7:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Registration

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM: 3 hour Morning Sessions (3 CEs)

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Beginning
  • Practice Settings: Pediatrics, feeding, developmental disabilities
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

During May 2023, I had the opportunity to work as a feeding specialist for an international adoption and family support agency’s children’s nutrition program. The program aims to train staff and professionals working with children in institutional care and community organizations on nutrition, hygiene, and feeding practices. 

One of the primary objectives of the trip was to teach safe feeding practices to physiotherapists working in a non-government organization with preschool-aged children with complex neurological conditions. My main goal was to improve the overall quality of mealtime participation, encourage family unity, and enhance the well-being of each child by strengthening their attachments. 

This presentation will cover safe feeding practices, assessing the caregiver-child feeding dyad, and creating positive feeding experiences.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify what constitutes safe oral feeding.
  • Simulate setup for a feeding observation using a trauma-informed care approach.
  • Use critical reasoning skills to improve posture and positioning for safe oral intake.
  • Adapt typical foods eaten within the family diet and modify them to increase safety with swallowing.
  • Perform primary physical handling interventions to promote feeding efficiency.
  • Identify signs of social-emotional distress within the context of feeding and eating
  • Promote adaptive behaviors using a strengths-based approach to participation.


Rachael Catt, OTR/L,pp OTD

Rachael is a pediatric occupational therapist with over 20 years of experience. She has presented at the state and national levels and has traveled internationally to promote the well-being of infants, children, and their families. 


Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions                                                    Provo, Utah

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Post-Professional)

Pediatrics Concentration Track                                                                                                                 2020-2022

University of Kansas                               Lawrence, KS

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy                                                       1996-2000       


The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), Occupational Therapist Registered OTR

Washington Department of Health, Occupational Therapist License


American Heart Association, Basic Life Saving

Washington Department of Health Food Handlers Card


Senior Pediatric Occupational Therapist              Richland, Washington

Kadlec Healthplex Therapy Services, Providence Kadlec Regional Medical Center                      2002- Present

• Perform initial evaluations, assessments, and interventions as a pediatric occupational therapist to neonates, infants, toddlers, and young school-age children 

• Support families and children in all domains using a trauma-informed care approach to promote strengths-based functional participation

• Provide psychoeducation foundations of secure attachment, brain development, and age-level skill developmental approach to feeding, eating, and swallowing

• Support breast- and bottle-feeding dyads using a bio-mechanical approach and developmental progression

• Promote skill-building opportunities using active participation play, social-emotional, and adaptive behavior through connection and encouragement

• Engage in neurodevelopmental supports through innate rhythmic movements, developmental progression of movement patterns, and reflex integration

• Educate to enhance parents and caregivers as primary agents of change through secure attachment and reliable communication

• Infant body work to promote feeding and development using

• Mentor new and established pediatric OTs, provide consultation and teaching across disciplines in the clinic, and supervise fieldwork students.

o Specialty populations include pre-term infants, toddlers, and pre-school

o Autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, sensory dysregulation, infants and young children with disabilities, dyspraxia and other developmental disorders, behavior, inattention, and focus.

o Infant and young children feeding, bottle, and breastfeeding.

o Trauma-informed care

o Neurodevelopmental bodywork for infants and primitive reflex integration

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Occupational Therapist                                                             Richland, Washington

Providence Kadlec Regional Medical Center                                                                              2005-2015, 2019-Present

• Provide occupational therapy services to preterm infants and families in level 3, 27-bed unit

• Apply  developmental care to promote optimal development, regulation capacity, and optimal level of arousal for participation and skill-building

• Progression of pre-feeding and feeding skills using Infant Driven Feeding paradigm

• Trauma informed approach to parent education and inclusion of parents and caregivers during infant care times and direct intervention

Feeding Specialist and Trainer  

Holt International, Eugene, Oregon                               2014- Present

• Support programs internationally and domestically to promote the development of feeding, eating, and mealtime participation based on child developmental capacities. 

• Provide consultation, training, and support services for infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents living in institutionalized care. 

• Evaluate feeding practices and infant/child development across multiple sites. 

• Implement feeding training to support feeding practices among staff across multiple sites. 

• Offer education and support to caregivers regarding feeding and swallowing, communication, child development, and infant mental health. 

• Provide support for infants and children with diverse diagnoses (e.g., autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, anoxia, Down syndrome, hearing and vision impairments, developmental delays, FASD, other various syndromes, etc.) to promote optimal functional participation.

• Assist in the development of the Children’s Nutrition Program feeding training curriculum. 

Training Facilitator 

• Competent leading adult education and culturally appropriate training techniques in a variety of settings with successful co-translator lead training

• Develops, implements, and evaluates workshops, programs, and trainings for professionals and community members on health in resource-limited settings to strengthen local capacity

• Implements health, feeding and nutrition programs in developing countries to address malnutrition, infant and young child nutrition, maternal and child health, with a focus on feeding and development 

• Lead as an expert facilitator workshops programs for orphaned and vulnerable children while collaborating with host-country partners to support effective behavior change and program implementation 

• Successfully works with and supports multi-cultural international teams; utilizing strong verbal and written communication skills to achieve targeted goals

Specialized Feeding and Development Training and Skills

• Feeding: swallowing dysfunction, oral motor skills, and eating for children with disabilities and feeding disorders

• Preterm infant development, preterm infant feeding, and developmental care in NICU and transition home

• Early Intervention, sensory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder, play, and parent training

• Trauma-informed care, the impact on ages and stages, best practice


DeLacey, E., Allen, E., Tann, C., Groce, N., Hilberg, E., Quiring, M., Kaplan, T., Smythe, T., Kaui, E., Catt, R., Miller, R., Gombo, M., Dam, H., & Kerac, M. (2022). Feeding practices of children within institution‐based care: A retrospective analysis of surveillance data. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 18, e13352.https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.13352

Holtfeedingmanual.org (2019). Holt International’s Feeding and Positioning Manual: Guidelines for working with babies and children. ISBN 978-0-578-51059-0, 


• May 12-20, 2023, Ethiopia, Addis Abba. Holt International Children Nutrition Program, Trainer: Feeding Specialist

• April 2023 Pediatric Feeding Disorders Virtual Conference: Lightning Talk: It’s Not About the Food. Trauma and early childhood feeding

• October 2022. Speaker Washington Occupational Therapy Association state conference, two progressive sessions: Pediatric Feeding and Trauma-Informed Care: What and Why and Pediatric Feeding and Trauma Informed Care: Why and How

• Trauma-informed care and feeding difficulties: Food hording and disordered eating (Webinar)

Holt’s Post Adoption Continuing Education (PACE) Program Food challenges and Adoption Series, June 2022

• Trauma-informed care and feeding difficulties: Developing Healthy Eating Habits (Webinar)

 Holt’s PACE program Food challenges and Adoption Series, June 2022

• Feeding and Trauma-Informed Care: The What, Why, and How

Washington Occupational Therapy Association MiniCon, Green River Community College, Auburn, WA.

• It is not about the food: Trauma-informed care and feeding therapy, (pre-recorded two and a half hour presentation in 5 parts) Mountain West OT Virtual Conference, October 2021 

• Picky Eaters Inservice, Kadlec Healthplex, multi-disciplinary pediatric therapy staff., March 2022

• Feeding Practices: Feeding with Trauma Informed Care perspective for foster care, adoption and institutional care infants and children. October 16th, 2019, Holt international

• Feeding Practices: Feeding with a Trauma Informed Care perspective for foster care, adopt and institutional care infants and children. January 29th, 2020 Holt International

• Looking at behavior Through a Trauma Informed Lens. August 2019, Pasco School District School Nurses 

• Feeding Basics to assist Children with Disabilities in the Classroom. August 2019: Pasco School District School Nurses 

• Is it Just My Child: Sensory Processing and How it Effects Everyday Living: Introduction to Sensory Processing. May 31st, 2018, KADLEC Neurological Resource Center

199X- 2000


• Bodywork for improved breastfeeding, breastfeeding basics

• Sensory Integration: Sensory Integration and Praxis Test /Sensory Certification 2006 

• Brain and Sensory Foundations; Rhythmic Movement Therapy (RMT): Courses 1: Movements for Attention, Focus and Behavior and RMT 2: Emotions, Memory, and Behavior

• Neurodevelopmental Training (NDT)for infants, young children, low-tone children, autism

• Musgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI): Archetype Movement Integration, Dynamic, and Postural Reflex Integration

• Future Learn: Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities, and Understanding Autism, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 

• Extensive education on feeding, eating, and swallowing 

• Neonatal Intensive Care training regarding interventions, development, and feeding

• Infant development

• Torticollis and plagiocephaly

• Impact of trauma on development 


American Occupational Therapy Association

Washington Occupational Therapy Association


American Occupational Therapy Associations Community of Practice Pediatric Trauma

Personal Business

Research And Experience, LLC


• Language Skills: English (Native), Spanish (Basic)

• Computer skills:  Microsoft Office 365 Suite, EPIC online documentation

• Professional Media: 

o https://www.holtinternational.org/blog/2018/02/so-much-more-than-food/

o https://www.holtinternational.org/blog/2019/09/how-holts-feeding-and-positioning-manual-changes-childrens-lives/

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Intermediate
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads: If available link will be placed here

Session Description:

Occupational therapy practitioners in Washington utilize and modify a person’s environment to maximize health and performance in people young and old.  But, climate change is making this harder.  Only a small handful of communities are adapting civic spaces for climate threats to public health.  Virtually no one is taking action for universal access or occupational engagement.  Join this crash course and leave with a specific plan to help Washingtonians continue to live life to the fullest in the coming decades.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  • Summarize basic climate change processes and contributing factors
  • (Belonging before Doing) Locate themselves in an ecosystem and a centuries-scale timeline, and develop methods for seeing OT practice and community action through a planet-sized lens
  • Differentiate between climate change prevention, mitigation, and adaptation, and OT’s role in all three
  • Articulate why environmental sustainability is occupational justice
  • List 10 ways that climate change threatens occupational engagement and public health
  • (Being before Doing): Identify and cultivate personal and community resilience so that climate adaptation work can be done
  • Identify their community’s current leaders, communities, and action plans for climate adaptation
  • Identify statistical and research resources that can be used to understand climate adaptation 
  • List 5 personal/OT strengths that are rare and needed in climate adaptation planning
  • List 10 actions that would improve climate adaptation efforts in their community
  • List 5 actions that would help their clients prepare for and adapt to climate-related environment changes
  • Select at least one role and one action they will fulfill to help their community improve its climate adaptation plans


David Cacanindin, OTD, OTR/L

David is an occupational therapist with Rehab Without Walls and a member of AOTA, WOTA, the WOTA Legislative Committee, and 350 Seattle.  He applies 20 years of experience in advocacy, sustainability, and justice to his clinical work and the pursuit of collective equity.  His research is centered at the intersection between climate adaptation and public health.  David finds balance in making music and type-II fun playing hockey, cycling streets and trails, climbing mountains, backcountry skiing, and sailing.

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Intermediate
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads: If available link will be placed here

Session Description:

Coming Soon

Learning Objectives:

  • Coming Soon


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11:00 AM – 11:30 AM VENDOR SOCIAL

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Business Lunch (1 CE)

12:30 PM- 12:45 PM: BREAK

12:45 PM – 2:15 PM: 1.5 Hour Afternoon Session (1.5 CE’s)

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Intermediate
  • Practice Settings: All: assistive technology, pediatrics, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, early intervention, managment
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

Have you ever wondered how positon papers get written? How a professional special interest group (SIG) gets formed? How texbook chapter authors are selected? It happens because someone is passionate about a particular area of practice, pursues it, and keeps saying ‘yes’.  This session is the story about how failure as a seating therapist (I was unable to prevent scoliosis in several of my long term clients), lead me to new learning in supporting people’s bodies for comfort and health around the clock, and how that passion led to opportunities for teaching, advocacy, and writing.  Learn about current projects ongoing in the field of 24-7 Posture Care Managment and how you can get connected to your passion project opportunities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will identify and share professional organizations that engage the areas they are passionate about.  (For example, WOTA, AOTA, RESNA, CTF, ISWSP, NPIAP, BIAWA, and more!)
  • Students will share their own passion areas and how they can take the next step in professional advocacy.
  • Students will identify one way they can advance their knowledge or share their knoweledge depending on their level of expertise.


Patricia Toole, OTR/L, MsOT, MAT, ATP,

Patricia is a member of WOTA, AOTA, Clinician’s Task Force,  Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA), and the board of Posture 24-7. She currently serves WOTA as Leg Chair, and is engaged in practice, continuing education and advocacy work in the fields of 24-7 Posture Care Managment and Seating and Wheeled Mobility. She credits her oldest son, Alex, who has CP, as her first and best teacher and is pleased to see the knowledge of 24-7 PCM advance with the upcoming RESNA Position on the Application of Lying Posture Care Managment position paper, an International Seating Symposium presentation, and a 2nd edition of Seating and Wheeled Mobility: Clinical Resource Guide chapter on 24-7 PCM.

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Beginning
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

More Info to come

Learning Objectives:

  • More info to come


Alyson Stover, OTR/L, AOTA President 

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Beginning
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

This session will offer attendees valuable insights into the field of Industrial Rehab. The session began by defining industrial rehabilitation and its pivotal role in helping individuals recover from work-related injuries and return to their job roles. Attendees learned how occupational therapists (OTs) play a crucial role in this process, assessing and addressing physical, emotional, and functional challenges that impact a person’s ability to work effectively.

Patient-centered care was a core focus, stressing the importance of tailoring rehabilitation plans to each patient’s unique needs and fostering strong therapist-patient relationships. Additionally, the course encouraged OTs to consider their professional growth within the context of industrial rehabilitation, setting goals and striving to be more effective practitioners.

Best practices and evidence-based approaches in industrial rehabilitation were shared, supported by real-world case studies. Attendees also explored the proactive role OTs can play in preventing work-related injuries through workplace assessments and ergonomic interventions.

Networking and collaboration were emphasized, recognizing that successful rehabilitation often requires interdisciplinary teamwork. In closing, attendees were inspired to apply their newfound knowledge and skills to excel as OTs in the industrial rehabilitation field, making a meaningful impact on patient lives and workplace safety.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concept of industrial rehabilitation, including its significance in aiding individuals recovering from work-related injuries and facilitating their return to the workforce.
  • Identify the essential contributions of Occupational Therapy (OT) to the field of industrial rehabilitation, recognizing the comprehensive role OTs play in addressing physical, emotional, and functional challenges faced by patients.
  • Explore the importance of patient-centered care within the context of industrial rehabilitation and discover strategies to establish and maintain strong therapist-patient relationships, enhancing the rehabilitation process.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills related to the planning and implementation of industrial rehabilitation programs, including best practices and evidence-based approaches, through the examination of real-world case studies and examples.
  • Recognize the proactive role OTs can assume in preventing work-related injuries by conducting workplace assessments and implementing ergonomic interventions, contributing to safer and healthier work environments.


Emily Nugen, MOT, OTR/L

Introducing Emily Nugen, our spirited occupational therapy enthusiast! Graduating from Eastern Washington University in 2016, Emily now calls Olympic Sport & Spine her professional playground. Her journey with the WOTA community began in 2014, where she was instantly in love. From wide-eyed student volunteer to the brain behind the Conference Committee and Continuing Education, Emily has scaled heights.

Networking is Emily’s secret sauce – WOTA’s opportunities have been a treasure trove for her! When she’s not masterfully navigating the world of OT, you’ll find Emily in her element, whether it’s whipping up culinary delights, crafting something whimsical, or soaking in precious moments with her doting husband and adorable son. And did we mention she moonlights as a graphic design aficionado? This lady’s talents know no bounds!

2:15 PM- 2:30 PM: BREAK

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: 1.5 Hour Afternoon Session (1.5 CE’s)

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Intermediate
  • Practice Settings: rehabilitation, cognitive disabilities
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

Understanding a patient’s functional cognitive status is critical to clarifying abilities, disposition planning, and preventing adverse outcomes such as falls and other injuries in the hospital and at rehab settings. However, tools used to assess cognition in the inpatient setting and step down units often center on executive functions to communicate to the team the functional abilities of a patient. In this session we will address the emerging concept of functional cognition in our literature and how it may shape or change your practice as an OTP.

We will explore the Cognitive Pyramid as an assessment and intervention tool which helps the user (hospital/rehab professionals, doctors, nurses, SLP, PT, CNA) identify the cognitive level at which their patient is functioning and provides appropriate, valid, patient centered care strategies to mitigate the patient’s risk. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Define functional cognition and how this concept applies to the OTP’s scope of practice
  • Differentiate cognitive syndromes and their presentation – including delirium, dementias
  • Identify appropriate cognitive assessments for patients at varying levels of cognitive abilities
  • Explore the Cognitive Pyramid, a validated tool for assessing cognitive presentation developed at a level 1 trauma hospital
  • Apply the Cognitive Pyramid to case examples


Sabine Kaul-Connolly, MEd, OTR/L

Sabine received her masters of education in occupational therapy in 2007. Her first job was at OHSU in Portland, where she worked in acute care predominantly. During her time as an inpatient therapist she was invited to work on an interdisciplinary pilot program implementing weekly rounding on high complexity patients at risk for adverse events. Working collaboratively with 2 nursing professional practice leaders Sabine co-created the Cognitive Pyramid tool in an effort to improve understanding of cognitive presentation and treatment planning in acute care. The Cognitive Pyramid became widely used and implemented on most services at OHSU, creating unique opportunities for OTPs and nursing to collaborate on patient care planning. The Journal of Nursing Care Quality published the findings of implementing an interprofessional safety rounding and utilizing a common language on cognition in January/March 2023.

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Beginning
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

More Info to come

Learning Objectives:

  • More info to come


Robin Huesca OTR/L

Gilma Brubach COTA/L

Session Details:

  • Content Level: Beginning
  • Practice Settings: ALL
  • Downloads:

Session Description:

Coming Soon

Learning Objectives:

  • Coming Soon


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