Conference program

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Download the Crowd Compass app on iPad, iPhone, Android (search the directory for CAOT) or :

  View the program   Post-conference workshop   

  On-site guide  PDF of conference program (198 pages)  

Special events: 

Wednesday, May 29th

Opening Ceremonies & Keynote address 
Great Room C 19:00 – 20:30

Keynote address: CAOT President Catherine Backman  Read more.
Delegate welcome and entertainment

Trade Show Grand Opening
Great Room A|B 20:30 – 21:30
Check out our trade show exhibitors who will be showcasing their latest innovations, products and services. You’ll have an opportunity to:
  • Expand your national contact network of suppliers, distributors and service providers;
  • Learn about and compare the latest innovative products;
  • Visit the CAOT Marketplace, where you can purchase publications, products and meet the national office staff;
  • Enjoy snacks and beverages as you meet our exhibitors
  • Win fabulous prizes!

Thursday, May 30th

Ready, Set, Tweet!
Strategy Room 5|6 7:30-8:00

CAOT Townhall

Great Room C 8:00-9:00

Join CAOT President Catherine Backman, Board of Directors and national staff for an informal town hall meeting. This get-together will provide members with a brief Association update followed by the opportunity to discuss emerging issues or to voice concerns and preferences for CAOT activities.

Awards Ceremony
Great Room C 16:00 – 17:15
CAOT and COTF will honour fellow occupational therapists that have made outstanding contributions to advancing the profession by presenting our award winners.

The Wine Event
Ravine Vineyards 18:00 – 22:00
Join your colleagues at the 34-acre Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery that has been farmed in St. David’s Village by the same family since 1867. We will be free to wander the sprawling kitchen garden, tour the winery and engage in wine tasting. Then we’ll enjoy an award-winning culinary experience at harvest tables in the marquee with panoramic views of the vineyards. After dinner participate in the COTF auction – who will buy the Zebra Hat and Gloves this year?
Ticketed event. Buses leaving from the Sheraton on the Falls starting at 17:30.

Support COTF at this event! You can:
  • have a chance to win the 50/50 draw by purchasing tickets.
  • bid on an item at the Live Auction 

Friday, May 31st

Plenary Panel: Reclaiming the Occupational Lens in the Aging Well Discourse

Great Room C 10:00 – 10:55

Inspired by a reading of Atul Gawande’s best-selling book, Being Mortal, this session provides an overview of Gawande’s critique of conventional medical treatment of older people living with chronic health issues. He outlines the limitations of an individually focused, bio-medical approach that is overly concerned with physical health, independence, and the health and safety risks faced by older adults. He proposes a more, holistic, person-centred approach to care that taps into clients’ stories, and identifies ways to support older adults’ efforts to find meaning and purpose as they journey through this latter end of the life course.  Read more.

Muriel Driver Lecture : Susan Forwell

Great Room C 16:30 – 17:30

Dr. Susan Forwell’s lecture is sure to awaken our intellectual curiosity and will inspire us to push farther, modify our practices and take pride in our profession.  She will share keen insights that will encourage us to deepen our vision of occupational therapy.  Read more.

The Water Event

Hornblower Niagara Cruises: Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour 20:00

Hold onto your heart and get ready for the thrill of a lifetime. Prepare for an awe-inspiring journey aboard Hornblower’s state-of-the-art 700-passenger Catamaran boats, the Niagara Wonder and the Niagara Thunder. Hornblower Niagara Cruises will take you on a ride you’ll never forget, into the heart of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Just a short walk from the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel you can ride the new funicular to meet with colleagues at Hornblower Niagara Cruises. If you want, you can enjoy Niagara food and drinks at the Hornblower Landing and Riverside Patio before you embark (not included in ticket price). Your ticket may be used at any time (except the Firework Cruise) although our social event includes the 20:00 (8:00pm) boat departure followed by watching the fireworks over the falls, together, back on shore. Ticketed event covers funicular and cruise.

Saturday, June 1st

COTF Breakfast with a Scholar

COTF’s Breakfast with a Scholar is an event where COTF highlights relevant research. It is a great opportunity to hear about exciting research, ask questions of the researcher and support COTF! This year, COTF is pleased to announce that Crystal Dieleman from Dalhousie University has been chosen as the scholar. Read more. A portion of the ticket sales is a donation to COTF. We look forward to your presence at the 2019 COTF Breakfast with a Scholar! Ticketed event.

Closing Luncheon 
Great Room C 12:00 – 12:30

While enjoying a delectable plated luncheon, closing ceremonies will take place, including the tradition of the CAOT Conference 2019 Host Committee passing on the ‘conference journal’ to next year’s committee (Saskatoon, May 6-9, 2020).  Our featured speaker follows closing ceremonies

Featured Speaker
Andre Picard
Great Room C 12:30 – 14:00

Renowned policy writer and health columnist at the Globe and Mail, André Picard, will join us at the closing luncheon of CAOT Conference 2019 to share his thoughts on “Canada’s Medicare System Is Hurting: It Needs Rehab.” Read more.

Post-conference workshop: CarFit Technician Training
Strategy Room 7 14:00-19:00

CarFit is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them. Read more.

Professional Issue Forums

Addressing Addiction
Niki Kiepek, Nicole Bartlett, Sean Patenaude
Thursday, May 30
Strategy Room 2 13:00-14:55

During this professional issue forum, attendees will engage in exploring the unique occupational therapy perspective, role and approaches to respond to concerns related to substance use and addiction. Substance use is influenced by multiple and complex factors such as social and cultural contexts, physical pain and injury, mental health issues and trauma, as well as health policies and practices. Our panellists will present an overview of current trends in Canada and existing best practices and we’ll hear from a person with lived experience about transitioning to a new way of life.

Aging in place: Working together to bridge the gap
Lesya Dyk, Gary Sharp, Colleen McGrath
Friday, May 31
Strategy Room 2 13:00-14:55

Most seniors want to “age in place”. Occupational therapists are uniquely positioned to make this vision a reality, given their client-centred philosophy and approach -- where clients are understood as individuals, members of families, and part of communities. This holistic approach to seniors’ care recognizes the importance of seniors’ quality of life by taking into consideration the full spectrum of client needs including physical environment and social inclusion. Panellists’ presentations will: explore research on conceptual frameworks of “age friendly” homes, neighbourhoods and communities; discuss the contribution and value proposition of occupational therapists in translating knowledge to address issues of safety, independence and aesthetics; and emphasize the importance of inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboration with industry partners such as the Canadian Home Builders Association and its Home Modification Council to make the dream of “aging in place” for seniors come true.


CAOT Sponsored Sessions

Ready, Set, Tweet!
Chantal Houde (@CAOT_ACE)
Thursday, May 30
Strategy Room 5|6 7:30-8:00

Join us at our annual gathering of OTweeps to connect face to face with your online network and have all your Twitter-related questions answered! CAOT’s Communications Officer will be on hand to help users of all experience levels get the most out of twitter at Conference and beyond: from how to set up an account, to how to make the most of your online voice to promote your practice and the profession.


CAOT Chapter Updates: ACE-Qc, CAOT-BC, CAOT-North
France Verville, Tanya Fawkes-Kirby, Wade Scoffin
Thursday, May 30
Strategy Room 7 11:00-11:25

Join staff from CAOT chapters who will discuss highlights of the past year, plans for the upcoming year and respond to questions about the chapter model of regional-national representation.


Student Event
Ryan McGovern, Tracy Kelso
Friday, May 31
Great Room C 15:15 – 15:55

CAOT- your career partner for life. All students are welcome to attend this interactive forum. Come meet and chat with CAOT staff to learn about the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination (NOTCE) preparatory tools, the importance of professional liability insurance, how CAOT will support you throughout your career, and more. Get all of your questions answered. Giveaways and door prizes to be won!


Conversations that Matter
France Verville, Catherine Backman, Tanya Fawkes-Kirby, Havelin Anand, Alison Douglas
Friday, May 31
15:15 – 15:55

Grab a coffee and connect with like-minded colleagues from across Canada. Facilitated by CAOT, these informal discussions will provide delegates with an opportunity to engage on topics that matter to the profession. Sessions take place simultaneously, so choose your topic and come ready to chat!

Fallsview Studio B|C Agir à titre d’agent de changement pour promouvoir l’ergothérapie
Strategy Room 1 “Sounds a lot like OT to me”: Creating and clarifying messages on the distinct contribution of occupational therapy to Canadians
Strategy Room 2 Private practice: Tricks to market your services
Strategy Room 3 Advocacy: using your voice to support occupational therapy
Strategy Room 5|6 The OTA/PTA Visioning project: presentation and discussion


CAOT Resource Rendezvous
Julie Lapointe
Friday, May 31
Strategy Room 7 15:15 – 15:55 

Evidence-informed tools help to advance our practice and CAOT wants to work with members and stakeholders to deliver what’s needed. At the CAOT resource rendezvous we’ll look at what we have and how to use them, and what we want and how to get there. Participants will come away feeling knowledgeable about current CAOT practice resources such as the role papers, fact sheets, PRP reports, PD calendar and journal special issues, and will be energized by providing input to the development of next-generation tools for the profession. Come and have your say!


Sponsored Sessions

COTF Sponsored Session
Marjorie Hackett, Katie Churchill, Lynn Shaw
Thursday, May 30
Strategy Room 5|6 10:00 – 10:55 

COTF President, Marjorie Hackett and COTF Board Directors, Katie Churchill and Lynn Shaw, will facilitate this 2019 COTF session. Attend to learn about the importance of clinician-driven occupational therapy research, and the impact of research funded by your Foundation, COTF.


WFOT Sponsored Session: WFOT’s guiding principles for sustainability in occupational therapy: food for thought
Andrew Freeman
Thursday, May 30
Strategy Room 7 10:00 – 10:55

In 2018, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) published the following document: Sustainability matters: Guiding principles for sustainability in occupational therapy practice, education and scholarship. As noted in the introduction “Occupational therapy contributes to the global health of society and individuals by enabling pursuit of the right to engage in meaningful, purposeful occupations, irrespective of medical diagnosis, social stigma or prejudice. Global health should be central to occupational therapy practice, education and research. However, if we are to be truly focused on global health of citizens, then our focus must also be on sustainability -- environmental, social and economic.” The aim of this presentation is to provide an overview of WFOT’s guiding principles in this area and to facilitate a general exchange about these principles and their applicability within our profession in Canada.


ACOTUP Sponsored Session: Canadian Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Learning with Indigenous Populations: Building Allyship
Caroline Storr, Cori Schmitz, Jeff Boniface, Manon Boucher, Eric Constantin, Marika Demers, G King, Susanne Murphy, Michael Ravenek
Friday, May 31
Strategy Room 3 13:00 – 13:55 

Introduction: As an intentional response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action (2015), a national snapshot of current Canadian Occupational Therapy fieldwork opportunities with Indigenous people will be presented; and educators will share critical reflections of their experiences within this learning exchange. An open discussion with session participants will respond to the call by identifying current and potential future practices regarding partnership development, resource sharing and sustainability. Objectives: The aim of this ACOTUP Forum is to present an overview of current fieldwork learning opportunities and practices in Indigenous contexts. The sharing of multiple socio-historical-political and cultural perspectives, as well as ethical and planning considerations will be highlighted to help facilitate active dialogue amongst participants with the goal of identifying collaborative future actions to further establish and support fieldwork learning with Indigenous people. Approach: This session will begin with a description of current national fieldwork initiatives and preparation processes. A panel will share their reflections on relationship dimensions experienced by the multiple partners in fieldwork learning experiences. A series of questions will help to guide small group discussions and a summative wrap-up will attempt to identify personal, systemic, and collaborative future actions including shared resources. Practice implications: This session provides a timely opportunity for creative, constructive dialogue and strategic thinking to help engage in and evolve occupational therapy fieldwork education in partnership with Canada’s Indigenous communities.


ACOTRO Sponsored Session: CORECOM Project: Creating One Competency Document for Canadian Occupational Therapists 
CORECOM Steering Committee – Members of Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs
Friday, May 31
Strategy Room 3 14:00-14:55 

Introduction: Competencies are defined as complex sets of behaviours that integrate knowledge, skills, and behaviours. Currently three competency documents are in use by different occupational therapy organizations in Canada. The documents are highly similar; the differences include the level of detail and approach; confusion arises about which document applies and when. Objectives: The purpose of the CORECOM project is to develop one competency document for the occupational therapy profession in Canada that will outline entry-to-practice competencies and describe competencies expected throughout the practice career for occupational therapists. Methods: Participating organizations in the CORECOM project include: Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO; including a representative from Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Quebec (OEQ)); Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs (ACOTUP); and Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). Representatives from each of the organizations will present the planned process and expected outcomes of the CORECOM project. Results: The CORECOM Project is expected to: improve and demonstrate unity and clarity of occupational therapy as a profession; reduce confusion about competency expectations; ensure consistent competency language and definitions; enhance the public’s understanding regarding required occupational therapy competencies; and, enable clear, consistent competencies that regulators, educators, employers, and professional associations expect from Canadian- and internationally-educated occupational therapists. Conclusions: This project offers an opportunity for occupational therapy stakeholders to come together to address a need for a single set of core competencies in Canada. Occupational therapists will benefit from using a single competency document across sectors of practice, regulation, and education. 
Copyright 2016 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
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