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Research Resources

A monthly newsletter of the AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health
December 2007


Welcome to the second issue of Research Resources, the monthly newsletter of the AOTF Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health.  We received outstanding responses to our inaugural issue, and we look forward to this publication becoming an integral part of AOTF's advancement of research, education, and leadership that promotes greater understanding of the impact of occupation on the health of individuals, families, and communities. In turn, we look forward to these accomplishments helping to realize AOTF's vision of a just and equitable society in which individuals, regardless of age or ability, may participate in occupations of their choice that give meaning to their lives and foster health and well-being.
This issue spotlights three AOTF Institute programs, the Dissertation Research Grant and Scholarship Programs, whose application deadlines are fast approaching, as well as the Program on Habits, Health, and Society. It also features profiles of AOTF Institute-sponsored programs at the 2008 Annual Conference of the American Occupation Therapy Association (AOTA).  Whether you are a researcher in the occupational therapy community or in an allied discipline of the sciences, social sciences, or humanities, we hope that this publication holds valuable information to advance your work and your professional network.
Again, we welcome your feedback and your contributions as we build the capacity, research networks, and programs of AOTF's Institute, both through this publication and our other initiatives.  Thank you for your interest, and happy holidays!



Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD
Director, Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health


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AOTF Institute Program Spotlights

Upcoming application deadline: February 1.

Upcoming online application deadline: February 8. 

Program on Habits, Health, and Society

An ongoing series of interdisciplinary conferences that explore the construct of human habits in scientific and socio-cultural contexts. The fourth installment of this series is currently in its planning stages, so please watch for updates in future issues of Research Resources. Habits III, which convened in January 2007, involved eighty-nine scholars -- representing twelve fields and disciplines -- advancing understanding of habit and its role in everyday life. The proceedings of Habits III, Habit and Rehabilitation: Promoting Participation, are now available through the publisher SLACK, Inc. as the supplement to the fall 2007 issue of OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. If you wish to purchase a copy, please contact SLACK, Inc.

Program for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)   

With support from Worcester State College, the AOTF Program for the Scholarship of SoTL supports development of SoTL among occupational therapy faculty and fieldwork educators in order to develop a body of knowledge about teaching and learning specific to occupational therapy.

The program framework is dynamic and emphasizes mentorship at its core. As described below, this program involves annual pre-conference institutes at the AOTA Annual Conference with cohorts learning from and with each other about SoTL and year-long research projects in teaching and learning practice. The program works to establish and sustain faculty-learning communities that will advance SoTL within and beyond the field of occupational therapy. If you wish to receive more information,  please contact either Jeffrey Reznick, PhD, or Andrea R. Bilics, PhD, OTR/L, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Worcester State College.

AOTF Institute Events at the AOTA Annual Conference in Long Beach, California,

April 9-13, 2008. 

Wednesday, April 9

12:00 - 6:30 p.m.

AOTA/AOTF Academic Writing in Occupational Therapy  Mary Law, PhD, OT Reg(Ont), FCAOT, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.  This pre-conference institute is targeted to junior faculty, emerging scholars, and individuals whose professional responsibilities include writing for publications, and will focus on the challenges as well as the techniques for helping attendees to become more productive writers.  It will include self-assessment materials, practical guides to improve writing productivity, and several writing exercises to be completed during the workshop.

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning   Andrea Bilics, PhD, OTR/L, Worcester State College, Worcester, Massachusetts, Keynote Speaker: Laurie Richlin, PhD, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. This pre-conference institute is part of the AOTF Program for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in occupational therapy.  Through didactic sessions and mentored-learning communities, participants will explore the SoTL research process and develop a specific SoTL project to be implemented and completed in the next academic year.  Participants should bring potential research topics to discuss and explore with colleagues. Additionally, they should prepare to make a commitment to a year-long SoTL project based on their experiences at this pre-conference institute.

Friday, April 11
8 - 11 a.m. 
Families and Occupational Therapy at the Center of Disaster Preparedness and Response  M. Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Washington University, St. Louis, MO; Sharon Bryson, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC; Lex Frieden, MA, LLD (Hon), Texas Institute of Rehabilitation Research, Houston, Texas; Elizabeth Townsend, PhD, OT(C), Reg NS, FCAOT, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. This plenary session, the third in a series, features internationally-renowned authorities on the social justice of rebuilding lives and participation in the wake of disability, disadvantage, or death imposed when disaster strikes families and their communities. Occupational therapy provides client-centered strategies to support the needs of families in crisis as they seek to sustain themselves as functional units and participants in an altered societal structure. Occupational therapy can be the bridge to empowered participation and help to connect the family with community life, public health, and well-being as they confront the multitude of challenges in the wake of disaster. 

Sponsored by Pi Theta Epsilon, the national honor society of occupational therapy and a program of AOTF.

1:30 - 4:30 p.m. New Frontiers in Qualitative Research (QRE) Catherine Lysack, PhD, OT(C), Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Donald Fogelberg, OT/L, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Debbie Rudman, PhD, OT(Ont), The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Jessica Kramer, MS, OTR/L, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.  Continuing AOTF's longstanding commitment to research, and partly in connection with this year's AOTF Research Colloquium & Tea (see below), this QRE will focus on new approaches to qualitative research that reflect major trends critical to the development of the profession.

Saturday, April 12
7:30 - 9 a.m.

Breakfast With a Scholar Enjoy breakfast as acclaimed ballerina Suzanne Farrell shares highlights from an extraordinary career and how, after a hip replacement, she had to rebuild her life and her identity as a dancer and learn new occupational roles as teacher and mentor.


2 - 5 p.m. Research Colloquium & Tea Mary Law, PhD, OT Reg(Ont), FCAOT, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Winifred Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, Laura Gitlin, PhD, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.  This year's Research Colloquium & Tea looks to the future as it recognizes a milestone, the 25th anniversary of the Academy of Research.  The Colloquium will focus on the results of current research in selected areas that reflect major research trends critical to the development of the profession in the 21st century.



Publication/Conference Announcements 

Disability and Health Journal - New from AAHD
The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) has launched the first scholarly, scientific and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal in the field of disability and health; Disability and Health Journal. Until December 31, 2007, AAHD is offering the journal to individual and affiliate members at a tremendous savings.   

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Converging Conference on International Human Struggles

A Single Struggle: The Global Convergence of Civil and Human Rights will be the focus of a two-day conference (May 1-2, 2008) sponsored by the Birmingham Civil Rights InstituteA Single Struggle will examine those societal attributes that have evolved into the accepted differences separating civil rights from human rights. Invited scholars will address these and other issues relating to the similarities among human struggles in the international arena, deadline is December 15, 2007.


Human Rights Conference Seeks Presentations

Human Rights Paradigms and Movements: Third World Perspectives and Challenges Session of the 2008 International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology (September 5-8) seeks presentations on the sociology of human rights in the Third World. Topics may include the universalism/relativism discourse, basic needs (from overcoming poverty to providing shelter and cultural/legal rights to women, sexual minorities, and indigenous groups), civil liberties, and institutional protection.  All theoretical and empirical approaches including local case studies, regional comparisons, and transnational cases are welcome!  Submission deadline: December 15, 2007


NIMH Drafts Strategic Plan
In May 2007, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) launched the process to develop a new Strategic Plan that will serve as its guide for advancing mental health science over the next three to five years. NIMH has now completed a draft of this Strategic Plan and seeks public feedback before the main text is finalized. The document is written such that the Strategic Objectives build upon one another, with themes from the first Objectives mentioned and interwoven with later ones. NIMH encourages public reading and comment on the draft as a whole, in addition to comments with regard to specific strategies and examples. The final version will include attention to the comments received, as well as additional stories of discovery that highlight collaborative efforts and recent research advances.


Student Research Conference Holds Paper Competition

On April 11, 2008, West Texas A&M University will sponsor the Fourteenth Annual Student Research Conference. The conference provides undergraduate and graduate students across the academic spectrum with a supportive environment in which to share their research and gain recognition for their efforts. Judging of research is based on both content and presentation and students can submit an abstract for either a panel presentation or a poster session, or submit a completed paper for the cash award competition. Participation in the conference is free and open to any undergraduate or graduate student. The submission deadline is April 1, 2008.


Conference on Science and the Public

The third annual Conference on Science and the Public (June 21-22, 2008, University of Manchester, United Kingdom) aims to bring together the wide ranging strands of academia that consider science as it intersects with non-scientific cultures. This conference will raise some fascinating questions about the nature, contexts and goals of the public communication of science from both a contemporary and historic perspective. The conference organizers encourage full panel submissions and roundtable sessions on all topics related to the social, cultural, political, and ethical issues surrounding science and the public. Submissions are due March 14, 2008.

Papers Sought on Gender and Aging 
For an upcoming special issue, the multidisciplinary online journal gender forum seeks articles discussing age and aging from a gender perspective. Proposed topics include but are not limited to the different implications of aging for men and women, age and sexuality, the change of gender identity over different stages of life, the problems and/or opportunities of early or late childbearing, gender and ageism/youth mania, as well as explorations of literary or film representations of male/female age and aging. 

Lecturing: An New Book Provides a How-to

A new book aims to combat the fear and nervousness of lecturers. The Art of Lecturing: A Practical Guide to Successful University Lectures and Business Presentations by Parham Aarabi, University of Toronto, offers strategies for successful lectures in the academic and business communities. Aarabi is the winner of the 2004 IEEE Mac Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award for inspirational classroom instruction.


Institute on Randomized Clinical Trials

The eighth annual summer Institute on Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions (July 13 - 25, 2008) organized by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research  The objective of this Institute is to provide a thorough grounding in the conduct of randomized clinical trials to researchers and health professionals interested in developing competence in the planning, design, and execution of clinical trials involving behavioral or social interventions. The faculty will consist of leading authorities in their fields with extensive prior experience in the conduct of major clinical trials, with specializations in psychology, behavioral medicine, psychosomatic medicine, gerontology, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, statistics, clinical trials, and other areas. Applications are due January 31, 2008.


Web-Based & Related Resources

National Center for Health Statistics Releases Microdata

On November 28, 2007, the National Center for Health Statistics released microdata from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.  This survey was sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The survey data can be used to develop updated estimates of the prevalence of special health care needs among children, both nationally and within each state.  This survey also explored the extent to which children with special health care needs have medical homes, adequate health insurance, and access to needed services, as well as other topics. Additionally, a list of variables on the data set, as well as sample SAS programs for reading and formatting the data, are available. With this data release, NCHS has also released a prepublication version of a report titled Design and Operation of the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. In the coming months, please check the SLAITS website for updates.

Three New Publications from the World Bank 

The purpose of the World Bank's web site on disability 

is to raise awareness of disability and development issues. This year, the World Bank announces three new publications, all available in full text at no charge online: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Its Implementation & Relevance for the World Bank (a social protection discussion paper) by Katherine Guernsey, et al., World Bank, June 2007, Measuring Disability Prevalence (a social protection discussion paper) by Daniel Mont, World Bank, March 2007, and Social Analysis and Disability: A Guidance Note - Incorporating Disability-Inclusive Development into Bank-Supported Projects by the Social Development Department, World Bank.

Grant Announcements & Resources

Research Associateships Available at Five College Women's Studies Research Center

The Five College Women's Studies Research Center (a collaborative project of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) invites applications for its Research Associateships for 2008-2009 from scholars and teachers at all levels of the educational system, as well as from artists, community organizers and political activists, both local and international. Associates are provided with offices, library privileges, and the collegiality of a diverse community of feminists. The Center supports projects in all disciplines so long as they focus centrally on women or gender. Deadline for applications is February 11, 2008.



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For more information about the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and its Institute for the Study of Occupation and Health see our web site: www.aotf.org



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