ACOT Council held an open forum on March 21, 2023. Hélène Sabourin, CEO of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists provided her update from CAOT:
- They have received a $150,000 grant for collaborative primary care teams. This will be used to create learning modules on collaborative leadership.
- CAOT has met with Veterans Affairs Canada to discuss challenges that OT’s experience such as dilution of the OT role, issues with fee payments, etc.
- Immigration and Refugee Canada will be meeting with CAOT.
- Met with federal Ministers to discuss addictions and mental health issues, and with the Minister of Health regarding the health human resource crisis.
- Accessibility Standard Canada is establishing a technical committee. CAOT will be submitting expert names to sit on that committee.
- CAOT was able to provide input to the National Seniors Council regarding aging at home.
- Advocating for the Canadian student loan program to include Occupational Therapy for loan forgiveness.
- The TRC task force has been working for five years. They are currently looking at transition, and they have approved a commitment statement.
- CAOT continues to advocate for OT to be included by extended health benefits providers. The coverage for OT services is not enough as mental health is at a crisis across Canada.
- They have been included in work on Canadian guidelines for post-covid services.
- The 2025 CAOT conference will be held in Edmonton.
Robin Telasky, Executive Director for the Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists provided the following update for SAOT:
- SAOT has a new sub-committee under the Professional Affairs Committee focused on Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) issues for OTs. WCB is the lowest payer for OT contracts in Alberta. A case document will be prepared in June.
- The Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association has added OT services to their benefit plan.
- SAOT will be welcoming two OT students for summer positions.
Jennifer Lee, ACOT’s Council President and Marianne Baird, CEO and Registrar provided the following updates from ACOT:
- Our refreshed Standards of Practice (SoP) and Code of Ethics (CoE) have been submitted to the government as required by Bill 46.
- The online Continuing Competence Program will be updated over the next year to reflect the refreshed SoP and CoE changes and the 2021 Competencies for OTs in Canada. Stay tuned for upcoming sessions where this will be discussed.
An open forum guest asked if there will be future collaborations between ACOT, CAOT and SAOT for learning opportunities.
- This highlights the difference between the mandates of ACOT, CAOT and SAOT. ACOT’s training must support regulatory requirements such as the continuing competence program. However, training on equity, diversity, and inclusion is a possible area for future collaboration.
Council thanked all for attending the March 2023 Open Forum.