Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Successful OT Event at the Alzheimer's Walk! By Jenna Mele, OTR/L

Nana’s Angels enjoyed a great fundraising season. We went beyond our goal and raised $2,340 to support the Alzheimer's Association. As an occupational therapist, there are many opportunities to engage with and serve this expanding community of people. During the walk, and throughout our campaign, we raised awareness of occupational therapy and the benefits of an intervention to preserve quality of life. Due to the Jimmo vs Sebelius settlement, people with chronic, progressive disease have better access to allied health services.

Our financial support helps the Alzheimer’s Association run a 24-hr professionally staffed helpline, maintain more than 4,500 support groups, and provide free programs in 15 languages. They also advance research through a peer-reviewed research grant program and advocate for people with Alzheimer’s by engaging elected officials to pass legislation at the federal, state, and local levels. With the help of volunteers and professionals, the Alzheimer’s Association provides families with step-by-step guidance and customized actions plans, delivers 20,000 education programs annually, and maintains the nation’s largest library and resource center devoted to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
I hope to see more occupational therapists and students joining us for our 3rd annual walk season next year! Thanks to all of Nana’s Angels who made these past few months a success!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nana's Angel


By Jenna Mele, OTR/L

My grandmother, Nana, lived with Alzheimer's and in her memory I have dedicated my career as an occupational therapist to improving the lives of those touched by this disease. As an occupational therapist I work with and learn from older adults in both skilled nursing facilities and home health. Sweet memories of both my grandmother and patients inspire me to advocate for better support services and a cure.

Currently as many as 5.6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. If the current trend continues, Alzheimer's will bankrupt families, communities, and our healthcare system. Nana's Angels will organize fundraiser nights at local restaurants and walk together in the Alzheimer's Walk on November 3, 2013. As a team our goal is to raise $2000 to support the Alzheimer's Association, who provide consultations, information, referrals, and support programs to our community. Each team member is asked to raise at least $25 dollars. Occupational therapy has much it can offer to this population, but most families are not aware of how they can benefit from an intervention. Help me contribute to an important cause today, by walking with us to raise awareness of our field and financial support for the people who have given so much to us!

Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nanas-Angeles/389384674499025) which links to my team page through the Alzheimer's Association (http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk/CA-CaliforniaSouthland?px=6739054&pg=personal&fr_id=3262). Read more about our team and find out what kind of role you can play to help!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Swim with Mike: OTAC’s Booth

By Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L
OTAC’s Communications Committee organized a booth led by committee chair, Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L, with the assistance of occupational therapy student volunteers Robert Russow and Jennifer Waters. Having the booth provided the opportunity to discuss occupational therapy, OTAC, and Occupational Therapy Month. Our booth was located next to Adaptive Recreation, a student organization started by current student, Robert Scott, who is living with spina bifida. Adaptive Recreation’s goal is to provide opportunities for students with disabilities to be active. Together, we collaborated talking to booth visitors about occupational therapy’s role working with people living with disabilities.

OTAC’s Communications Committee was honored to have a booth at Swim with Mike, especially during Occupational Therapy Month. We look forward to participating in this event next year.  Click here to view a slideshow from the event. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Student Leader, Dahliena Kwan, USC OT student...... Spirits in Action

Spirits in Action is an annual event held at the University of Southern California (USC) for children with disabilities in the Los Angeles area. These children are given the opportunity to play various games and win small prizes at different booths that are hosted by different organizations at USC. The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at USC also participates in this event by hosting a sensory table that incorporates simple games with various textures and sensory experiences. Students of the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program volunteer their time at this event in order to promote the profession of occupational therapy, and to encourage participation in play activities in children with disabilities. By hosting this sensory booth, students are able to interact with the children and their parents and family;  together they are able to explore how occupational therapy promotes sensory experiences and how these different activities can help to regulate behaviors and emotions.

During my undergraduate years at USC, I was a member of the Trojan Marching Band and I would participate annually in Spirits in Action as part of the band’s performance. Therefore, I did not have a chance to actually participate in the event directly. However, this year I had the opportunity to volunteer for the event and I was excited to finally participate in hosting a booth for the children. Personally, it was amazing to see how much fun the children and their families were having and the joy that illuminated their faces while playing the games. It was great to also see that many of the parents of the children with disabilities knew about OT because their child was seeing an OT in school. For those who did not know about OT, our volunteers gladly explained the purpose of OT. This event was a great opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills because I had to learn how to effectively collaborate and communicate with the other volunteers and efficiently resolve any problems that arose during the event. Looking forward, I would love to volunteer in events like these again and help to advance and promote the profession.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Are You the Winner of a Nook?

Congratulations to Ellen Obenberger of June Lake, CA. You are the winner of the grand prize. Email the OTAC office at staff@otaconline.org or call Shannon toll-free at 888-868-3325 to claim your prize by March 8, 2013. Thank you for your support.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Today's Lucky Winner - OTAC

Julie Bissell Is Today’s Lucky Winner (Feb. 22)
Congratulations, Julie! You have won a $10 discount off of your next membership renewal. Contact the OTAC office at Shannon@otaconline.org or call toll-free at 888-686-3225 before Friday, March 1 to take advantage of this prize.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Today’s Winner of the Member Appreciation Drawing

Today’s winner of the member appreciation drawing, Natalia Feldman of San Francisco, has won a $10 discount off the 2013 Annual Conference registration in Sacramento
Congratulations, Natalia. See you in Sacramento in October.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It Never Gets Boring to Announce Prize Winners

The winner for today’s drawing (Thursday, February 7, 2013) is Amanda Woods and she has won a $5 discount on her next membership renewal. Amanda, please contact the OTAC office toll-free at 888-686-3225 within seven days of this posting to claim your prize.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Vision in Action: Increasing Mobility Internationally through Occupational Therapy

By Kecia Coker, (OTD Cand.), MA, OTR/L, OTAC Communications Committee 
Have you ever noticed the presence or lack of community resources when you travel to a new place? Do you also notice the presence or lack of universal design features that either include or exclude people with disabilities?

If so, it’s probably because being an occupational therapy (OT) practitioner is something you can’t turn off--even on vacation!  On a trip to Indonesia to visit and support her son’s geo tourism business, Diane Mayfield, Ed.D., OTR/L couldn’t help but notice numerous people living with disabilities that were treatable or could be improved with the use of adaptive equipment. The experience had such an impact on Dr. Mayfield that she returned to the United States with a passion to volunteer her time and share her occupational therapy expertise with the international community.  

In 2006, Dr. Mayfield helped to establish Access Life International Inc. (ALI), a non-profit organization. ALI provides water purification systems and mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers and ramps to communities in need.  The organization primarily assists those living in Bali, Indonesia, though they hope to expand to additional developing countries in the future.

Here’s how it works: the ALI organization trains and employs local Indonesian residents to assist people with physical disabilities. ALI employees videotape interested participants with disabilities in their living environments and send the videos to Dr. Mayfield and her Australian OT colleagues to review. The OTs assess the occupational limitations demonstrated in the video and then consult with ALI staff in Indonesia to develop a plan.  ALI staff then builds, and/or delivers mobility aids and provides training on the use of these aids to individuals and caretakers. The interventions delivered work to improve the person’s mobility, function, and access to an improved quality of life.

Dr. Mayfield’s work demonstrates the OTAC Vision in action (adopted from the AOTA Centennial Vision), “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.” By increasing public awareness of OT through volunteer work, she is also an OT Leader that Shines!

Dr. Mayfield has particularly focused her leadership on promoting OT through a globally- connected workforce and by meeting the occupational needs of individuals in a developing country.  In addition to providing remote consultation services for ALI and fundraising on behalf of the organization, Dr. Mayfield travels to Bali 2 weeks out of the year to provide hands-on assistance with ALI’s operations.  In her role as Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), Dr. Mayfield has worked to establish international fieldwork placement sites. As a classroom instructor, she regularly encourages OT students and graduates to volunteer their expertise in the global community.  Dr. Mayfield says, “A successful person is a person that gives back and volunteers.”  Many CSUDH OT alumni have responded to Dr. Mayfield’s encouragement and have become OT Leaders that Shine through international volunteer work in countries such as Ghana, Ireland, and Romania. 

Dr. Mayfield describes herself as, “an advocate for people with disabilities who are unable to speak for themselves.”  In addition to being an advocate, she has also demonstrated the following leadership qualities along her journey:  

·         Passion for her work.

·         Persistence and determination when faced with challenges.  

·         Adaptability when things don’t go as planned. 

·         Respect for various cultural perspectives when developing partnerships domestically and abroad.

If you too have found your passion in international volunteer work, let us know! 

For more information about ALI or to learn how you can get involved, visit www.accessli.org.   Additional international and domestic volunteer opportunity websites can be found on this blog. Click on the Volunteer Website Resources in the “pages” section and connect to your inner OT Leader that Shines!