Friday, 20 April 2018

CAOT-BC Research & Education Grant

It's time to submit your application for the 2017 CAOT-BC Research and Education Grant Program.

The grant supports CAOT-BC members to present occupational therapy research and/or education at either the CAOT national conference or other related conferences. Applications are accepted annually between February 15 and May 31.

The grants are a member benefit and are open to all CAOT-BC members with the goal of supporting the growth of evidence on occupational therapy and occupational science.

Download the information here:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

CAOT-BC Advisory Committee Member to Receive Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

CAOT-BC Advisory Committee member and Assistive Tech & Seating Practice Network chair Emma Smith has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by Canada's Governor General. 

In addition to her volunteer work with CAOT-BC, Emma has volunteered with many other organizations, including the Forum for Young Canadians, Mainland British Columbia Military Family Resource Centre, Vancouver Resource Society for the Physically Disabled and Vancouver Adapted Snow Sports. 

Emma will receive the award today at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Congratulations Emma! 


Monday, 16 April 2018

Evidence for Practice: Task Training and Hand Dexterity in Kids with Cerebral Palsy

Image credit: iStock

Article for review: 
Moon, J. H., Jung, J. H., Hahm, S. C., & Cho, H. Y. (2017). The effects of task-oriented training on hand dexterity and strength in children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy: a preliminary study. Journal of physical therapy science29(10), 1800-1802.

This study investigated the effects of task-oriented training (TOT) on hand dexterity and strength in children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy. The intervention group received 20 minutes of task- oriented training per session, in addition to conventional occupational therapy (2x/week for 4 weeks). Improved hand dexterity was seen in the intervention group 

Conclusion: Task-oriented training may be used as an intervention to improve hand dexterity in children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Read full text article

Friday, 13 April 2018

NEW CAOT-BC Occupation in Practice Network Exploratory Meeting: April 24, 2018

Occupation is at the core of our profession, but is it at the core of our practice? How do you apply your occupational perspective in practice, communicate it and make it visible to your clients, team, and the broader community? Join our practice network to discuss understandings of occupation, the benefits and challenges of occupation-centred practice, and share strategies around how to bring occupation more into focus in your work. In a nut-shell: occupation is cool, so come and talk about it!

Date: April 24, 2018
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm Pacific Time
Location: GoToMeeting
Please RSVP to: 


Thursday, 12 April 2018

An OT's experience contributing to the WHO Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) Initiative

Emma Smith at the AFRINEAD Conference
Post by Emma Smith, CAOT-BC Advisory Committee Secretary and Assistive Technology & Seating Practice Network chair. 

From July 2017 to January 2018 I had the privilege of travelling to Ireland as a UBC Friedman Scholar to work on the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) Initiative with Professor Malcolm MacLachlan, the GATE Research and Innovation Lead, and Professor of Psychology and Social Inclusion at Maynooth University in Ireland (to learn more about GATE, check out our CAOT-BC Webinar here). The Friedman Scholars in Health program at UBC provides graduate students and medical residents studying health related topics with a broader perspective, informed by leaders in their fields throughout the world.
GREAT Summit, 2017
The GATE Initiative is a response to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which calls on member states to engage in international cooperation to ensure access to (among other things) assistive technologies. The WHO currently estimates only 1 in 10 individuals who need assistive technologies have access to them worldwide, and 2 billion individuals will need assistive technologies by the year 2050.

Throughout the six months, I had many interesting opportunities to engage with this project, and to learn other critical skills in policy development and evaluation which I will bring forward to my future work. A few highlights of my time away include:
  • Attending the GATE Global Research and Education in Assistive Technology (GREAT) Summit at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Bill Miller (UBC OSOT Faculty) also attended, among 200 delegates from all over the world, including representatives of the WFOT and other organizations interested in advancing global access to assistive technology.
  • Co-authoring two position papers from discussions at the GREAT Summit – on personnel and policy concerns needs for global assistive technology provision.
  • Attending the fifth AFRINEAD (African Network for Evidence to Action in Disability) Conference in Kumasi, Ghana, and meeting people from all over the world who are working to make lives better for people with disabilities in Africa.
  • Conducting assistive technology policy research in Malawi (Southern Africa). Aside from learning how to apply tools to assess the inclusion of vulnerable groups in policy development and implementation, I also had the chance to learn about their history, people, culture, and even wildlife (weekend safaris are pretty cool)! 
Wildlife in Malawi

While these highlights were wonderful learning experiences, I also benefited from the daily work with a new research team, addressing issues I hadn’t spent much time with before. I was able to dust off my International Development training from my undergraduate degree, and combine it with my training and experience in occupational therapy to try and understand the challenges of assistive technology access globally. Occupational therapists have an important role to play in this conversation, and I was thankful to have my professional background to draw from. I found many new, engaging colleagues and friends, and new potential paths in my career. And, of course, took every opportunity I could to explore Ireland on the weekends on the train, road tripping, and hiking all over the island.
Photo from hiking in Ireland

If you’d like to know more about my experience and the work I was doing, feel free to get in touch at!


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Free Tax Returns from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

Photo by Got Credit on / CC BY

It’s tax time and the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) wants to help you file your tax return!  Anyone with a modest income and simple tax situation is eligible to take advantage of free CVITP tax clinics. 

Tax clinics are open from now until the end of April.  You can find local tax clinics, eligibility information, and what you need to bring to have your return completed here.  You can also set up a free MyCRA web app account and visit the “Help with my taxes” section for more information.

The CVITP is a Canada Revenue Agency initiative intended to assist key stakeholders with tax return preparation.  Volunteers prepare simple tax returns only, and the following returns are EXEMPT from the program:
  • Returns for deceased persons
  • Bankruptcy returns
  • Returns for self-employed individuals
  • Returns reporting capital gains or losses
  • Returns reporting employment expenses
  • Returns reporting business or rental income and expenses
Post by Alana Marshall, fieldwork student with CAOT-BC.


Monday, 9 April 2018

Upcoming CAOT-BC Practice Network Meetings

We are pleased to announce two upcoming CAOT-BC Practice Network meetings. Meetings are run via webinar and registration is required to participate. 

Cost is free for CAOT-BC members and $20 for non-members. 

Please note: Our registration process has changed. Instead of a CAOT-BC confirmation email, you will instead receive a confirmation email from GoToWebinar at least one week prior to the webinar date. This email will include webinar details and instructions for accessing the webinar. 

Chronic Pain & Occupational Therapy 

Topic: The People in Pain Network

Presenter: Heather Divine, CEO, People in Pain Network (PIPN)

Description: The format for the People in Pain Network PSMES (Pain Self-Management Education and Support) group meetings is designed to ensure a balance between education and support. Learn about how the language used as peer leaders and the education provided help people living with pain to make a shift from being defeated to start building their "new normal".

Date: April 19, 2018
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm Pacific Time
Location: Webinar
Registration Deadline: April 18, 2018 | 12:00pm

Pediatric Practice Network

Topic: Compassion Fatigue
Presenter: Jan Spilman, MEd, RCC, Compassion Fatigue & Chronic Sorrow Specialist 
Known as “an outstanding adult educator … who presents with heart and energy”, Compassion Fatigue Specialist, Jan Spilman, helps people-who-help-people to live well with the stress of their personal and professional care-giving. 
Thirty years as a helper – first as a coronary care nurse and CVT surgical nurse-manager, then as a mental health nurse, then as a trauma and loss therapist and adult educator in private practice, then as family caregiver for her husband and finally as a Compassion Fatigue and Chronic Sorrow Specialist – give Jan’s presentations authenticity and a depth of understanding. She offers creative, evidence-based and anecdotal strategies for building resilience to the serious “costs of caring”. 

Description: While we can only scratch the surface in an hour, this presentation will provide a brief introduction to Compassion Fatigue (CF), the natural trauma-exposure response experienced by many helpers who hear about others’ trauma, loss and suffering in the course of their work. CF can be defined as “fatigued compassion”, symptoms of posttraumatic stress culminating in a loss of capacity for empathy and emotional withdrawal from the very people we are trying to help. 

We will look at a simple model of CF, learn the difference between burnout and CF, track the 5 phases of CF development, use an informal tool to explore our current CF risk and briefly discuss some protective tools for living with others’ trauma stories. For those interested, Jan will be offering a full day CF workshop at the Granville Island Hotel Monday, May 7th from 9-4. Registration brochures are available at (The registration deadline is April 22). 

Date: April 25, 2018
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm Pacific Time
Location: Webinar and in person
Registration Deadline: April 24, 2018 | 6:00pm

Friday, 6 April 2018

CAOT Professional Development: Mentorship on Demand

This new CAOT mentorship program allows individuals (“mentees”) to seek mentorship “on demand” (when they need it). Mentees will explore the concepts of mentorship, to identify professional reflective goals and to be matched with a mentor based on similar values, interests and professional paths. Mentees and mentors work together for a period of 6 months to address reflective goals established by the mentee and guided by the mentor. This experience is intended to open a new chapter in professional and, often, personal lives.

All mentorship resources and registration for this new program are now available at!

Why participate in the CAOT mentorship program?
Comprehensive: A structured interactive program using CAOT’s own resources, exclusive to our members.
Personalized: Thorough mentor and mentee profiles are actively reviewed by CAOT to optimize the quality of the match. Program timing is flexible to suit participant’s needs.
Responsive: Program has been built based on member input and retention of the most successful elements from the former Momentum program.
Affordable: Mentorship On Demand runs on a cost-recovery basis.

Are you seeking mentorship?
  1. Watch two recorded webinars (An introduction to mentorship; Developing goals), complete the workbook for mentees and complete the Mentee Profile. These resources are exclusives and complimentary to CAOT Members and Associates!
  2. For personalized assistance finding a mentor, register for Mentorship On Demand for $99.00 (plus applicable taxes).
  3. Submit your completed workbook and Mentee Profile to receive personalized facilitated matching with a mentor.
  4. As part of Mentorship On Demand, you will work with your mentor for 6 months towards your professional goals. At the end of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Would you like to become a mentor?
We are still seeking mentors to register for the program!
  1. As training to become a mentor, watch one recorded webinar (Preparation for mentors), complete the workbook for mentors and complete the Mentor Profile. These resources are exclusives and complimentary to CAOT Members and Associates!
  2. Register as a mentor by filling out this brief survey.
  3. When you are matched with a mentee, you will work together for 6 months towards the mentee’s professional goals. At the end of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion and a credit for a complimentary Practice Evidence Webinar (live or On-Demand). 

For more information, please visit today!


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Prism Evening Session – Transgender Inclusion 101

Thursday April 12th, 2018
5:30 – 9:00PM
Free – Registration Required

PRISM is offering an evening session on Transgender Inclusion. PRISM wants to help you develop skills to welcome and support trans and gender diverse individuals with the goal of increasing safety and access to services.
Some of the topics to cover include:
  • Language and key concepts relating to trans people
  • Review of current health literature
  • Intersectionality, colonialism, and marginalized identities
  • Available resources

Post by Catherine Lloyd, fieldwork student with CAOT-BC


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Enhanced Road Assessment (EHA)

As of March 5th, 2018 the Enhanced Road Assessment (ERA) is in operation at 81 ICBC locations across BC. The Enhanced Road Assessment (ERA) is an assessment which evaluates a driver’s functional ability to drive and informs RoadSafetyBC’s decision to maintain, re-issue, restrict or cancel a driver’s licence. This assessment will be provided to drivers with medical conditions who previously would have completed an ICBC re-examination or a DriveABLE assessment.
What do you need to know? The ERA will:
  • Be administered by ICBC driving examiners.
  • Extend the current ICBC re-examination drive time to 45 minutes from 30 minutes.
  • Incorporate new components to mimic the cognitive workload of real world driving. The focus remains on maintaining safe driving skills at all times.
  • Eliminate the in-office, computer-based screening that’s currently part of the DriveABLE assessment. Instead, ICBC driver examiners will gradually increase the complexity of driving tasks and will provide a break and feedback midway through.
  • Let drivers use their own vehicles.
Check out the ERA Fact Sheet and BC Government News Release for more information