OT Step & Push Challenge

Wednesday, April 19, 10:00 am–Sunday, April 23, 2:00 pm

Let us collectively do over 15 million STEPS and manual wheelchair PUSHES while attending the AOTA INSPIRE 2023 Annual Conference & Expo!

Record your steps and pushes using any tracking device, and at the end of the day submit your total count. Each morning a random drawing will be made with the entries received the day before. The winner will be contacted via email and will receive a gift card from AOTA.

Attendees having fun at SIS Reception

SIS Networking Reception

Wednesday, April 19, 7:30 pm–9:00 pm

Get your AOTA INSPIRE 2023 experience off to a great start with this favorite informal event. Take the opportunity to meet, reconnect, and network with colleagues who share your practice and/or educational interests. Each SIS has a designated gathering area at the reception so you can easily find your SIS Standing Committee members.

Just like on CommunOT, there’s no need to limit your interaction to one SIS—mingle with all 9 sections to expand your contacts! A few remarks will be offered at the start of the event. 

The Morning Buzz

Getting the Most Out of Your AOTA INSPIRE 2023 Experience

Thursday, April 20, 7:15 am–8:00 am

Facilitated by Sarah Michel, AOTA INSPIRE 2023 Content Weaver

Some of the most valuable opportunities at AOTA INSPIRE 2023 will come from the people you meet there. Start your experience off on the right foot with some facilitated networking with veteran attendees so you can learn ideas, strategies, and shortcuts to help you navigate your AOTA INSPIRE 2023 experience. Coffee will be served.

Keynote Address

Thursday, April 20, 11:15 am–12:30 pm

John O'Leary, Author

Facilitated by Sarah Michel, AOTA INSPIRE 2023 Content Weaver

The Power of One

What if one message could change your life?  What if one person could provide hope that the best is yet to come? This person is John O’Leary. As a 9-year-old boy, John was burned on 100% of his body and given less than 1% chance to live. His amazing journey of survival illustrates the incredible power of the human spirit.

Today, John is the author of the national bestselling books, On Fire and In Awe. He’s the host of the top-rated “Live Inspired” Podcast. And he’s an inspirational speaker who has taught millions of people around the world how to Live Inspired. John is a business owner, writer, husband of a school-based occupational therapist, and father of four. Once expected to die. Now teaching others how to truly live. Come be inspired. Book signing immediately following.

Sponsored by: proliability logo

2019 John OLeary Casual Headshot 1- Photo Credit Susie Gaal

Embracing Entrepreneurship: Fireside Chat

Thursday, April 20, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Sarah Thomas, OTR, Executive Strategist on Aging Innovation


Have a product idea you want to bring to market? Want to take on a non-traditional role? Ready to launch your own business, but don’t know where to start?

Join us for this inspirational session to help you launch your next big thing! Discover how this in-demand global aging expert leveraged her experience as an occupational therapist to build a highly successful consulting practice, helping leading brands design age-inclusive products and spaces. Sarah will share what it takes to launch your own business and the unique opportunities available for occupational therapy professionals.

Film Screening: Finding Me in OT

Thursday, April 20, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Come view the documentary that is being praised by occupational therapists worldwide. Finding Me In OT is a one-hour film that tells the story of an OT who feels unfulfilled in her daily work. It follows along as she embarks on a journey to re-discover the roots of the profession and find meaning and purpose in her life and career.

In addition, a team of internationally renowned occupational therapists come together to explore the heart of OT and shine a light on how we can best practice our profession. A panel discussion will follow with director and podcaster, Rhiannon Crispe, OT, Bridget Mathis, MOT, OTR, and Kavita Murthi, MS, OTR.

Sponsored by: STISIM logo



The ot lifestyle movement

ASD Connection Gathering

Thursday, April 20, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

The Assembly of Student Delegates Steering Committee (ASDSC) is excited to welcome ASD representatives at AOTA INSPIRE 2023. 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.

Yoga Session

Friday, April 21, 7:00 am–7:45 am

Yoga for EveryBODY: Community Yoga Class

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

Recommendations: Wear layered nonrestrictive clothing. Bring water, a hand towel, and yoga mat. Pro-tip: A foldable travel yoga mats fits great in a suitcase. Hotel towels also work well in a pinch!

AOTF Breakfast with A Scholar

Friday, April 21, 7:00 am–9:00 am

Mickey Rowe, Founding Artistic Director of the National Disability Theatre

Fearlessly Different

Sometimes just one small action can change a life. For Mickey Rowe, Founding Artistic Director of the National Disability Theatre, it began when he was introduced to Seattle Children’s Theatre by his grandmother. Rowe, who is autistic and legally blind, was told that he could never enter the mainstream world. Acting changed all of that.

In this session, Rowe shares his deeply personal and inspiring story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on Broadway. The talk is based on his new memoir: Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor’s Journey to Broadway’s Biggest Stage. He shows all of us that whether disable or not, the things that make us different are often our biggest strengths. Book signing immediately following.

Special rates apply.

Mickey Rowe Image

Federal Sections Day: Beyond the Force

Friday, April 21, 8:00 am–5:00 pm.

The US Army is having a revolutionary change with the new Holistic Health and Fitness System (H2F), which is dramatically impacting the military occupational therapy and government civilian workforce with unprecedented growth in their numbers not seen in 40 years.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is also experiencing growth and transformation with over 100 new civilian OT and OTA positions. Come and hear about the program highlights from the various Federal agencies. All are invited! Presentations will occur all day on Friday, April 21, and poster sessions will be held on Saturday, April 22.

Alyson Stover

Presidential Address

Friday, April 21, 11:30 am–12:15 pm

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

Perfecting Connecting

AOTA President Alyson Stover shares her inspiring stories from her recent Presidential Cross-Country Connecting Tour. Discover what she learned about slowing down to truly connect with diverse members to uncover how occupational therapy is changing the world.

Salsa Break

Friday, April 21, 12:30 pm–1:15 pm

An upbeat and active celebration of dance to Latin Rhythms. Terapistas Ocupactionales para Diversidad Oportunidad y Solidaridad (TODOS) and the AOTA Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion (MDI) groups invite you to join our Salsa Dance Break led by Renee Ortega, PhD, BC-DMT, LCAT, COTA and Alison M. Rangel, OTD, OTR/L.

What’s So Funny About Burnout?
Improv Skills for Burnout Prevention in Occupational Therapy

Friday, April 21, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

The Second City, which has been entertaining audiences and launching careers of North America’s most famous actors and comedians for over 60 years, is pleased to deliver this high-energy interactive session for occupational therapy practitioners.

This session will provide attendees with effective solutions to prevent burnout. The presenters will weave their areas of expertise together to highlight the challenges faced by occupational therapy practitioners every day and provide effective solutions for overcoming burnout.

AOTF State of the Science Symposium

Friday, April 21, 3:00 pm–5:30 pm

(clockwise from top-left) Teal W. Benevides, PhD, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Janet L. Poole, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, PhD, Karla Ausderau, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

Facilitated by Mary Jane ‘MJ’ Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L, CLCP, FASIA

Shifting the Culture of Occupational Therapy Scholarship Through Community-Engaged Research

Hear from panelists on the culture of community-engaged OT research. Learn what it is, what it is not, and how it aligns with occupational therapy principles. Understand the different approaches for engaging the community as co-research partners. See examples of the benefits, barriers, and strategies that contribute to the science of community-engaged research and lessons learned.

Special rates apply.

AOTF State of the Science Panelists

Fun with AOTPAC: “OT Game” Time

Friday, April 21, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Relax and have fun with “OT games” hosted by Mary Shotwell, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, AOTPAC Ambassador for Florida.

We'll play OT Jeopardy, OT Scattegories, and OT Dingbats. For each game, Mary will teach the rules and tell you how to submit answers. These games will test your OT and AOTPAC knowledge and help you work on memory and mental flexibility.

Come to play or come to watch and cheer the players on. First place winner for each game will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!

Cost: $15 (personal funds only)

The cost to attend is a contribution to AOTPAC to support its political purposes. Contributions to AOTPAC are voluntary, and refusal does not affect an AOTA member's rights. Contributions or gifts to AOTPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

International Breakfast

Saturday April 22, 9:00 am–10:30 am

Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L, LMT, ATP, FAOTA

Inspired to BE: Promoting Belonging and Equity for an Evolved Profession

Occupational therapy is a profession that is over 100 years old, being embraced worldwide for its benefits in helping people and populations. This talk will discuss ways practitioners can imagine an evolved occupational therapy profession. Centering belonging and equity as more than mere concepts, self-reflection will be encouraged, and practical action steps proposed to inspire culturally and contextually responsive practices.

Special rates apply

Douglene J Headshot

Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture

Saturday April 22, 11:15 am–12:30 pm

Mary Lawlor, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA

The Mattering of “Little Things”

Occupational therapy is a complex practice encompassing both mundane and extraordinary aspects of living and learning in daily life. Dr. Lawlor will draw upon ethnographic and narrative phenomenological research to discuss the processes involved in discovering and making explicit the evidence of mattering. The phrase “little things” often signals experiences that are significant; matter deeply; and promote healing, recovery, or engagement. Alternatively, “little things,” when examined, can reveal disruptions or obstacles to achieving meaningful outcomes. Reflections will highlight how interactional, social, and relational practices shape experiences and can inform our therapeutic encounters.

Sponsored by:   


The Hidden Occupations and Co-occupations of Women: The Perinatal Period

Saturday, April 22, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Understanding the occupations and co-occupations related to the perinatal period for both women and infants, and the important role that OT and OTAs have in advocating for those needs, will be discussed by our panel of experts.

The panel 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 OT practice outside of women’s health.

Awards & Recognitions Ceremony

Saturday, April 22, 4:30 pm–5:30 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 publicly unveil the winners of AOTA’s and AOTF’s most prestigious awards.


Awards & Recognitions Reception

Saturday, April 22, 5:45 pm–7:15 pm

Join us in person 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 wind down AOTA INSPIRE 2023! Free to everyone.

AOTPAC Night: Celebration of 45 Years of OT Advocacy—Action in the Spotlight!

Saturday, April 22, 7:30 pm–10:30 pm

It is time to celebrate—AOTPAC’s 45th anniversary. Join us for a fun and relaxing evening with your friends and colleagues while supporting AOTPAC and AOTA’s advocacy efforts! Plans are still underway, yet it will be an extravaganza of music, dancing, and celebration; AOTPAC Night’s “Celebration of 45 Years” is the place to be! Snacks and a cash bar will be available.

We hope to bring back old traditions, like the ‘Wrecking Ball’ dance performed by AOTA volunteer leaders Brent Braveman and Ginny Stoffel, or a visit from OT Rex. Join us on the last night of AOTA INSPIRE 2023 and share a toast to our 45 years of advocacy successes and our wonderful profession of occupational therapy! Be a part of building new traditions as we bring AOTPAC action into the spotlight. Watch for updates as we finalize the plans for an evening to remember.

Tickets:  $50; $25 for students (personal funds only, please)

The cost to attend is a contribution to AOTPAC to support its political purposes. Contributions to AOTPAC are voluntary, and refusal does not affect an AOTA member's rights. Contributions or gifts to AOTPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Corporate contributions are prohibited.

More special events to come!
Register Today