18-Jan-2021 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM - January 18, 2021 to March 14, 2021

Foundations in brain injury rehabilitation: Mild to moderate severity

Online course

January 18, 2021 to March 14, 2021 (8 weeks)

This online course is now sold out, please add your name to the waitlist here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OC18JAN2021_Waitlist you will also be notified of additional offerings of the course. 

There are approximately 1.5 million Canadians living with the effects of brain injury and rates are rising (Brain Injury Canada, 2020).  Brain injury affects each person differently and environment has a significant impact on function.  As occupational therapists, we are uniquely able to engage with clients within their own environment, and so are well suited to work with this population to facilitate significant change.   Rising rates of brain injury highlight the importance of practicing evidence-based intervention to improve functional outcomes for our clients.

An evidence-based framework of intervention for clients with mild to moderate brain injuries will be introduced and explored during this online course.  Attendees will be guided through the intervention process from the assessment/information gathering phase throughout the intervention process for clients with varying degrees of impairment and in multiple contexts. Strategies to promote brain health and neuroplasticity will also be reviewed.

Sessions will focus on the implementation of evidence-based intervention via multimedia presentations, case studies (including video examples), discussion forums, practical assignments and assigned readings.

Preliminary syllabus:

Week Presentation topic
Week 1
(January 18 - 24, 2021)
Mechanisms of brain injury
Symptom-associated neurophysiology
Framework of intervention
  • Review of the evidence
  • Planning intervention (information gathering, goal setting, developing strategies, choosing an approach)
  • Strategy education (What does the evidence tell us?  What works?  How do we learn?)
  • Collaborating with rehabilitation assistants and family members
Week 2
(January 25 - 31, 2021)
Brain health and neuroplasticity
  • Fitness
  • Sleep
  • Fatigue management
  • Nutrition
  • Applying concepts to practice
Week 3
(February 1 - 7, 2021)
Foundational cognitive and perceptual functions
  • Awareness 
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Fatigue management
  • Vision and vestibular function overview
  • Perceptual functions
  • Information processing
  • Applying concepts to practice
Week 4
(February 8 - 14, 2021)
Executive function, mental health and behavioural/social interaction
  • Executive function
  • Mental health
  • Behavioural/social interaction
Week 5
(February 15 - 21, 2021)
Home-based intervention
  • Self-care 
  • Household management 
  • Budgeting and financial management 
  • Child care
Week 6
(February 22 - 28, 2021)
Community-based intervention
  • Driving
  • Shopping/errands
  • Getting to appointments
  • Interacting with peers 
Week 7
(March 1 - 7, 2021)
Vocational/Avocational Intervention
  • Volunteer
  • Return to work/play
  • Retirement
Week 8
(March 8 - 14, 2021)
Bringing it together
  • Review and consolidation of learned concepts
  • Adapting to varying environments
  • Adapting to varying life stages

Expected time commitment:

Approximately 1.5-2 hours per week for 8 weeks

Goals and learning objectives:

By the end of this online course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify neurophysiological correlates of symptoms post brain injury.
  2. Understand general brain health and neuroplasticity concepts and how they apply to client rehabilitation.
  3. Identify symptoms, their functional implications and strategy options to be customized to the needs of individual clients.
  4. Learn to apply a ‘framework of intervention’ that may be used across age spans and symptom severity in varied environmental (home, community, inpatient) and therapeutic (in-person, virtual, inpatient, in-clinic, in-community) contexts.
  5. Implement and adapt context-specific functional strategies to the client’s symptom and environmental demands.
  6. Learn to evaluate effectiveness of intervention and adapt treatment program as indicated.

Target audience:

Although this course is accessible for beginner-level therapists, intermediate concepts will be introduced in the context of developing activity analysis and clinical reasoning. This course is intended for occupational therapist clinicians, occupational therapist assistants (OTAs), students in occupational therapy programs, physiotherapists, physiotherapist assistants, speech-language pathologists, family members/caregivers and any other health professionals who wish to develop their skills in brain injury rehabilitation for mild to moderate injuries. Please note that material will be geared to the adult population, however, connection will be made to the pediatric and older adult populations in an effort to facilitate transfer and applicability of learning.

Please note: Each participant is responsible to ensure they apply the information within the context of their licensure, provincial/territorial legislations, institution regulations, scope of practice, etc.

Areas of practice

Mental health, Cognitive, Vocational rehabilitation, Health promotion and wellness

Client age groups

Adults (20-64 years)


Beginner (0-2 years of experience in this specific area of practice)


Kate Berry, OT Reg. (Ont.) & Sharie Woelke, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Kate Berry has worked as a community-based occupational therapist since she graduated with a Clinical Masters in Occupational Therapy from McMaster University in 2003. She has also been providing case management services for the past several years. Kate works predominantly in the auto sector with clients who have sustained catastrophic injuries/impairments including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Kate teaches part-time in the Occupational Therapy Assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma Program at Algonquin College. Kate also taught the Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Concussive Syndrome and Neuroplasticity: Tools and Strategies to Promote Recovery workshop with Sharie in 2017 and 2018.

Sharie Woelke is an occupational therapist and registered psychotherapist who is Board Certified in Neurofeedback through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. She is the clinical director of an interdisciplinary clinic in Eastern Ontario. Sharie graduated in 2001. She has clinical experience working with veterans and civilians with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, brain injury, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, chronic pain, stroke and more. Sharie has provided both community and hospital-based intervention. She incorporates multiple intervention modalities and aims to provide clients with a holistic and supportive approach. She has written a series of e-books for brain injury rehabilitation service providers and taught Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Concussive Syndrome and Neuroplasticity: Tools and Strategies to Promote Recovery workshop throughout the United States from 2015 – 2018.

Registration fees:

Early bird rates: Registration and payment completed by November 11, 2020

CAOT Member and Associates

CAOT Student Associates and Retired Members

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Regular rates: Registration and payment completed between November 11, 2020 and January 6, 2021 

CAOT Member and Associates

CAOT Student Associates and Retired Members

Non member*




Plus applicable taxes

Registration deadline: January 6, 2021

Please note that CAOT has reduced the registration fee for all registrants instead of offering a group rate. When available, CAOT offers late registration for online courses at the regular rate plus a $50 administration fee. We will only be able to accommodate if there is sufficient space. Please note that it is your responsibility to still complete the course content in the allocated time frame and extensions will not be provided for late registrants.


Included in your registration fee:
Eight-week online course with access to recorded webinars, script of presentation content, electronic copy of presentation slide handouts, quiz questions, discussion board; opportunity to network and make connections with other occupational therapists interested in this topic; electronic certificate of attendance.

Please note that you are responsible for any costs related to the art supplies for the homework activities related to this course.

Technical requirements:

For optimal setup, please ensure you have access to a computer with stable Internet connection, Adobe Flash Player version 13.0 or higher, and one of the following Internet browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge. The use of headphones to listen to the webinar recordings is recommended.

**FAQ: Will this online course be recorded and made available to watch at a later date?:
This online course includes access to prerecorded webinars. You will be sent an email when the content for the new week is available and you will have one week to view the webinars for that week. The estimated time commitment to complete this online course is 1.5-2.0 hours per week for the 8-week period between January 18, 2021 and March 14, 2021.

Cancellation/refund policy:

All cancellation/refund requests must be sent in writing to education@caot.ca. All cancellation requests received prior to January 6, 2021 will be given a full refund minus a $50.00 administrative fee. All cancellation/refund requests after January 6, 2021 will be given a 50% refund. Substitutions are permitted, subject to a $50.00 administrative fee.

CAOT reserves the right to modify the online course title, description, registration dates and information on the webpage. CAOT will notify participants on or before December 4, 2020 if there is insufficient registration by that date and reserves the right to cancel an online course due to insufficient registration up until December 18, 2020. CAOT reserves the right to modify the offering, interrupt online courses, change the timing of an online course, change the technology for the online course or cancel an online course due to the presenter no longer being able to present, severe weather, power failure, building closures or other special circumstances that are beyond the control of CAOT by notifying participants as soon as possible. If the online course 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 education@caot.ca or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222. Please note that a script of the prerecorded webinars will be provided to you for accessibility purposes.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at education@caot.ca or 1-800-434-2268 ext. 222 should you have additional questions or concerns.