Attending the 2012 AOTA conference was absolutely a great experience. Having the event in Indianapolis was perfect. Being fairly new to this city, I do have to admit that this city does a fantastic job of hosting events. Having the opportunity to meet various occupational therapy students and practicing clinicians from across the country was remarkable. Everyone I came across and spoke to was so encouraging and positive; and trust me I am not easy to impress. It was comforting to see the sheer excitement and candid expressions from everyone involved in this coming together of the minds.
It all began with the opening ceremony, having a huge hall filled with staff, students and clinicians was awesome. Before the ceremony we got to meet Mayor Ballard, who was kind enough to come by and chat with us for a few moments. There was a dueling piano act that opened up and played everything from Elvis to Lady Gaga; that really got everyone up and moving. After the opening ceremony I had a chance to check out the expo hall and let me say….WOW, there was so much to take part in and see. I stopped by a bunch of booths that were advertising cutting edge pediatric tools and others which were advertising new assistive technology. I also collected my fair share of freebies. I also had a chance to attend a session on the Occupational Therapy Centennial Vision. I learned a great deal from hearing New York’s Senator Kennedy (who is also an occupational therapist) speak about doing more to advocate for our profession. There were several other speakers that discussed adaptive and assistive technology, which I found to be really interesting.
The highlight for me personally was having the chance to be a part of the alumni reception. Since many UIndy alumni came back, it seemed like a family reunion. The banquet hall has filled with people laughing and remembering the fun times they had at the University of Indianapolis. Reflection is important in the world of occupational therapy, so as I look back on the 2012 AOTA conference it is an experience I definitely needed at that time in the semester and an experience I will never forget. Hopefully next year I can attend the 2013 AOTA conference in San Diego.
-Michael K. Agyemang, ATC, OTS (First-year MOT student)
University of Indianapolis, School of Occupational Therapy