie Lapointe, Tamalea Stone and Janet Craik
Background: Drivers with arthritis may experience multiple body impairments that can affect safe operation of a motor vehicle. However, there is a paucity of specific information and resources to support these drivers. To answer this unmet need, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) has spearheaded the National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in Drivers with Arthritis, a strategic action plan to advance research, practice, education and policy for injury prevention for drivers with arthritis. Objective: To present the results of the scoping review and the strategic action plan developed through the National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in Drivers with Arthritis. Results: Since 2006, CAOT has led national, collaborative actions for injury prevention in older drivers and has offered Internet resources, community outreach activities as well as advanced training to more than 1,000 professionals. CAOT received a planning and dissemination grant to conduct a scoping review and assemble a group of experts and key stakeholders committed to advance driving safety for people with arthritis. This group analyzed the results of the scoping review, participated in Delphi rounds and attended a one-day in-person meeting in May 2016 to develop this National Blueprint. Conclusion: The input of several professionals is instrumental in addressing the needs of this growing population of drivers. The National Blueprint for Injury Prevention in Drivers with Arthritis will inspire collaborative actions in addressing the most pressing needs to contribute to the safety, health and well-being of drivers with musculoskeletal conditions.

Process into Practice: CAOT’s Product Recognition Program
Pope, Thursday, June 22 15:00 - 15:30
Julie Lapointe and Diane Wessman
Aligned with its mission, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is always seeking to provide tools and resources to support excellence in practice. For many occupational therapists, recommending assistive technologies and products is part of their regular practice. To support occupational therapists in their selection and recommendation process, CAOT has designed and implemented a comprehensive review process, the CAOT Product Recognition Program. Participants will work through the structured, collaborative and evidence-informed review process used for the CAOT Product Recognition Program. A product is going to be reviewed by participants using a subset of questions from the reviewer form. A group discussion will be facilitated to answer the questions and further explain the rationale of the program. When choosing health care products or technology, it is important to consider multiple types of evidence and different perspectives (Pal, 2013). CAOT’s Product Recognition Program synthesizes the evidence generated by the review and transfers this knowledge to occupational therapists, the public, manufacturers and all stakeholders in the form of a Product Recognition Report. A major outcome of this program and of the dissemination of the reports it generates is to increase both manufacturer and public understanding of the role of occupational therapists in recommending assistive technology and products.

CAOT Provincial Chapter Updates: CAOT-BC and ACE-QC
Tupper, Friday, June 23 13:30 - 14:00
Giovanna Boniface and France Verville
The first provincial chapter of CAOT, CAOT-BC celebrated its 5th birthday on October 1, 2016. On that historic day, the second provincial chapter, ACE-QC began operations in Quebec. Presenters will discuss highlights of the past year in both provinces and respond to questions about the chapter model of provincial-national representation.

Student Event
Tilley, Friday, June 23 17:00 - 17:30
CAOT national office staff
CAOT- your career partner for life. All students are welcome to attend this interactive forum. Come meet and chat with CAOT staff to learn about the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination(NOTCE) preparatory tools, the importance of professional liability insurance, how CAOT will support you throughout your career, and more. Get all your questions answered.

Academic Writing for the New Authors
MacDonald, June 24 10:00-11:00
Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy Editorial Board
This 1-hour interactive workshop is designed to help the new author prepare their first peer-reviewed journal or practice magazine submission. The workshop will focus on topics including determining authorship, choosing an audience, choosing a publication, deciding on key messages, constructing the “storyline,” creating a detailed outline, and understanding the “rules of engagement” in publishing.


Sponsored Sessions

ACOTRO Sponsored Session
Archibald, 10:30 - 11:30
10 Provinces – One Profession
Heather Cutcliffe, Cathy Pente and Sherry Just
Have you ever wondered if you are allowed to drive into another province to do a home visit with the client you have been treating in your facility? Do you suppose it would be appropriate to tell someone at a party that you are a “retired OT”? What rules are there around technologies such as tele-health and social media? What do LMSA and SEAS stand for and how do they work? These questions and many more are discussed around the ACOTRO table as national questions that all provincial regulators must consider as they work within the mandates of public protection, following provincial legislation and regulations. Join ACOTRO members for updates on regulatory topics such as use of title, cross jurisdictional practice, teleconferencing, use of the exam and competencies in registration. Discover what ACOTRO has on its wish list for the 21st century.

ACOTUP Sponsored Session
Archibald, 15:00 - 16:00
Establishing priorities for educational research in occupational therapy
Introduction: Approaches to education and learning modalities are in rapid transition. Distance learning technologies, blended learning, competency-based education and attention to issues of poverty and occupational marginalization are just a few examples of emerging opportunities in OT education.
Objectives: This session will seek to
1) identify emerging trends in education,
2) highlight areas where evidence is needed for future excellence in OT education, and
3) begin to articulate a vision and focus for OT educational research in Canada.
Approach: This interactive session will engage participants in dialogue about the future of OT education in Canada, and in exploring opportunities for research collaboration. We will begin with a short review of the areas of OT educational research that were identified in the 2014 Research on Education survey of educational research in Canada, and move into small group discussion of emerging trends in educational scholarship. The leaders will then facilitate a plenary discussion bringing together ideas, and seek to identify central themes and direction for later development by a newly developed community of practice in educational research. Practice Implications: Priorities and strategies emerging from this session may serve as the foundation for cross-institutional grant applications and ongoing discussion amongst members of the emerging community of practice.
Conclusion: This session will help to focus and lay out future activities for the ACOTUP Research on Education (ROE) community of practice.

WFOT Sponsored Session
Langevin, 8:30 - 9:30
WFOT collaboration in global initiatives: adding value and promoting the profession
Andrew Freeman
Did you know that all CAOT members are automatically also members of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)? You undoubtedly want to know, therefore, about WFOT’s collaborations on a variety of initiatives with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations and the International Labour Organization. WFOT’s contributions add value to these initiatives but also serve as an important tool for promoting our profession. During this session, I will provide an overview of some of these initiatives, for example, the WHO Disability Action Plan and its Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) project. Being aware of WFOT’s collaborations helps us to understand global trends and to make links between these developments and what’s taking place in our own country.

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