7:30 am–9:00 am
Broadening Our View of International Disaster Response: How Experiences in Haiti Can Inform Occupational Therapy Practice
Debra Tupé, PhD, OTR
On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake shook the foundations of Haiti—its land, its government, its social institutions, and the everyday occupations of its citizens. Over 200,000 people perished and 1.5 million people were displaced from their homes. An estimated 300,000 children and adults sustained complex and/or disabling injuries.
The international community and humanitarian organizations immediately responded to the urgent call for help, sending medical teams, logistical experts, and essential supplies of food, water, clothing, and monetary donations. Occupational therapists from across the globe responded in kind, volunteering their time, sharing their knowledge, and caring for those in need.
The lessons learned from experiences in Haiti’s post-earthquake context provide the backdrop for understanding the role of occupational therapy in disaster situations and international environments. Employing a top-down approach, this presentation explores the confluence of socio-cultural context and political will in constructing and reconfiguring notions of disability, occupation, and participation during phases of disaster recovery, rehabilitation, and restoration.
The occupational therapist’s role as provider, consultant, educator, and advocate is presented and evaluated within the broader context of international development and humanitarian relief. Questions designed to promote reflective practice, such as the role for occupational therapists as first responders, addressing cultural and professional challenges, international work and whether it requires an essential or specific skill set, and how to ensure fidelity to ethical practice, will be discussed in an effort to identify and distinguish competencies of best practice within a specific and particular global community. Interpretative frameworks are introduced to illuminate associations between the critical contributions of occupational therapy to human rights and social transformation.
$35 per person. (Includes breakfast.)
4:00 pm–5:30 pm
Welcome Ceremony and Keynote Address
Shonda Schilling, Author of The Best Kind of Different
Shonda Schilling, the wife of retired major league baseball pitcher and hall-of-fame candidate Curt Schilling, is a star in her own right. She is the mother of a child with a disability, a Stage II melanoma cancer survivor, the founder of Shade Foundation of America, and the outstanding author of her book The Best Kind of Different. In her keynote address, Shonda will describe her son Grant’s irrational behavior in his struggle with Asperger’s syndrome and the amazing experience he has had with occupational therapy to help “slow his engine down and self-regulate his responses.” She will share the effectiveness of occupational therapy in her family and the difference it has made between peace and constant conflict. It has given them hope that they can “get to the finish line” and continues to show them the potential significance of occupational therapy in lives regardless of the issues or obstacles faced from disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.
5:30 pm–9:00 pm
Expo Grand Opening and Reception
Immediately after the Welcome Ceremony ends we invite you to join us in the Expo Hall for an Opening Reception full of networking, delicious hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and hundreds of exhibits to explore! An added opening reception feature this year is having keynote speaker Shonda Schilling available in the AOTA Marketplace to greet attendees and sign copies of her book The Best Kind of Different
Included with Conference registration.