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Hundreds of Occupational Therapists to Converge… Virtually

Approximately 500 occupational therapists are expected to converge next month on the 2020 Virtual OT Exchange.

Originally scheduled to be held in Melbourne in June, the conference was rescheduled in March and the decision taken to make it virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be held on September 14 and 15.

The conference is themed around three key concepts of Learn, Practice and EnrichLearn supports the evidence-based approach at the core of the occupational therapy profession, Practice focuses on the application of that knowledge and learning, while Enrich ensures that the work of the profession achieves positive outcomes for the community and supports the lives that clients want to live.

Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) is delighted that the original event’s keynote speakers, Dylan Alcott and Emma Gee, were both able to make themselves available for the virtual conference.

Dylan Alcott, a dual sport athlete was a Paralympic gold medallist and world champion whilst still a teenager. In 2008, at the age of 17, he was a member of the Australian wheelchair basketball team, which won gold at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing. At the 2016 Rio Paralympics Dylan won gold in both the singles and doubles tennis, making him one of an elite few to have won Olympic gold in two different sports at two separate Olympics. When not making Paralympic history, Dylan is an inspiring motivational speaker and disability advocate.

Emma Gee is an acclaimed inspirational speaker and author, offering her thoughts and solutions on person-centred care and resilience through her keynote presentations, workshops and consultancy. With a background in occupational therapy and as a stroke survivor, Emma is a renowned expert and a living example of what it takes to bounce back in life. Learning to speak again post-stroke, and realising the importance of sharing her story to help others, Emma has made thousands of presentations and has a broad client base, including healthcare groups, businesses, community organisations and educational institutions. She has also just published her first book, Reinventing Emma.

2020 Virtual OT Exchange will feature 93 scientific presentations and three workshops, focused on four particular areas of occupational therapy practice: Driving, Rehabilitation, Paediatrics and Environmental Modifications.

OTA Chief Executive Officer Samantha Hunter thanked all involved with the Exchange for their resilience and professional agility.

“When the implications of COVID-19 became apparent in February, and the conference scheduled for Melbourne became increasingly precarious, the event’s organising committee and our wonderful events staff refused to be beaten,” Ms Hunter said.

“The decision was made to go virtual, and the logistical challenges flowing from that decision were met calmly and methodically. I also want to acknowledge and thank all who supported us throughout the process, from those OTs who have re-registered for the virtual event to our generous conference sponsors.

“One great advantage of the virtual event is its accessibility for overseas occupational therapists. In September we will be joined by delegates from New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore and USA,” Ms Hunter said.

Further information on the event is available at: https://www.otausevents.com.au/otexchange2020/

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