Thoughts from Thursday

I'm Attending! Not only am I attending, I'm here!
Here's some of the cool things that happened on Thursday...
One of the fun parts of conference is that you can meet people I call your "OT heroes," people that you have read about or heard of that are fairly famous in the OT world. Yesterday I ran into Chuck Willmarth and Tim Nanof from AOTA, Paul Fontana of industrial rehab and lately elected to AOTA position, The editor from OT Practice whose name has unfortunately slipped my brain, Ingrid Kanics of play center fame, and Salvador Bondoc and the other leaders of my PDSIS. And of course, Frank Gainer was ever-present, I always consider him the conference guru because any time I've ever had a question during conference, I could find him and he would have the answer.

Went to some interesting sessions yesterday and got some good pictures from wandering around and also during opening ceremonies. Opening was awesome, with the floor literally bouncing up and down as people danced in the aisles. Seated next to me was a woman from the Netherlands, who was astounded at all the action and the great turnout. I have some videos of different parts of the opening fol-de-rol and also took a fairly good video of Joan Rogers (sp?) receiving the Wilma West Award from AOTA & AOTF. Hopeful to get that up for viewing soon, just need a slightly more stable internet connection.

Got to get going now- have a workshop on the NICU, SIS roundtable to discuss outpatient oncologic rehab, and some other cool things in the afternoon which have slipped my mind.


Blogging Against Disablism Day

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2010

May 1, 2010 is this year's Blogging Against Disablism Day. Though I will be at the AOTA Conference (and I hope you will be too) I will try to set up an entry in advance.

Blogging Against Disablism day will be on Saturday, 1st May. This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people will blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made. ... At the same time, do not feel you have to use the same language that I do, even to talk about "disablism". If you prefer to blog against disability discrimination, ableism or blog for disability equality, then feel free to do so.
For more info: Diary of a Goldfish


Pre-Conference Plugs

I'm Attending! It's almost time for Conference and I am super excited! In case you're doing some last-minute planning, here are some services that I have used with good results that may come in handy for those attending conference. Some of these things are FREE, so a browse should be worthwhile to all.

Transportation: If you're looking for a ride to/from the airport, I would highly recommend John's Transportation. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting John on our recent trip to Disneyworld. He was a great professional, very accommodating. Our plane was delayed for 4 hours (which he called and alerted us to) and he was still very prompt at the airport to greet us very very very late at night though I'm sure we ravaged his schedule. Prices were reasonable and I had a great experience with his family business.

Address Labels: I was very jealous of the people who brought address labels to the expo last time I went to conference. Everyone wants to fill out their names to enter drawings and win freebies, but it can be a lot of writing with so many exhibitors! Address labels on a roll, custom made with email address as well, save so much time. I used Superior Labels because they came up quick on a google search. I got plenty of opportunities to check the order, and shipping was quick. 300 labels for $10.

Email: As an addendum to the above expo information, if you don't want your email account to be overloaded with job offers and newsletters, consider getting a second (third, fourth...) email account. GMail accounts are free and the best service that I've found. Great filtering of messages, search capability of messages, and you never have to delete anything again. The Labs features for gooogle products are a great bonus to customize your capabilities. I'd consider switching if you have anything else, but even if you don't want to do that it will make a great secondary.

Business Cards: I liked the selection of designs offered for cards designed by FedEx. Link goes to those with a keyword of "therapy" which has several nifty backgrounds including one with a reacher. Ironically, you cannot order these at a FedEx store, only online. I would recommend being comfortable with concepts used in microsoft word & publisher such as manipulating text boxes since that's what you'll need to get any kind of custom look. Shipping was pretty quick, but 500 for $30 is a little more expensive than I have seen at some local stores, so you may be able to scout a better deal in your neighborhood. I'm a little bummed because I forgot to add my twitter link on my cards, but otherwise they look pretty spiffy.

Shoes: First, a free tip that saved my feet in Las Vegas. I always thought that there was one right way to lace shoes, but recently I've been having a problem with too-tight forefoot sections causing pain and numbness in my feet. When I came across the suggestions from Dick's Sporting Goods for lacing depending on the type of foot, it changed my sneaker-wearing self forever. I am a believer, and have no more problems from the shoes. So when you say, "hey your sneakers look funny," I will say, "thank you, they feel great!"

Secondly, the curved sole shoes have really become a fad in recent years... not quite to the point of heelies, but still causing a stir. I got interested in them when I saw MBT shoes on the Rachel Ray show a few years ago, but couldn't bear to spend >$200 on a pair of shoes. (Their website never works on my computer, so I won't link it, however I will do this) I was willing however, to spend about $30 for this Curves Sandal from Avon, and also to buy some knockoff sneakers from some place on Ebay. (Regarding the sneakers, it was a bit of a mistake for me not to notice that they were being shipped from halfway around the world, which did take a considerable amount of extra time.) I don't know that they work my calves more or give me more of a workout than any other sneaker. They suck for climbing stairs, and you'd have to be a fool to exercise in them (running, machines, etc). I know that I have to consciously work on a heel-toe gait pattern to avoid stepping with the largest part of the curve. Best part of these shoes for me (and a legitimate factor in calorie-burning) is that I can move while standing still, getting in some fidgeting and vestibular input. If you've never worn these kind of shoes before, don't get them before conference because your feet will regret it. Work up to it at a different time.

Please note, these are unpaid and unrequested endorsements of products and services that I have personally used.


Podcast with AOTA Presenter Kelly Casey

Welcome to the First-Ever OTNotes podcast!

I'm a Speaker!

Featuring Kelly Casey, Occupational Therapist from The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, who is presenting multiple topics at the AOTA Conference. (Get it? That's why we're using the special "speakers-only" badge for this entry) The audio is 22 minutes, please forgive the technical quality and instead focus on the awesome discussion points offered.

Here are some links to helpful information in case you're not taking notes:

Kelly's Topics:

Thu, Apr 29, 9:00 - 10:30 AM Short Course 105

Culture Change In Acute Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Creating Respect For Therapies

Thu, Apr 29, 1:00 - 3:00 PM Poster 207

Movement Towards The Centennial Vision: Steps Of Post-professional And Entry Level OTDs

Fri, Apr 30, 2:00 - 3:30 PM Short Course 223

Assessing Cognitive Disorders: Integrating Standardized Assessments In Acute Care

Cognitive assessments discussed:
- Cognitive Assessment of Minnesota
- Executive Function Performance Test
- JFK Coma Recovery Scale

Centennial Vision Statement

We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs.