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This month:

 

Support for you, our BC members

As you may know, CAOT-BC has been actively seeking a new Regional Director since Tanya Fawkes completed her time in the role in late 2023. We hope to have a new, dedicated BC Director in place in early spring.

In the interim period, our team remains committed to supporting your practice and advocacy needs. If you have any questions or requests during this transitional period, please feel free to reach out to us at anytime by email at practice@caot.ca and/or advocacy@caot.ca. We’re here for you!



We’re hiring: CAOT-BC Regional Director


 

The Regional Director will represent the occupational therapy membership of CAOT-BC by working with the Advisory Committee and local occupational therapy leaders to advance British Columbia’s occupational therapy practice needs. This position will require collaboration with the national and regional practice networks, CAOT Chapter Regional Directors, and Professional Practice programming (e.g., mentorship, volunteers, practice resource hub).

This position is a one-year renewable term position working three days per week.

Find out more and apply by January 29th.

 


 

Connect with a Colleague: Alex Thompson

Alex Thompson is a BC-based occupational therapist and one of the recipients of the CAOT-BC Research and Education grant 2023. Her practice focuses on paediatrics, mental health, and adventure therapy, and she is the Executive Director of Power For All™, a charity that serves clients in the Fraser Valley Their vision is to provide universal access to adventure based activities to all clients from all walks of life in spite of physical, cognitive, social ability and financial resources.


What does this winning this grant mean to you?

This grant allowed me to travel to Boston and to take three workshops at Project Adventure so that I could complete the requirements for my certification as an Adventure Therapist by the American Experiential Education Association.

Why did you choose OT as a career?

I chose OT as a career because the ethos of our profession is holistic, client and strength centered. I also felt that the profession offered a variety of possibilities in the fields and positions that I can hold and love being able to have this variety.

Where have you worked over your career? Where do you work now?

I was born in Guatemala and had the privilege of growing up as a diplomat kid which allowed me to travel, work and live in several countries throughout my childhood. I decided to become an early childhood educator as this facilitated my status in Canada to stay permanently and then become a citizen. This degree allowed me to teach Kindergarten to grade 2 and I was able to work in Ontario at an inner city school. In the first school that I worked at, children came from families of parents working in the sex trade, refugees coming from war torn countries, parents or caregivers living with mental health conditions and in poverty.

Working with the “challenging behaviors” that these children displayed in my classes was the impetus to know that I loved working with these children and their families. From teaching, I went to work in preschools, childcare centers and day camps in BC. As my family moved to the US and Europe, I pursued employment in a variety of outdoor camps in a few countries. The work in the outdoors, with children from challenging backgrounds, complex trauma and complex behaviors merged with my love for nature and these became the passions that have driven my practice with children, youth and families. I then started early childhood, school age and parent programs that were nature based and had elements of outdoor education to bring about healing from trauma. While being abroad, when I saw the impact of disabilities in the lives of children, I wanted to pave a way to enable ability and access to these children to nature, recreation and active living.

Along with like minded friends, mentors and community supporters, I established Power for All Adventure therapy Charity in 2009. We collaborated with community practitioners and took clients with disabilities into nature, mostly through paddling adventures. Working with a variety of abilities prompted the need to create adaptive devices to compensate for lack of abilities so clients could still be independent in the outdoors. This is why I decided to quit my job, return to University, take training in Kinesiology and Child and Youth Care. With this degree, I pursued a masters in occupational therapy.

Once I became an OT, as an avid outdoor lover, I merged all of my hobbies and passions and have collaborated in a variety of projects to create adaptive devices for several outdoor activities. I continue to exercise a nature based practice that serves clients of all ages and all abilities. As a charity, we also provide funding for clients to have access to OT when finances are a barrier. Through Power for All I provide consultation in environment design and universal access to make communities, programs, facilities and projects accessible. I love the work and collaboration with local Recreation and Parks departments, school districts, indigeneous organizations, local universities and medical vendors. My practice provides a variety of nature based occupational therapy services in the lower mainland.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your OT practice.

I believe that all of us, our work and achievements come from starting on the shoulders of those who came before us in history. Their discoveries, their bravery, their failures and learnings allow us to be who we are today. My ancestors, those who have gone before me, inspire me today. Then I believe that my work and practice have always been profoundly impacted by the children and youth that I have worked with. So many of them, who have kept on going against so many odds, so much hurt, so much injustice and trauma. Their view of life, their resilience and daily acts of courage to go on is what inspires me and teaches me about being a therapist each day!



Provide your feedback on the Access RDSP online Disability Tax Credit tool

The Access RDSP partnership between the Disability Alliance of BC, Plan Institute, and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), is looking to make substantial changes to their free, online Disability Tax Credit (DTC) tool that helps applicants better articulate restrictions to their medical practitioners when filling out their DTC applications. 

 

Many gaps still exist in the process, so they are looking for feedback for the entire DTC process to help them determine what changes need to be made. 

 

If you, or your clients, qualify and have tried to apply before, please complete their 15-minute survey to provide your input.


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Advertise in OTalk BC

Whatever your advertising needs, we have options for you. The OTalkBC monthly e-newsletter is the best ways to reach occupational therapists in British Columbia. 

Contact us at advertising@caot.ca for more information.



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Contact CAOT-BC:

Phone: 1-800-434-2268 Ext 245
Email: caotbc@caot.ca
Fax: (613) 523-2552