Special Events

ASD Connection Gathering

Wednesday, March 20 | 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

The Assembly of Student Delegates Steering Committee (ASDSC) is excited to welcome the Assembly of Student Delegates to kickoff AOTA INSPIRE 2024. Join your peers for an evening gathering where we’ll celebrate our successes, share insights on SOTA initiatives, network for creative collaboration opportunities, and provide updates on our institutions.

Participation in the gathering is free and limited to current ASD representatives and ASD alternates. Preregistration is required. Questions? Email asd@aota.org.

The Morning Buzz

Thursday, March 21 | 7:15 am–8:00 am

Sarah Michel, AOTA INSPIRE Host

Getting the Most Out of Your AOTA INSPIRE 2024 Orlando Experience

Some of the most valuable opportunities at AOTA INSPIRE 2024 will come from the people you meet. Start your experience off on the right foot and network with veteran attendees to learn ideas, strategies, and short-cuts to help you navigate your AOTA INSPIRE experience. Coffee will be served.

INSPIRE Attendees Thumbs Up

Keynote Address

Thursday, March 21 | 11:15 am–12:30 pm

Simon T. Bailey, Writer and Entrepreneur

Resilience at Work – How to Coach Yourself into a Thriving Future

After leaving Disney and reinventing himself five times in twenty years, Simon realized it was time to evolve yet again.

What does Resilience at Work look like? Be prepared to accept How to Coach Yourself into a Thriving Future. It’s not just a business parable; it is a call to arms. A call to embrace the unknown, to transform adversity into triumph, and to forge a path towards a future that will leave everything in its wake. Brace yourselves, for the journey ahead will be both tumultuous and awe-inspiring. Simon will share the resilience of occupational therapy practitioners—that he interviewed prior to his keynote—that will serve as a ray of hope, illuminating the way forward in this brave new world. 

Proud Sponsor

Simon T. Bailey, a trailblazer in his field, has ascended to extraordinary heights, recognized among Success magazine’s Top 25 alongside Brené Brown, Tony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey, as well as leadersHum Top 200 Power List in 2023.

With the Disney Institute as his launchpad, he’s left an indelible mark on 2,300+ organizations in 54 countries, such as American Express, Deloitte, Marriott, Visa, Stanford Health Care, and Taco Bell. Through books, speeches, and coaching, Simon captivates the lives of countless individuals around the globe, inspiring them to lead better, stay curious, and embrace a growth mindset.

Prepare to be empowered and reach new heights as he propels you toward a brilliant future. Your journey to brilliance starts now.

Celebrating 100 Years of the American Occupational Therapy Association Accrediting Occupational Therapy Education

Thursday, March 21 | 2:45 pm–3:45 pm

Jennifer Kaldenberg, DrPH, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA and Teresa Brininger, PhD

This event will trace the history of accreditation within occupational therapy education, from an initial call for action from the Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army for a set of standards for Reconstruction Aides, to current day.

The Hidden Occupations and Co-Occupations of Women 2.0

Thursday, March 21 | 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Featured L-R: Sally Wasmuth, PhD, OTR, Aviril Sepulveda, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, SCFES,  Leanne Yinusa-Nyahkoon, ScD, OTR/L, Mara Podvey, PhD, OTR, PMH-C, FAOTA,

Back by popular demand, this panel of Women and Infant Health experts will continue the discussion around the occupations and co-occupations related to the perinatal period for both women and infants, and the important role that OTs and OTAs have in advocating for those needs.

They will explore common problems for pregnant/postpartum women in pediatric or other practice areas when the perinatal state is not the reason for seeking services, and why this is important in areas of occupational therapy practice outside of women’s health.

Film Screening: Do No Harm

Thursday, March 21 | 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

How do we respond to the reproductive rights controversy? How does legislation impact best practice? Join us for a screening of the short film – Do No Harm – which is a theatrical exploration of the impact of reproductive rights legislation based upon interviews with healthcare professionals.

A moderated panel will discuss the issues raised after the film. Join the discussion. Open to all registered attendees.

Yoga for EveryBODY: Community Yoga Class

Friday, March 22 | 7:00 am–7:45 am

Led by Jessica K. Lynn Hatfield, MS, OTR/L, SIPT, CKTP

Unite with your OT community for a dynamic vinyasa class. In this class, you will move, lengthen, and breathe with emphasis on mindfulness, alignment, and focus. While this class is designed for all humans regardless of circumstances, you will be asked to step outside of your comfort zone to transform in all aspects of being human: mind, body and spirit. Be ready to connect, laugh, and grow!

Recommendations: Wear layered nonrestrictive clothing. Bring water, a hand towel, and yoga mat. Pro-Tip: Foldable travel yoga mats fit great in suitcases. Hotel towels also work great in a pinch!

AOTF Breakfast with a Scholar

Friday, March 22 | 7:00 am–9:00 am

Katie Brandt, MM, Director of Caregiver Support Services and Public Relations, Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit

The Caregiver Trifecta: Empowering Family Caregivers and Clinicians to Plan for Personhood, Dignity and Connection at Every Stage of Care

Katie Brandt is a powerful public speaker, educator and advocate in the national healthcare and research space. She is on a mission to enhance clinical care, advance research and impact public policy for serious health conditions including Alzheimer’s, young-onset dementias, and rare disorders. 

Katie will introduce the Caregiver Trifecta, an innovative person-centered care planning approach that incorporates the person with the diagnosis and their care partners as the anchor for each element of care. Weaving together personal experiences and professional knowledge, Katie illuminates the power of the authentic voice to build connections that help joy endure even as memories fade. 

*ticketed event

Katie Brandt

Autonomous Vehicle Demonstration

Friday, March 22 | 10:30 am–1:30 pm

Come and learn from the University Florida Department of Occupational Therapy and Beep on the potential of autonomous mobility for all members of the public. Autonomous mobility can transform connectivity for communities while increasing access.

Talk with members of the University Florida Department of Occupational Therapy and Beep about the research done to date that accounts for the rider experience and use of these emerging technologies as additive transportation solutions. 

UF logo
Beep Truck
Beep logo

TRANSform Your Perspective: Why Gender-Affirming Care Matters

Friday, March 22 | 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Featured L-R: Bri Guillory, OTD, OTR/L, “Tay” Temor Amin-Arsala OT, MS, OTR, Varleisha D. (Gibbs) Lyons PhD, OTD, OTR/L, ASDCS, FAOTA, Vanessa M. Galindo-Jackson, OTD, OTR/L, Jack Kleine, OTD, MOT, OTR/L

Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals face unique barriers that can result in occupational injustice, deprivation, and alienation. Join this panel of transgender occupational therapy practitioners and care givers as they share their experiences to help educate and motivate you to deliver client-centered, gender-affirming care that promotes engagement in occupations. 

Presidential Address

Friday, March 22 | 11:30 am–12:15 pm

Alyson Stover, MOT, JD, OTR/L, BCP

Different but Same

Discover how occupational therapy is the ultimate contradiction; we are the same but can look so different. Join AOTA President Stover as she highlights some of the unique ways occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are practicing today and come away inspired by the positive impact we’re making in the world.

What inspired Alyson Stover’s address? Learn more from this recent article in OT Practice magazine!

Boston University
Proud Sponsor
Alyson Stover Headshot

Salsa Break

Friday, March 22 | 12:30 pm–1:15 pm

Led by Renee Ortega, PhD, BC-DMT, LCAT, COTA and Alison M. Rangel, OTD, MS, OTR/L

An upbeat and active celebration of dance to Latin Rhythms. Terapeutas Ocupacionales para Diversidad Oportunidad y Solidaridad (TODOS) and the AOTA Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion (MDI) groups invite you to join this exciting Salsa Dance Break.

State of the Science

Progress in OT Assessment: How Are We Measuring Up?

Friday, March 22 | 3:00 pm–5:30 pm

Featured L-R: Trudy Mallinson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, FACRM, Simone Gill, PhD, OT, OTR/L, FAOTA, Michelle L. Woodbury, PhD, OTR/L, Jennifer Weaver, PhD, MA, OTR/L, BS, CBIS, Jessica M. Kramer, PhD, OTR/L

Assessment tools play a key role in building research that advances our understanding of human occupation and health and that provide an evidentiary base that informs occupational therapy practice. Occupational therapy researchers have contributed to key advances by using innovative measurement models, defining and measuring new concepts, and demonstrating treatment effectiveness. 

Yet, we also stand at a crossroads. Challenges include the departure of established researchers (and assessments), limited workforce development opportunities, and obstacles to integrating assessments into clinical and research workflows. This session will reflect on past achievements, current cutting-edge approaches, and how we will continue to lead and innovate measurement in the future.

*ticketed event

Mallison Head Shot
Gill Headshot
Weaver Head Shot
Kramer Head Shot

An Enduring Legacy: Celebrating 50 years of NBOTC Excellence

Friday, March 22 | 7:00 pm–11:00 pm

The National Black Occupational Therapy Caucus was founded in 1974 to advocate for and support Black occupational therapy practitioners, students, and the communities served by occupational therapy. Join us as we celebrate this historic milestone.

*ticketed event

Yoga for EveryBODY: Gentle Yoga Practice

Saturday, March 23 | 7:00 am–7:45 am

Led by Rachel Allen-McHugh, PP-OTD, MS, OTR/L, RYT, CEIM

Join your fellow occupational therapy practitioners for a gentle yoga practice. This class will provide you the opportunity to gently move, stretch, and breathe in preparation for another great day at AOTA INSPIRE 2024! Variations will be provided to assist individuals with unique physical needs. Chairs will be available for those who prefer not to be seated on the floor.

Recommendations: Wear layered non-restrictive clothing, Bring a water bottle, hand towel, and yoga mat. You may substitute a hotel towel for a mat if needed.

International Breakfast

Saturday, March 23 | 9:00 am–10:30 am

Rawan AlHeresh, PhD, OTR/L

Harnessing the Power of Community in Occupational Therapy: Working with Refugees and Beyond 

Join Dr. Rawan Alheresh, occupational therapist, as she discusses her work in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. She will discuss the foundations of community-engaged practice, critical reflection of community versus person-centered practice, and lessons learned from harnessing the power of communities in practice.

*Dr. Alheresh will be joining us virtually from Jordan. This is a ticketed event.

Rawan Headshot

Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture

Saturday, March 23 | 11:15 am–12:30 pm

Anita Bundy, ScD, OT/L, FAOTA, FOTARA

Bubble wrap is for Packages, Not for People: Balancing Dignity of Risk with Duty of Care

Supporting clients and their families to live “ordinary lives” is at the heart of occupational therapy. But an ordinary life—no matter who is living it—is full of risks. And risks often make us a little anxious. What if I, as a practitioner, encourage a client to take a risk and something undesirable does happen? Will I have shirked my duty of care?

Not all experiences we label as risky lead to undesirable outcomes. Some simply involve challenge by pushing individuals beyond their comfort zone so they can achieve more than ever before.

Self-esteem is born out of meeting challenges. So is respect. In supporting clients and families to meet the challenges of an ordinary life, we balance duty of care with dignity of risk.

What inspired Anita Bundy’s lecture? Learn more from this recent article in OT Practice magazine!

T.Erik Davi

Boutique Drum Circle Experience

Saturday, March 23 | 12:30 pm–1:15 pm

Led by T. Erik Davi, BA, COTA/L – JDT Resort, Lincoln Park, NJ

Build confidence and boost energy while connecting with this unique rhythm community. Experience live performance empowerment with bongos, congas, full drum kits, and percussion while easing the negative effects of stress.

AOTA’s NBCOT® Exam Prep Knowledge Quest

Saturday, March 23 | 3:00 pm–4:30 pm

Looking for a fun way to practice for the NBCOT® Exam? Join fellow students from across the country at the AOTA Exam Prep Knowledge Quest.

Cheer on five entry-level OT and OTA programs as they compete for AOTA prizes and bragging rights.

Want to compete? Gather 4 classmates and appoint a Team Captain (5 students per team) to complete this form by March 5. Teams must be current OT or OTA students from one program who have not yet taken the NBCOT® exam.

Awards & Recognitions Ceremony

Saturday, March 23 | 5:15 pm–6:30 pm

Each year, AOTA and AOTF recognize and honor our colleagues who have made significant contributions to enrich the profession of occupational therapy. Feel the excitement and be inspired during this year’s engaging ceremony, as we unveil the winners of AOTA’s and AOTF’s most prestigious awards.

Awards & Recognitions Reception

Saturday, March 23 | 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

It’s time to celebrate with AOTA and AOTF award recipients! Photo ops, music, socializing, and more create an unforgettable evening of festivities for all to enjoy as we close out AOTA INSPIRE 2024! Free to everyone.

AOTPAC Night: Fun in the Sun

Saturday, March 23 | 7:30 pm–10:30 pm

Join us as we close AOTA INSPIRE 2024 with a fun night of  music, dancing, and celebration, while supporting AOTPAC and AOTA advocacy efforts! 

Snacks and cash bar will be available. Watch for updates as we further develop plans for this evening to remember.

Tickets: $50; $25 for students (personal funds only, please). The cost is a contribution to AOTPAC to support its political purposes.

Attendees at AOTA INSPIRE

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