Special Interest Sections
NCOTA seeks to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information for OT professionals. With this goal, the association has structured a series of special interest sections each devoted to specific areas of practice. All work to help professionals find the information they need about diverse topics within occupational therapy.
Chair: Open position
Designed for professionals working in managerial, leadership and administrative roles within OT.
The NCOTA Educational SIS serves to create a connection between the NCOTA and OT/OTA Programs in NC. The goal is to make sure that OT/OTA programs, including faculty and students, are aware of NCOTA events and the benefits of joining the NCOTA. The SIS can serve as a resource for OT/OTA Programs in NC. The Education SIS Chairs will lead OT/OTA Program discussions on concerns and issues related to occupational therapy education.
Co-Chair: Megan Edwards Collins, PhD, ORT/L - Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department
Co-Chair: Alsha Baker, OTD, OTR/L - Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Cabarrus College MOT Program
Dr. Baker obtained a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Prior to joining the occupational therapy (OT) faculty at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences as Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Dr. Baker was the lead OT in a North Carolina public school system where she specialized in providing services to students with autism spectrum disorder and providing assistive technology supports. Dr. Baker has served as the Pediatric Special Interest Section Co-Chair for the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association and is currently serving at the Education and Research Special Interest Section Co-Chair. She has participated in professional development activities with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy as a Pediatric Content Specialist Item Writer and the American Occupational Therapy Association as a Critically Appraised Paper Reviewer. Dr. Baker enjoys the opportunity to serve students in an academic setting to assist students to become highly skilled and self-initiated entry-level occupational therapy practitioners.
Resources for Educators:
American Occupational Therapy Association- www.aota.org
National Institutes of Health- http://www.nih.gov
Co Chair: David Benthall, MS, OTR/L & QDCS
Co-Chair: Catherine Balentine, MS, OTR/L
For professionals working with senior and geriatric populations.
NC Area Agencies on Aging
Includes links to 17 regions throughout the state.UNC Institute of Aging
This is a statewide institute that has extensive resources, educational opportunities and information on aging in North Carolina. It offers links to many other relevant sites. North Carolina State Division of Aging
Learn about resources available to older adults in NC as well as find details about the North Carolina Aging Services Plan and Senior-Friendly Communities.UNC Program on Aging
NC Area Health Education Programs AHEC
North Carolina Ombudsman Program
Long Term Care Ombudsmen serve as advocates for residents in nursing homes and adult care homes (rest homes/assisted living) throughout North Carolina.North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
The rights of residents of nursing homes and adult care homes are acknowledged and protected by State law.
Co-Chair: Valerie Fox, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP
Co-Chair: Caity Bunch, MS, OTR/L
Mental Health SIS Co-Chairs welcome your input and participation.
Coverage and approaches for addressing occupational mental health issues. Their are many important developments coming in the next couple of years. The Mental Health Special Interest Section serves to support occupational therapy practitioners working in mental health, behavioral health, and psychosocial OT settings to promote networking, mentoring students and new clinicians, share evidence-based practices, and build advocacy for both challenges and opportunities within the changing structure of services.
Now is an extremely dramatic time in the field of mental health within the state of North Carolina. It is both challenging and exciting with all the changes that are taking place. We aim to be a forum that encourages creative approaches for discussing and responding to the issues that surround this changing workplace.Mental Health Resources
Mental Health America - resource for finding help and learning more information about mental health.
Mental Health and Occupational TherapyAOTA - www.aota.org
AOTA Fact Sheets about OT Role in Mental Health
AOTA School Mental Health Toolkit
AOTA Mental Health SIS
Mental Health for Veterans - information, resources, and videos for Veterans and family members/supporters
Co-Chair: Kristin Burgess, MS, OTR/L
Co-Chair: Kristina Lawrence, OTR/L (School based)
The Pediatric Special Interest Section serves the interests of occupational therapists working in schools, early intervention, pediatric private practices and clinics to help each other with problem solving regarding current issues involving pediatric practice, increase our knowledge of evidence-based practice, network and mentoring.
Pediatric occupational therapists are employed in a variety of settings, but the challenges that we face and the joys that we experience with our clients are often similar. This Special Interest Section provides a forum for networking and contacting other therapists who work with babies, children, and adolescents. Together we can brainstorm and problem-solve ways to enhance the services that we provide and strengthen our roles as leaders within our profession and treatment environments.AOTA
American Occupational Therapy AssociationOT Exchange
This site provides a central place where therapists can exchange ideas, share experiences and brainstorm together.North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services
Contemporary Forums provides fully accredited, advanced focus, clinical CE conferences for healthcare professionals.Handwriting Without Tears
Research supports the active teaching of handwriting.Henry OT
Bringing Sensory Integration to Schools, Homes and Businesses and the Sensory Processing Measures (SPM and SPM-Preschool) to clinics, homes and school communities
American Academy of Pediatrics
AAP recommendations form the basis of pediatric preventive health care.NC Early Intervention
The North Carolina Early Intervention Branch (NCEI) is a part of the N.C. Division of Public Health.North Carolina Early Intervention Library
North Carolina Early Intervention and Early Childhood Lending Libraries’ website
Division of Medical Assistance (NC) - includes Medicaid
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) oversees the Division of Medical Assistance (DMA).
NC Dept. of Public Instruction
Building on Success of Superior SchoolsNCDivision of Child Development: Daycare information
The mission of the NC Department of Health and Human Services is, in collaboration with our partners, to protect the health and safety of all North Carolinians and provide essential human services.NC Public Schools:Student page
TelAbility Project: links to and information about diagnostic, medical, intervention, family and careprovider issues for children with special needs
Co-Chair: Michael Gagliano, OT/L, Reiki Master
Co-Chair: Heidi Van Keulen, OTR/L, CBIS
Information and clinical resources for those caring for adults with physical disabilities. Physical Disabilities SIS Co-chairs welcome your input and participation.
Entering 2016 we face challenging times as OT and OTA’s. We see heightened medical complexities & acuity levels in those we serve. Treatment techniques that are ever evolving & attempting to integrate them into a cogent treatment plan is anything but simple. The nuances of the human condition ( our social, cultural, mental/emotional, emotional/spiritual constructs) are being reduced with limited focus on our physicality. This very much goes against our professional roots which so brilliantly understood the dynamic interplay of those nuances in the healing process. In addition the financial considerations of the various venues we practice within sometimes seem to work against our ability to enhance our patients optimal functional task performance. These realities can leave us as clinicians feeling disillusioned, isolated and frustrated.
It is our hope to reach out to our fellow clinicians , bring us together to support each other & our profession, to inspire each other , to teach , to share and to grow as clinicians. In this light we need your feedback as to what things you need from this SIS to fulfill your mission. Some of the things we are looking at include; broadening the SIS presence on our Facebook page and the possibility of a regularly scheduled “conference calls” with topic agendas & speakers. Please feel free to email Heidi or Michael with your suggestions, needs, concerns. We look forward to the opportunities this new year has to offer to us all.”
The American Occupational Therapy Association website has comprehensive information via the AOTA Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section in the Members Area of the website. The Hand Subsection, Driving/Driver Rehabilitation Network, AOTA PDSIS newsletters (current & archived), and Member Listserv with the new WebBoard format offer additional help. AOTA PDSIS Chair: Debbie Amini, from North Carolina.
The AARP Legal Services Network provides a list of attorneys screened by AARP who offer free and reduced-fee legal services. May wish to look at AARP Long-Term Care Insurance information, AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide using IRS-certified volunteers to prepare tax returns and answer tax questions, or seek answers from the AARP Foundation Litigation Volunteer Legal Review Program regarding consumer issues, nursing home abuse, and age discrimination in employment.
Information direct from third party reimbursement agents
Neurological Disorders & Stroke
1-800-277-7294American Hand Therapy Foundation
Promotes research, education, & links to International Societies.Hand Therapy Certification Committee
Certified Hand Therapists referral directoryThe Academy of Lymphatic Studies
The Academy of Lymphatic Studies is one of several available certification courses and referral sources for therapists for management of lymphedema.The Lymphology Association of North America
LANA is a non-profit corporation concerned with the competence of therapists treating lymphedema.National Lymphedema Network
National Lymphedema Network offers a quarterly newsletter called “Lymph Link.”
Co-Chair: Molly Shannon, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Co-Chair: Deanna Baldassari, MSOT, OTR/L
Information and resources for practitioners serving patients with assistive technology needs.
Welcome! This section of the NCOTA website is dedicated to links and resources for OT practitioners who serve persons with technology needs. Now is an extremely dramatic time in the field of assistive technology within the state of North Carolina as budgets and payers keep changing the rules. It is both challenging and exciting with all the changes that are taking place. We aim to be a forum that encourages creative approaches for discussing and responding to the issues that surround this changing workplace. Occupational Therapists and Assistants who are employed in technology positions within their organizations are often faced with unique challenges. This Special interest section provides a forum for networking and contacting other therapists who work in similar settings. Together we have the opportunity for brainstorming and problem-solving that strengthen our roles as leaders in the field of Occupational therapy and within our AT roles. The following information and resources are for those who seek information related to assistive technology whether it is low or high tech.
Assistive technology resources, product lists, monthly newsletter, an on-line AT resource for professionals called “solutions”, and a yearly conference.
RESNA is the certifying board for anyone who wants to receive their ATP (assistive technology practitioner) certification. Potentially, in 2008, all therapists performing wheelchair evaluations for patients with Medicare will have to be RESNA certified or the chair will not be covered. They have an annual conference as well as an online listing of great AT resources.
They have equipment of all types for free trial and loan as well as doing advocacy, and public awareness. NCATP also does fee based training, home visits, consultation, workshops, and assessments.
Co-Chair: Jennifer Carter Smith, OTD, MBA, OTR/L
Co-Chair: Open position
Welcome to the Home Health Special Interest Section of the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association’s website. The evolving home health landscape provides occupational therapy professionals new opportunities to strengthen the presence of OT in this environment. Changing payment models and new federally mandated outcome measures provide a ripe environment for occupational therapy professionals to positively contribute to improved patient outcomes. This section is dedicated to providing information, support, problem-solving, and positive interactions to improve and strengthen our role in home health. Please send questions, comments and feedback to your Home Health SIS co-chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Occupational Therapy Association: Occupational Therapy’s Role in Home Health
This fact sheet developed by AOTA provides occupational therapy practitioners with information on how occupational therapy utilized in home health including Medicare qualifications, contributions to the OASIS, supervision of aides, and conditions frequently seen in home health.
Medicare Benefit Policy Manual: Chapter 7 Home Health Services
Medicare: Home Health Compare website
Occupational therapy practice guidelines for home modifications
Tomita, M. R., Saharan, S., Rajendran, S., Nochajski, S. M., & Schweitzer, J. A. (2014). Psychometrics of the Home Safety Self-Assessment Tool (HSSAT) to prevent falls in community-dwelling older adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 711–718. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.010801
Burns, S. C., & Neville, M. (2016). Cognitive assessment trends in home health care for adults with mild stroke. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7002290020. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.016543
Leland, N. E., Crum, K., Phipps, S., Roberts, P., & Gage, B. (2015). Health Policy Perspectives—Advancing the value and quality of occupational therapy in health service delivery. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6901090010. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.691001