2020 OTAC Virtual Conference - Registration Now Open

Conference Begins in...


Join your fellow OT practitioners and students for two days of education, networking and fun as we bring together the Occupational Therapy community of Colorado at the 2020 OTAC Conference presented as an online virtual conference.

OT of the Future: A Prism of Possibilities, A live interactive online conference. October 16-17, 2020

Registration Now Open

Early Bird Fees: July 1 - October 10th

  • OTAC OT/OTR Member: $130.00
  • OTAC OTA/COTA Member: $110.00
  • OTAC Student Member: $30.00
  • OTAC Retired Member: $110.00
  • Professional Member (other states): $130.00 (email [email protected] with your member number)
  • Student Member (other states): $30.00 (email [email protected] with your member number)
  • Non-member: $205.00

Regular Fees: October 11th - Oct 15th

  • OTAC OT/OTR Member: $150.00
  • OTAC OTA/COTA Member: $130.00
  • OTAC Student Member: $30.00
  • OTAC Retired Member: $130.00
  • Professional Member (other states): $150.00 (email [email protected] with your member number)
  • Student Member (other states): $50.00 (email [email protected] with your member number)
  • Non-member: $230.00

Can’t attend live or want access to watch ALL 26 presentations and 2 workshops?

OTAC is offering an ALL ACCESS PASS option for conference registrants that will allow viewing of the ALL the recorded sessions from the 2020 Conference until December 31, 2020. This pass costs an additional $50 and purchasers will be notified after conference when the recordings are ready for viewing.

To get your ALL ACCESS PASS, register for conference as an attendee and then choose the ALL ACCESS PASS add on. Already registered and want to add the pass? E-mail [email protected] for assistance! 


This two-hour webinar will provide an overview of the STAR Frame of Reference and then talk about best practices for child-led therapy that focuses on regulation, sensory processing and relationships. A 1:1 zoom treatment session will be shared and discussed as well as a group session completed over zoom.

This pre-conference workshop (and additional 2 Contact Hours) is included in your registration at no extra cost!
Please note this will be a LIVE ONLY event and will not be able to be recorded for watching after conference with the All Access Pass due to the copyrighted videos the presenters will share during the workshop.

Register Here


Check back for more updates on topics and speakers!


OTAC Virtual Conference 2020




Friday, October 16


7:30 – 8:45


Welcome and Presidential Address



Is Self-Management Your First Choice or Last Resort? Re-empowering people through coaching and peer support  (Track A)

Pete Moore,  Educator at the Austrian and European Pain Federation Pain Schools, Author, Honorary Member of the British Pain Society

Helping people develop self-management skills is a cornerstone of occupational therapy practice. But is it your first choice, or last resort?

Pete will share his experience as a person living with chronic pain, and his journey to discovering a pain toolkit of skills to help self-manage his pain. This experience led him to devote his life to sharing the message of self-management with health professionals and people in pain around the world. Pete will share practical tips and creative ideas for “selling” the message of self-management and “re-empowering” people using coaching and peer support approaches

Occupational Therapy on the ‘Frontlines:” Supporting Mental Health Needs of OT Consumers Across Practice Settings (Track B)

Allison Vigil, MS, OTR/L

Brooke Wimer, MOT, OTR/L

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our society at large affecting our health care systems, our profession, and most central to practice, the clients we serve. Therapists across practice settings are encountering clients with increased mental health concerns but may be uncertain of how to effectively address these needs. This session will offer a review of current literature and supportive frameworks for OT practice. It will also support skill development regarding effective assessment and treatment strategies to meet the heightened psychosocial needs of consumers.

10:00 – 11:00

Beyond Joint Pain: How to Address Inflammatory Arthritis from the Full Scope of Occupational Therapy (Track A)

Cheryl Crow, MOT, OTR/L

This session will explore how occupational therapy can better support persons with inflammatory forms of arthritis (with a focus on rheumatoid arthritis). We will explore strategies to address systemic symptoms outside of joint pain, including fatigue management, lifestyle modifications and coping strategies for the frequent stress and anxiety that accompany these diagnoses. The speaker will share her own unique experiences as a rheumatoid arthritis patient and founder of an online arthritis education business.

Occupational Therapy and the Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder – The Time is Now (Track B)

Keir Harding,  BSc Occupational Therapy; MSc Personality Disorder

The diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder is contentious and associated with significant levels of stigma. There are a number of guidelines for how to work with this client group, yet none specifically recommend Occupational Therapy. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is the most researched intervention and has much overlap with core features of OT. This session examines the diagnosis of BPD, the literature around OT in this area and calls on Occupational Therapists to apply their core skills both to helping this client group and building the evidence base for Occupational Therapy.

11:00 – 11:15


11:15 – 12:15


RESEARCH: Life After Caregiving (Track A)

Julie Silver Seidle, MS, OTR/L

Caregiving for a loved one with dementia is a complex and challenging task. Spousal caregivers of individuals with dementia face additional challenges as they move on from the caregiver role after the death of their spouse. How can occupational therapy best support caregivers during this significant life transition? Learn insights from an examination of the experience of spousal caregivers during the bereavement phase of the dementia caregiver journey and their stories of life after caregiving.

RESEARCH: New Dual Task Screen Administered in Under Ten Minutes for Athletes with Sports-Induced Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (Track B)

Kalena Gee Giessler Gonzalez, MSOT Candidate

Jaclyn Stephens, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., OTR

Athletes with sports-induced brain injury tend to perform typically on simple behavioral tasks. However, more complex tasks detect subtle, residual deficits. Thus, we developed the Dual-Task Screen (DTS) which uses complex tasks that can be completed in fewer than 10 minutes with portable, low-cost instruments. We tested the DTS and found that it was sensitive to dual task costs (poorer performance during dual tasks compared to single tasks) in 16 healthy, young-adult athletes. Thus, we concluded that the DTS has potential for evaluating athletes with sports-induced brain injury.

12:15 – 1:00

Lunch Break




Friday, October 16

1:00 – 2:00

Colorado OTs on the Frontlines of Covid-19 (Track A)

Amanda Hoffman, MS, OTR/L, BCPR


Kelly Schwieterman, OTR/L

Lyndsay Laxton, MOT, OTR/L, CBIST

Lauren Geismar, OTR/L

Matthew Dodson, OTD, OTR/L, CBIST

This inspiring discussion will highlight the challenges, victories, reactions, and reflections around caring for patients with COVID 19. Panel speakers will directly share the pearls they have learned personally and professionally. The facilitator will create an honest, lively, and engaging conversation, causing every audience member to pause and hear the courage and strength of these OTs. Audience participants will have time to ask questions and share their reflections and experiences during the initial COVID 19 surge.

2:00 – 2:15


2:15 – 3:15

Lessons Learned from COVID 19 and Its Impact on The Future of Private Practice (Track A)

Iris Kimberg, BS OT, MS PT

The COVID 19 Pandemic has had a tremendous impact on all private practitioners. It exposed business vulnerabilities, and changed the short-term day to day operations. Now it is time for us to acknowledge and embrace the long-term ramifications and lessons learned and successfully move forward in the new normal of service provision.

Hold On, Baby – The Power of OT in Navigating Infertility (Track B)

Lisa White, OTR/L

1 in 8 individuals or couples is going through infertility. As someone who has walked this path and personally experienced the rollercoaster of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), I immediately recognized the power of a holistic approach. Being an OT was a tremendous gift and it became one of my superpowers helping me through this journey. Integrating the mind, body, and spirit is essential. As an IVF mentor and author working in the entrepreneurial space, it’s a dream to continue helping others live in possibility. 

3:15 – 4:15

Leading Teams through Challenging Times (Track A)

Kathryn Wise, BHSc(OT), MHSc, OTD, OT Reg.(Ont.)

In this presentation, we will go through all of the challenges and opportunities in leading ourselves, our teams, and the greater OT community through this time.  The pandemic has asked us all to quickly pivot our practices and roles and with that comes the challenge in having to lead teams through this time.  We will focus on tips and strategies around motivating, communication, and moving your team forward during a time of fear and anxiety.

The ADA 30 Years Later: How Occupational Therapists Can Facilitate Accessibility and Inclusion (Track B)

Holly Darnell, MS, OTR/L, ADAC

July 26th, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, Americans with disabilities continue to experience challenges and disparities across many life domains, including accessing health care. Occupational therapists in a variety of roles such as clinicians, researchers, educators, administrators, policy makers and advocates are well positioned to understand, evaluate and address factors that lead to these disparities.

4:15 – 4:30


4:30 – 5:30

Dementia and Skills 2 Care (Track A)

Kara Welke, OTD, OTR/L, CHT

Rachel Wiley, MS, OTR/L, CDP

Skills2Care is an evidence based program that is proven to improve well-being and skills of family caregivers, slows decline in daily functioning of persons with dementia, and reduces challenging behaviors that can trigger nursing home placement. Participants will learn how they can use this program in their practice working with community dwelling clients with dementia and their caregivers.

Move from Thinking Like a Therapist to Acting Like a CEO: A Guide for OT Entrepreneurs (Track B)

Trish Williams, BHScOT, OT(c)  

Are you an OT who has started a business? Have you relied on hustle to get it off the ground, and now feel stuck and on the verge of burnout? Do you show up to work, put in long hours and are still not seeing the growth you know your business can achieve? That’s because scaling a business requires a different set of skills than starting one. Blending research on the key elements of strategic management and case studies, this presentation will provide OT entrepreneurs with the skills they require to move from thinking like a therapist to acting like a CEO.

5:30 – 6:00

Break/Virtual Happy Hour




Friday, October 16

6:00 – 7:00

KEYNOTE: Swimming Against the Current: A Global Perspective on the Value of Occupational Therapy  (Track A)

Bronnie Lennox Thompson, OT, MSc, PhD

7:00 – 9:00

Vendor Expo Hall







Saturday, October 17

7:15 – 8:45

Business Meeting  –  OTAC Awards and Elections

8:45 – 9:00



9:00 – 10:00

The Bio-Psycho-Social (BPS) Model and Its Application to Rehab (Track A)

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last several years, you have likely heard the term biopsychosocial. Most likely, you’ve heard it referenced as the Biopsychosocial Model of healthcare. But what does that actually mean? How is it applied to rehabilitation and healthcare as a whole? In this presentation, we’ll:

  • Define and describe the Biopsychosocial Model of healthcare;
  • Explore its application to actual clinical practice;
  • Review relevant literature and research about it.

We’ll also explore its application in a clinical example using chronic pain to describe the three different levels of care outlined by the BPS model.


NBCOT Test Preparation (Track B)


10:00 – 11:00

Spirituality: The Unspoken Influence in a Bio-Psycho-Social Model (BPS) (Track A)

Cheryl R. Meakins, MS, OTR

The foundation of the bio-psycho-social model is spirituality. Ones faith practice informs beliefs about disease, sickness, prayer, community, healing, and death. In this season of covid-19 where isolation leaves patients many hours to think about life and death, spiritual concerns and practices are more prominent. Join the conversation on opening up to your patient’s primary influencing beliefs to engage in a truly holistic outcome.


Occupational Therapy & COVID-19 (Track B)

Krista Covell-Pierson, OTR/L, BCB-PMD

None of us were prepared for the challenges accompanying the COVID19 global pandemic. It’s easy to feel unsure of where OT fits in this new landscape but we must remember that OT’s already have skills to navigate this historical time. With training in self-care, safety, community mobility, and mental health we have the potential to impact our patients’ lives in a whole new way, as well as up-level our own profession. Find clarity and support in this course as we step into our talents and show leadership amidst COVID19. This course is for practitioners wanting tangible treatment ideas, useful assessments, and information for patient care.  

11:00 – 11:15


11:15 – 12:15

Legislative Update and Meet the OTAC Lobbyists (Track A)

Bailey LeBoeuf Johnson

Join OTAC’s Public Policy Chair and OTAC’s lobbyists for an informational session about advocacy, this year’s legislative session, and the practice act.

The Occupational Experience Profile: An Assessment Revealing a Transactional Perspective of Occupation (Track B)

Karen Atler, PhD, OTR/L. FAOTA

Looking for ways to increase the use of occupation in your practice? Use of occupation-based or focused assessments strengthens practitioners’ ability to articulate the profession’s unique perspective on occupation. Become familiar with the new Occupational Experience Profile (OEP) that brings attention to people’s subjective experiences associated with everyday activities, and learn how the OEP has been used in a variety of practice settings. Discover ways to increase client’s understanding of the connections between OT interventions and their everyday activities.

Partnering for Success: An Occupational Therapy Approach to Promote Effective Student Transitions in Higher Education (Track C)

Megan Hutson, OTS

 Kendall Horan, OTS

 Suzanne Holm, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR

Undergraduate (UG) students transitioning into college experience novel, unusual, and disrupting changes in their typical routines and roles as they navigate a brand-new world. Support to successfully transition may include developing planning skills, promoting socialization and self-advocacy, and creating new habits to manage self-care skills. Using a holistic OT model, outcomes from a mixed-method research study sheds light on what students identify they need to be successful at college. A peer mentoring OT-based program to help students adapt to college life is explored.

12:15 – 1:00

Lunch Break/Movement with Alison

1:00 – 2:00

KEYNOTE: Remembering the Pain of Childhood (Track A)

Melanie Noel, PhD, RPsych

2:00 – 2:15



2:15 – 3:15

When Pediatric Bowel and Bladder Function Goes Wrong! (Track A)

Dawn Sandalcidi

Pediatric bowel and bladder disorders (daytime urinary leakage, dysfunctional voiding, encopresis -fecal leakage, bedwetting and constipation) are common and can have significant consequences on quality of life for the child and the family, as well as negative health consequences to the lower urinary tract if left untreated. The purpose of this lecture is to introduce the concepts of urotherapy treatment as a safe, inexpensive, and effective treatment option for children with pediatric voiding dysfunction. Since these issues can persist into adulthood, we must direct attention to the pediatric population to improve the health of all our patients.

OT Professionals Embracing Entrpreneurship (Track B)

Krista Covell-Pierson, OTR/L, BCB-PMD

How often does an OT or OTA feel burnt out by productivity requirements or stifled by management? Or leave their daily job with

thoughts of how to do things better? Too often! Resources for OT's in business and leadership are not where they need to be. OTs

turn to other organizations for guidance when we really need OT professionals in these leadership roles. It’s time OT's turn to our

own field for light on the path to becoming an entrepreneur. This course provides strategies for attendees so they can begin their businesses or enhance their current

business' trajectory. 

3:15 – 4:15

Sleep & OT: Let’s Dream Together (Track A)

Natalie R. Rolle, MOT, OTR/L

OT could have an expanded role in sleep health if the principles & practice of behavioral sleep medicine were more understood by our profession. This course will review the physiology of sleep and discuss assessment/treatment techniques practitioners can start using today! It will also review Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) and its benefits as well as the shortage of practitioners trained to do CBTI, leaving a gap that OT could fill in behavioral sleep health. Sleep is the activity we engage in the most and without it our daily functioning is severely impacted. OT can help, let’s change people’s lives one night at a time!

Adding Value by Addressing Driving Risk (Track B)

Terri Cassidy, OTD, OTR/L, CDRS

Susan Touchinsky

Jill Kelly

Occupational therapy practitioners are distinctly qualified to advise our patients on their safety risk for a variety of instrumental activities of daily living. Driving is seen as one of the most meaningful IADLs and occupational therapy practitioners have the training and skills to help our patients determine risk for return to driving. The Colorado Fitness to Drive Community of Practice has been meeting since 2016 to build confidence and gain skills related to return to drive recommendations. This session will demonstrate the tools that your peers have created specifically for generalist OT practitioners in Colorado. We will share evaluation tools, handouts, and legal information related to addressing driving risk in the clinic.

4:15 – 4:30


4:30 – 6:30

WORKSHOP: TED Circles: An Emerging and Versatile Tool OT Practitioners Should Know (Track A)

Bill Wong, OTD, OTR/L

TED Circles was initially designed for small groups of local community members to watch and reflect on topical TED or TEDx talks together. The COVID-19 pandemic forced TED Circles hosts to shift to use video conferencing platforms for facilitation, which allowed conversations previously would not have happened possible. The speaker will share the utility of TED Circles in OT profession and strategies for possible adaptations through his personal experiences as a host and a participant.

WORKSHOP: Healing Arts: Narrative Medicine in Health and Pain Care (Track B)

Julia Traylor, MA, LMT, C-IAYT, C-NM

Do you ask your patients to "tell me your story" when you meet them in the clinic? Do you know what to do with these stories, or could you learn more? Narrative Medicine, a field of study emerging from Columbia Medical School, equips health professionals with the narrative skills required to connect with patients on a human level and to support them on their pain and illness journeys. Hone your listening and storytelling skills in this collaborative workshop designed to build stronger patient-provider relationships and more productive, sustainable, and ethical healthcare communities.





 Click here to view the agenda!

Virtual Platform
The OTAC 2020 conference will be held online with Whova! We are excited to share the benefits of this virtual platform. You'll be able to interact with other attendees, visit virtual vendor booths, create virtual meet ups and engage in discussion boards. Before conference you'll receive an email from Whova explaining how to set up your personal profile. Click here to get a sneak peek!



Information for Sponsors, Advertisers, and Exhibitors

Conference Benefits for Corporate Members

  • Conference Exhibitor Discount - $100 off exhibitor booth

  • Conference Sponsorship Discount - $100 off any other sponsorship level

  • Special Recognition on the Conference app, OTAC website and social media

  • Click here for information about the additional benefits of corporate membership 

Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities

Event Sponsor - $850 (1 available)

  • Full Banner advertising on the Conference App

  • Banner ad displayed during every live session 

  • Recognition on OTAC Website and Social Media with company logo and link

  • Free exhibitor “booth” for virtual exhibit hall (as described under exhibitor opportunity)

Advertiser - $450 (10 available) 

  • Sidebar advertising on the Conference App, visible during every session

  • Discounted exhibitor “booth” for virtual exhibit hall - $100 (as described under exhibitor opportunity)

Exhibitor Opportunity - $200 (unlimited)  

OTAC will provide a virtual exhibit hall option for conference participants on Friday evening October 16th for 2 hours. Exhibitors will use live Zoom (or similar) video meeting for participants to virtually visit with exhibitors, watch demonstrations, and ask questions.
Exhibitors will be responsible for providing OTAC with a video link, a photo or logo, and a short description of the service, product, demonstration, or business. This information will be shared with attendees on the agenda on the conference app. Attendees will then click on the link to visit exhibitors’ virtual conference “booth.” Contests and incentives for participating with vendors will be encouraged and publicized.
Register as a Sponsor, Advertiser, or Exhibitor