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AOTF Events at the AOTA Annual Conference

Every year, AOTF is proud to hold several events of importance to the occupational therapy community at the AOTA Annual Conference. 

Breakfast with a Scholar

Breakfast with a Scholar showcases scholars in other fields whose work impacts occupational therapy or provides inspiration for OT. 

Past Breakfast Scholars: 
  • Jane Goodall, primatologist
  • J. Seward Johnson, bronze sculptor
  • Mary Catherine Bateson, sociologist and author of Composing a Life 
  • Graham Rowles, social geographer, studies aging in place in Appalachia
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, psychologist and architect of the "flow" theory
  • Juliet Schor, Harvard economist and author of The Overspent American
  • John Hockenberry, NBC correspondent best known for his coverage of the Gulf War from his wheelchair
  • William Least-Heat Moon, professor of English and author of Blue Highways
  • Steve Zeitlin, folklorist and director of City Lore in New York City, studies rituals and creating symbols in dealing with stressful situations
  • Uffe Ulle Jensen, scholar in philosophy and medical ethics
  • Elizabeth Yerxa, occupational therapist, scientist, and professor emerita at the University of Southern California
  • Rae Linda Brown, music scholar specializing in the lives and works of African-American women composers
  • Brenda Smith Myles, authority on behavior, learning, and autism spectrum disorders
  • Suzanne Farrell, legendary ballerina and founder and artistic director of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet company
  • Jan Epton Seale, poet and author of Airlift: The Nuts-and-Bolts Guide to Writing Your Life Story
  • Brian R. Little, psychologist and pioneer of "Personal Projects Analysis"
  • Ruth Purtilo, ethicist and author of Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions
  • Lex Frieden, disability rights advocate and architect of the Americans with Disability Act

  • Marty Evans, Retired Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, what we can learn from past failures of imagination
  • Kenneth R. Feinberg, Special Master, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund spoke on the the value of life.
  • Carolyn Baum and Florence Clark. The future of occupational therapy, celebrating AOTF's 50th anniversary.


Research Colloquium

An AOTF tradition from 1982 to 2014, the Research Colloquium provided a forum where scientists can engage in the important process of constructive critique and dialogue. 

AOTF Doctoral Network Reception and Annual Meeting

The AOTF Doctoral Network (DocNet) supports occupational therapy practitioners engaged in doctoral education by providing networking opportunities and encouraging collaboration among emerging and established scholars.  Each year, the DocNet sponsors an event at the AOTA Conference including small group mentoring, a speaker, and a reception.  

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AOTF Events at the AOTA Annual Conference, April 3-6, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland 

The 20th Annual AOTF Breakfast with a Scholar

How Much is a Life Worth?  A Conversation About Valuing Life Quality
Kenneth R. Feinberg, Esq, Feinberg Rozen, LLP, Washington, D.C. 

The nation's most respected and experienced mediator, Kenneth Feinberg, has been at the forefront of determining fair compensation for victims of many high profile tragedies, whether created by human error, violence or other causes.

As Special Master appointed to manage the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Mr. Feinberg provided pro bono service to the nation at a critical time, working for nearly three years to distribute payments to surviving families of the deceased and those who were physically injured.  Since that time, he has been selected to administer or advise special funds to compensate victims for other tragic events.

These immense responsibilities require deep thought about life and the human condition, about fairness, justice, and balancing the practical realities of disbursing pubic resources to people in distress What factors should influence compensation decisions, and what are the necessary components that figure into estimates of life quality? Mr. Feinberg spoke on the functional, moral, and legal implications of these decisions. 

Moderated by Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA.

AOTF Research Colloquium

Health Services Research:
A Priority for Occupational Therapy in Healthcare Reform

Keynote and Moderator: Barbara Gage, PhD, The Brookings Institution
Presenters: Trudy Mallinson, PhD, OTR/L, NZROT, The George Washington University
Nancy Flinn, PhD, OTR/L, St. Catherine University 
Natalie Leland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, BCG, University of Southern California

The 2014 Research Colloquium highlighted Health Services Research (HSR) and the important contributions that occupational therapy researchers are making to develop effective strategies for organizing, managing, funding, and providing high quality health care.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Barbara Gage from The Brookings Institution, is a national expert on HSR and will provide an overview of the approach and emerging priorities for HSR that are relevant for occupational therapy.  Drs. Mallinson, Leland, and Flinn presented their current work in HSR, proposed opportunities for occupational therapy HSR in the healthcare reform context, and introduced examples of how HSR evidence can enhance and support occupational therapy services. 

Gala -- Express Yourself! at the American Visionary Art Museum

AOTF and friends celebrated creativity at this one-of-a-kind museum.  Click here to view photos.  


AOTF Events at the AOTA Annual Conference, April 25-28, 2013, San Diego, California 


The 19th Annual AOTF Breakfast with a Scholar featured Rear Admiral Marty Evans, U.S. Navy (Retired)


From her unique perspective of a 30-year naval career, RADM Evans spoke on:

How will the future be different?   What can we learn from past failures of imagination?

  • The failure to imagine the scale and scope of natural and man-made disasters on vulnerable populations.
  • The failure to imagine the extent and reach of battlefield trauma-affected veterans and the impact on families and communities.
  • The failure to imagine the health and wellness challenges of an active but aging population. How can occupational therapists working in partnership with the Armed Forces make a difference?  

Evans was the first woman to command a U.S. naval station and chaired the task force formed to address the gender-based issues that gave rise to the infamous Tailhook scandal. After the Navy, RADM Evans led the Girl Scouts of the USA and then became President and CEO of the American Red Cross overseeing its response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma as well as the deadly Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004. RADM Evans was named a 1979-1980 White House Fellow and has been honored with numerous awards and accolades including eight honorary degrees. 


AOTF Takes Flight at 2013 Gala

AOTF's salute to OTs in the military took place at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, one of the country’s premier aerospace museums located in beautiful Balboa Park Friday night, April 26.  Docents led tours and guests socialized surrounded by historic aircraft including the Apollo IX Command Module.  Proceeds from the Gala help support AOTF research, scholarship, and leadership programs.
Click here to view photos of the 2013 Gala. 


AOTF Research Colloquium

An AOTF tradition since 1982, the prestigious Research Colloquium provides a forum where scientists can engage in the important process of constructive critique and dialogue about important research topics.
The 2013 Research Colloquium, A New Era of Rehabilitation Research in Occupational Therapy: Science and Scientists, was moderated by Academy of Research members, Dr. Kenneth Ottenbacher and Dr. Wendy Coster, and featured the research in progress and professional journeys of early stage scientists who have received funding from Rehabilitation Research Career Development Training Grants, Dr. Barbara Doucet, Dr. Timothy Reistetter, and Dr. Timothy Wolf.  

AOTF Doctoral Network Reception and Annual Meeting

The 2013 DocNet Event on April 24 started with information roundtable mentoring followed by the formal reception and meeting. Dr. Sherrilene Classen (scientist), Dr. Barbara Hooper (academic educator and researcher), and Dr. Mary Vining Radomski (clinical researcher) discussed their journeys after receiving their doctorates. 

Balboa Park Garden Tour and Box Lunch

On Wednesday, April 24, AOTF held a visit to the Alcazar and Japanese Friendship Gardens and the Botanical Building at San Diego's Balboa Park. Docents led participants in a tour of the Japanese Friendship Garden and learned about the Japanese landscape design principle: people, natural environment, and culture. Guests also visited the Botanical Building with its 2,100 permanent plants, including collections of cycads, ferns and orchids.

AOTF Events at the 2012 AOTA Annual Conference, April 26-29, Indianapolis, Indiana

18th Annual Breakfast with a Scholar with Lex Frieden, MA, LLD

Evaluating the Americans with Disabilities Act: An Accounting of Progress

Lex Frieden, an internationally known disability rights advocate and leader, spoke on the implementation and aftermath of the Americans with Disability Act.  As one of the architects of the Act, Frieden discussed the meaningful advances and the current threats to policies and practices that have had an impact on the lives of persons with disability.  He addressed how health care reform and the economic crisis create consequences that can threaten the gains achieved during the past twenty years.

The Research Colloquium


The 2012 Research Colloquium focused on Translating Cognitive Research Into Clinical Practice. Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD moderated the Colloquium and the panel consisted of Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Naomi Josman, PhD, OTR; Becky Russell, OTR/L; and Joan Toglia, PhD.  Click here to view photos of the 2012 Research Colloquium. The panel presentation were followed by a lively discussion. 

Click here to view photos of the 2012 Research Colloquium.  

The AOTF Annual Gala 

Dancing teams competed for bragging rights in Dancing With the Stars (Indy-Style). Participants danced while atendees enjoyed food and connecting with friends and colleagues.

Click here to view photos of the 2012 Gala.

The AOTF Doctoral Network Reception & Annual Meeting (DocNet) 

The 2012 DocNet meeting gave attendees information on pursuing a doctoral degree including rewards and realities, qualities to look for in a doctoral program, mentoring process, and career goals.  Winifred Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Max Ito, PhD, OTR/L; Jane Bear Lehman, PhD, OTR; and Shelly J. Lane, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA spoke on Everything You Wanted to Know About Working on a Doctorate.  The event began with informal roundtable mentoring sessions and was followed by a formal reception and meeting.