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2021 VOTA Conference
Workshop Sessions and Posters

** Unless otherwise noted as intermediate or advanced, the level of presentation is an introduction level presentation

Workshop sessions are list by practice area and posters are listed below workshops in alphabetical order.

Practice Areas (click on the name of area to go directly to that section)


Academic and Fieldwork Education

Shaping the Future Generation of OT Practitioners: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Giving Feedback to Students During Fieldwork – Whitney Ennis, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: This interactive presentation and workshop will provide fieldwork educators with information and activities to support students in becoming successful and independent learners.

The Efficacy of Using Simulated Level I Fieldwork vs.Traditional Environments: Are We Effectively Preparing Students for Level II Fieldwork? – Sharon Wright, OTR/L, Megan Cook, OTD, OTR/L, Kathryn Skibek, OTD, MS, OTR/L; Amanda Leo, MOT, OTR/L; & Care Richardson, MS, OTR/L

Abstract: Nationwide, OT programs are experiencing a shortage of fieldwork sites. As academic programs anticipate continued shortages, using alternate educational methods to meet fieldwork requirements may become the norm. This retrospective study examines the efficacy of simulation in preparing OTA students for Level II Fieldwork.

Child and Youth

Vision Deficits: What Every OT Should Know – Tod Davis, OD, FCOVD

Abstract: This session will help occupational therapists understand how vision impacts learning, how to identify vision problems, and the role of the developmental optometrist in treating vision problems.

General and Professional Education

Applying Immersive 360 Virtual Reality to OT – Amy Yun, OTD, MS OTR/L, Kaylee Lamper, OTS, Natalie Pietro, OTS, Harmony Kowiatek, OTS, Jared McCracken, OTS, Bekah Vanzo, MOTR/L, Mikayla Moore, MOTR/L, & Bandon Mantell MOTR/L

Abstract: This program will educate OT practitioners on using VR technology throughout the OT process. It will include an introduction to the technology needed to create and view a 360-VR photo as well as basic instructions on how to create a photo.

Building a DEI Network in Virginia – Mollie Kamerow, MS, OTR/L, Pamela Stephenson, OTD, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Abstract: This interactive workshop-discussion will explore networking strategies to help OT practitioners, educators and students collaboratively address topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and justice.

Communities of Practice and You: Taking Them to Work – Pamela Stephenson, OTD, MS OTR/L, FAOTA & Heidi Hull, OTD, MS, OTR/L

Abstract: This interactive presentation will explore the benefits of and barriers to establishing and maintaining a community of practice (CoP). It will offer participants strategies and resources to assist them in establishing a sustainable workplace.

The NBCOT Disciplinary Action Program: Serving the Public Interest – Shaun Conway, OTR & Stephanie Fletcher, OTR/L

Abstract: In order to serve the public, certificates and exam applicants must abide by the NBCOT code of conduct and practice standards. This presentation provides an overview of the NBCOT disciplinary action program, including procedures for enforcement and sanctions that may take place.

NBCOT – Maintaining Certification and Competency – Shaun Conway, OTR, Senior Director, External, and Regulatory Affairs & Stephanie Fletcher, OTR/L, Assistant Director, External and Regulatory Affairs

Abstract: The value of NBCOT® certification is supported by the organization’s mission to serve the public interest by advancing client care and professional practice through evidence-based certification standards and the validation of knowledge essential for effective practice in occupational therapy. For those interested, this presentation will provide an update on means to maintain NBCOT certification as well as the importance of continued professional competency.

Organizing Virtual TEDx Events- Doable for Busy OT Students and Practitioners? – Bill Wong, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: In many AOTA presidential addresses in the 2010's, as well as the 2012 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture, a consistent message was the need to raise public awareness of OT to general public. Organizing TEDx events is a proactive action that meets this need. However, this speaker is the only OT student or practitioner who has ever done this.

Power in the Partnership - OT/OTA Collaboration Across Practice Settings – Michele Stoll, MS, COTA/L, CMT & Kimberly Alford, OTD, MOL, OTR/L

Abstract: OT Practitioners encompass both OT & OTA personnel. In this presentation we will explore & discuss the individual roles of the OT & OTA as well as the collaborative partnership which takes place across practice settings. We will explore role delineation, role comparison, supervision, and how to build a respective, collaborative relationship.

Using Digital Technologies & Digital Stories in OT Practice – Amy Yun, OTD, MS, OTR/L, Paige Moore, OT, Chloe Beisser, MOTS, & Azjah Land, MOTS

Abstract: This interactive session exposes participants to emerging digital media & digital stories that have been infused into OT practice. Participants will learn where to find online resources. Participants who bring their own devices will have an opportunity to engage with different media and begin their own digital project.

Mental Health

Occupational Therapy's Role in Youth Mental Health Promotion – Miranda Montgomery, OTD, OTR/L & Pamela Stephenson, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Abstract: With the prevalence of mental illness and the relatively young age of diagnosis, promoting youth mental health to increase resiliency and increase occupational engagement and performance is crucial. This session will explore how the holistic nature of the OT profession can be a vital force in promoting positive mental health within a variety of contexts.

Productive Aging

Occupational Therapy’s Role in Support Patients with Dual Sensory Loss (DSI) – Kristen Chang, OTD, MOT, OTR/L, CLT

Abstract: Life can be challenging for individuals with hearing loss or vision loss but is even more complicated for individuals with both - known as dual sensory loss (DSL). Occupational therapy practitioners have an important role in supporting older adults with DSL in addressing function, occupation, and well-being.

Don’t you Bring that Screen in the Bathroom: Telehealth with Older Adults – Michaela Leatherwood, OTR/L

Abstract: Can telehealth be successfully utilized with a population that is not known for being tech-savvy? Find out how telehealth was used to meet the needs of older adults residing in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation

A New Frontier of OT Practice: Technology for Cognitive Access – Gretchen Ward, MS, OTR/L

Abstract: Occupational therapy is driven to improve occupational participation and increase inclusion for individuals. Technology can be the great equalizer when leveraged to support clients in the right way, and we as occupational therapy practitioners should be leading this charge.

Caring for the Caregiver: Educating Those Assisting in Post-Stroke Care at Home – Whitney Ennis, OTD, OTR/L, Ashley Retton, MOTS, Brittany Caleb-Taylor, MOTS, & Mary Larsen, MOTS

Abstract: As occupational therapists, we provide skilled intervention to our clients who have suffered a stroke. However, the wellbeing of the caregiver is equally as important as the wellbeing of the patient. This presentation will support clinicians in creating a caregiver program to be delivered upon client discharge from an inpatient setting, to promote success for both patient and caregiver at home.

Defensible Documentation and Best Practice Standards to Optimize Third Party Payor Reimbursement – Paige Johns, OTD, OTR/L, CDP

Abstract: In this presentation, data elements for the determination of medical necessity will be discussed from a clinical peer reviewer’s perspective. Discussion will include active participation/engagement using clinical examples, conceptualizing tenets of medical necessity within the realm of best clinical practices, and defensible documentation standards. Medical necessity will be defined, conceptualized and applied.

Evaluation and Practical Interventions for Common Neuro-Vision Deficits: Beyond Basics and Buzz-Words – Keith Gentry, EdD, MS-OTR/L, SC-FES, SCLV

Abstract: Visual deficits are common among clients with stroke and traumatic brain injury. Through this intermediate-level course, participants will move beyond the basics to deepen their awareness and understanding of these deficits, including how to perform clinical screenings and apply interventions to maximize client function in daily activities.

Occupation-Based Treatment Strategies for a Busy Outpatient Clinic – Nancy Krolikowski, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CHT

Abstract: Occupation-based interventions are the cornerstone of occupational therapy. Busy clinic schedules can make it difficult to meet the needs of our patients. Don't sacrifice quality! Learn to design treatment sessions that fit a busy treatment schedule.

Occupational Therapy During Post-Secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities – Elly Olson, MOTS, Melanie Lessard, MOTS, Chloe, Beisser, MOTS, & Amy Russell Yun, OTD, MS OTR/L

Abstract: Investigators hope research will promote OT outcomes for students with disabilities in post-secondary transitions to college as an emerging setting. Research is intended to inform institutions on students’ needs facilitating successful transitions, and encourage development of self-advocacy skills.

Supporting Individuals who Sustain Brain Injury Secondary to Domestic Violence – Danielle Hale, OTD, OTR/L, Anne McDonnell, MPA, OTR/L, & Allison Ellington, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract: This presentation reviews the intersection between domestic violence and brain injury, and discusses OTs role in advocating for this population. It covers screening for brain injury and specific resources available to support clients. An overview of the grant project conducted by the Brain Injury Association of Virginia is also discussed.


Brain Injury and Homelessness within Occupational Therapy's Scope of Practice – Jordan Widenhouse, OTS & Allison Ellington, OTD, OTR/L

Building Support and Resources for the Fieldwork Community Through Doctoral Capstone Experiences – Kira William OTD & Patricia Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA

Developing a Resiliency Skills Based Intervention for College Students to Support Graduate School Occupational Balance – Tracy Caldwell Young, PhD OTS & Amy Russell Yun, OTD, MS, OTR/L

Empowering Occupational Justice for All in Long Term Care Facilities – Lori Potter, OTDS, Sarah McCadden, OTD, OTR/L, & Lisa Burns, PhD, OTR/L

No One Left Behind: Occupational therapy's role in supporting military personnel transitioning to civilian life – Harleigh Hanselman, OTS, Sarah McCadden, OTD, OTR/L & Lisa Burns, PhD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapy's Role in Improving Independence in Feminine Hygiene Among Female Clients with Spinal Cord Injury – Ashleigh Bedwell, OTS, Carrigan Wright, OTS, & Keith Gentry EdD, OTR/L, SC-FES, SCLV

Occupational Therapy's Role in the Management of Heart Disease – Devon Brzezynski, OTDS & Allison Ellington, OTD, OTR/L

Perceived Factors Influencing Adaptive Equipment Use in Rural and Urban Areas in Virginia – Lynne Umbarger, PhD, OTR/L

The Primary Roles of Occupational Therapy in Feeding and Eating with Neonates in the NICU – Nakayla Guimond, OTS, Emily Pendell, OTS, Cassie Holland, OTS, & Jason Browning, PHD., OTR/L

The role of occupational therapy in enhancing social and community participation for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in adult day service programs – Rebecca Sennett, OTDS & Emily Budd, OTD, OTR/L

Signature Pedagogies in Occupational Therapy: A Quantitative Analysis of Curricular Designs – Melanie Blank, OTD, OTR/L, Patricia Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, Amanda Leo, MOT, OTR/L, & Elizabeth Richardson, MS, OTD, OTR/L

Use of an Upper Extremity Robot for functional rehabilitation in chronic stroke patients with disabling spasticity: A Case Series – Kari Fisher, OTD, OTR/L, C/NDT

Within one week of the conclusion of the conference, everyone registered for the conference will receive a survey to complete about your virtual experience. After completing the survey you will receive an email with your certificate.

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