CAOT- Occupational therapist assistants can improve occupational performance: Let’s talk!- Hamilton, ON
2-Mar-2018 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
116 King St West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4V3

Occupational therapist assistants can improve occupational performance: Let’s talk!

Hamilton, Ontario

Friday, March 2, 2018 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Client access to occupational therapy can be improved by the timely and appropriate involvement of occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) in service delivery.  This interactive one-day workshop will discuss current OTA education and OT/OTA clinical collaborations, as well as introduce potential growth of the OTA position within public and private funded work environments.  Professional dialogue must occur between occupational therapists and OTAs to create a vision of effective intraprofessional occupational therapy for our clients resulting in the achievement of optimal occupational performance.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance electronically following the workshop.

Workshop topics:

  • Knowledge and skills of current OTA graduates
  • Appropriate task assignment to OTAs
  • Supervision of OTAs
  • Evaluation of OTA participation in client service delivery
  • Emerging roles for OTAs, within public and private funded work environments
  • Discussion on effective OT/OTA collaboration

Goals and learning objectives:

After taking part in this workshop, participants will: 

  1. Recognize foundational knowledge and skills of OTA graduates.
  2. Describe the task assignment and supervision process.
  3. Integrate OTA participation into the delivery of occupational therapy services.
  4. Evaluate client outcomes following OTA involvement in treatment.
  5. Advocate for further research to determine the effectiveness of the OT/OTA collaboration.

Target audience:

This workshop is intended for occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, students in occupational therapy programs, students in OTA/PTA programs, employers/managers of OTs and OTAs, and educators in occupational therapy or OTA/PTA programs in a variety of practice settings who wish to improve client access to occupational therapy with the timely, consistent and appropriate involvement of OTAs in delivery of service. Those with 0-5 years of experience collaborating with OTAs and integrating OTAs into the occupational therapy service delivery as well as those with a future vision for greater intraprofessional integration of OTAs in client care would particularly benefit from this workshop.

Please note: The roles and responsibilities of occupational therapist assistants vary across practice settings as well as between provincial and territorial jurisdictions. The content for the Hamilton location of this workshop will be tailored to OT and OTAs working in Ontario. 

Areas of practice

Mental health, cognitive, neurological and neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, digestive, metabolic, and endocrine, general physical health, vocational rehabilitation, palliative and end-of-life care

Client age groups

Young children (0-4 years), school age children (5-12 years), adolescents (13-19 years), adults (20-64 years), seniors (65 years +), supporting your practice

Workshop level:

Beginner-Intermediate (0-5 years of experience working with OTAs)


Heather Gillespie

Heather Gillespie graduated with a Dip. O.T. in 1977 and a B.O.T. in 1986, both from the University of Manitoba.  Her clinical experience spans the care continuum including acute care, rehabilitation, community and residential care.  Collaborating with occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) has been prevalent throughout her career, having participated in the evolution from on-the-job-trained education to current accredited College programs. She was the Program Head for the Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant program at the Saskatchewan Institute for Applied Science and Technology 1998-2001, and is currently an instructor for the Therapist Assistant Distributed Learning program at Medicine Hat College in Alberta. She has presented at numerous conferences and forums on topics related to OTAs, including five CAOT National Conferences and a Professional Issues Forum on Support Personnel in 2001.  She co-edited the March/April 2015 OT Now Special Issue on OTAs and she co-presented a two-part CAOT webinar series on the Occupational Therapist/OTA Collaboration:  Current Trends and Emerging Roles (November 29 and December 6, 2016).  She is a Peer Review Team Member for the OTA/PTA Education Accreditation Program, and was involved in developing the current COTBC Practice Guideline on Supervising Support Personnel.

Registration fees:

Early bird rates: Registration and payment completed by November 29, 2017

CAOT Member and Associates

Student Associates

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Regular rates: Registration and payment completed between November 30, 2017 and January 24, 2018

CAOT Member and Associates

Student Associates

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Please note that for the 2017-2018 workshops, CAOT has reduced the registration fee for all registrants instead of offering a group rate. When available, CAOT offers late registration for workshops at the regular rate plus a $50 administration fee. We will only be able to accommodate if there is sufficient space.

Registration deadline: January 24, 2018

*In many cases it would be more cost effective to become a CAOT Member or Associate rather than pay the non-member rate. See “Can a non-member register for a Workshop?” in our Workshop FAQ to know which membership category you are eligible for. 

Included with your registration fee:

One-day workshop, electronic copy of presentation slide handouts, opportunity to network and make connections with other OTs and OTAs passionate about improving client service delivery through intraprofessional collaboration, coffee/tea/water during mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks, one-hour Q&A webinar with the presenter approximately 2 months following the webinar, electronic certificate of attendance

The Workshop registration fee has been reduced by $40 by not including lunch and snacks. Lunch and snacks are on your own.

Maximum number of registrants:


Workshop location:

Sheraton Hamilton Hotel
116 King St West
Hamilton, ON L8P 4V3

Cancellation/refund policy:

All cancellation/refund requests must be sent to Cancellation requests received prior to January 24, 2018 will be given a 50% refund. CAOT will not provide a refund after the registration deadline.

CAOT reserves the right to modify the offering, interrupt Workshops, change the timing of a Workshop, cancel a Workshop or change the location of a Workshop because of insufficient registration, severe weather, power failure, building closures or other special circumstances that are beyond the control of CAOT. If the Workshop is cancelled by CAOT, registrants will receive a full refund of the registration fee. CAOT will not be responsible for other costs or expenses incurred by registrants as a result of any such changes.

Additional questions?

If you would like to inquire on accessibility options available to you, please contact or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222.

If you would like to attend this workshop in another location, please complete this brief survey to let us know. Please note that the registration fee may vary from one location to another as there are different costs involved.

We invite you to consult the Workshop FAQ for an immediate response to the most frequent questions we receive regarding Workshops. Please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222 should you have additional questions or concerns.

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