#OTalk 14th February – Media Club “Beyond Winning”

This week #OTalk is a media club and is being hosted by Bill Wong (@BillwongOT).

 The subject is “Beyond Winning By Janet O’Shea at TEDxUCLA” and the video can be accessed below


 Here is what Bill had to say about his topic;

For you #otalk regulars, some of you might have read that I will be doing a TEDx Talk for a second time in March 2017. In preparation for the vibe of this historic moment in OT, I have decided to go on a listening binge on non-OT TED Talks. By doing so, I thought it will be awesome to do a change of pace of my typical media club content, as I will use a TED Talk by a non-OT and use our OT lens to discuss the topic shared by these speakers.

For those of you who know me, I am a highly competitive person, especially in things I believe I am either at least decent at or I want to be good at. In my early OT career, I dreaded losing, as I only had winning in mind. Losing gracefully was very hard for me. (Some of you might have noticed my bitter Facebook statuses I made when I lost out on a meaningful opportunities in OT at that point of time.) The fact that I lose or got rejected more often than not in such situations made things worse. At that time, I remembered I wished, “If someone can just give me an opportunity, it will erase all the disappointments I accumulated over the years.” Not surprisingly, because of how I handled losing relatively poorly (since I vented on social media a lot back then), I got a fair share of constructive criticism from my peers.

Fast forward to now, I still am a competitive person. However, I have learned to handle losing more gracefully when I miss out on meaningful opportunities in OT. Instead of lamenting and expressing my disappointments on social media, I have learned to put things in perspective. Sure, having some awesome accomplishments since then has helped. But, I began to accept sometimes that moral victories are just as good, if not better than physical victories. I also have learned that great champions not only know how to win, but also how to lose.

An example of which was a difference in how I viewed opportunities from AOTA to further my CPD and CV. As recently as 2 years ago, I heard quite a bit of peers saying that I deserved to make the Emerging Leaders Development Programs because they believed I was a strong candidate for it. In addition, some of my friends who made that program wondered why I got snubbed by the process 3 times. As I am a competitive person, my mindset was “Emerging Leaders or bust”. Each time I received a rejection letter, I would almost cry in disappointment and wondered I wasn’t good enough. Although I would get over such disappointments in a day, I would make posts on Facebook about how disappointed I was.

Looking back, I realized I focused too much on the near-sighted results. Because of that, I completely overlooked the process I went through to put myself in position to compete for such things. I also overlooked that I was very resilient in trying to come back for more, in terms of going for opportunities in OT that don’t always have 100% success rate. Finally, I realized that the actual outcomes have little or no bearing on whether my peers view I am successful. Simply put, I was like a beauty conscious peacock.

Now, although I still feel some disappointment whenever my peers have opportunities to do things I wanted to do in OT, I have learned to move on without letting my disappointments dwell in my mind instead. I also constantly reminded myself that my attempts were already moral victories. One example of which was that I had none of my conference abstracts accepted for the 2017 AOTA conference, which is probably the AOTA conference with the most historical significance in this generation for OT students and practitioners. The old me would have been throwing tantrums on Facebook. The new me simply just told myself, “All I can do is try. There is always next year. Besides, since I go to so many conferences nowadays, you have more chances to succeed.” I was really proud of myself on handling such disappointments with grace in this instance, and my peers have noted my improvements in handling such situations now than a few years ago.

Bottom line, winning is not everything! Enjoying the process and experience is far more important. So, here are some discussion questions.

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 = not important at all; and 10 = it means the world), how much do you value winning as a kid? Why?
  1. Using the same scale, has anything changed now? If so, why so? If not, why not?
  1. What do you think of play’s significance across our lifespans?
  1. As OT students and practitioners, what can we do to help our clients to not get too caught up with winning across the lifespan?

 Post Chat

online transcript

The Numbers

1,222,059 Impressions
428 Tweets
57 Participants
342 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants




#OTalk 13/9/16 – Media Club: The high price of criminalizing mental illness: Wendy Lindley at TEDxOrangeCoast

This #OTalk will be hosted by @BillWongOT

Mental health is an area we have core knowledge at as OT practitioners. We at least sometimes work with patients with mental health diagnoses across the lifespan- from kids to criminals. And for those of you who work in forensics/mental health settings, I am pretty sure this TEDx Talk will hit pretty close to home to you. Although I don’t claim to be a mental health expert, I think it is an awesome TEDx talk to do a media club on because we might see criminals with mental illness across different stages of life. From pediatrics point of view, it can be prevention in form of education of making appropriate life choices. From forensics mental health point of view, it can be relapse prevention of preventing them to commit crimes again. From geriatrics point of view (my current setting), it can be rehabilitation to maximize their quality of life.

When I heard this TEDx talk for the first time, the first thing I remembered was the few ex- sex offenders I worked with during my mental health placements in a sub-acute mental health unit. For these patients, even if they are discharged from the facility, they most likely will return to jail serving the remainder of their sentences. When I thought about that outcome, part of me felt that these people should serve their time (just like kids in school serving their detentions in school), but part of me felt that the ones with good potential to return to the community should be given the opportunity to transition to a lower level of care in terms of living situation goes (board and care, or supported housing, for example) like other discharged patients but with no criminal history. That said, like the old adage in OT- “no two cases are alike”. What is best for these criminals with mental illnesses in the justice system is really dependent on things such as the individual’s mental well-being, safety risk to self and others in community, and potential for recovery.

The link for the TEDx Talk is here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WxvUFzrMDc

Here are my discussion questions for the chat:

  1. Do you have any experiences working with ex-criminals in any setting? If so, please describe your experiences.
  2. If you have experiences working in mental health settings, what are some types of groups/individual sessions you run?
  3. What is your opinion of how criminals with mental illnesses should be treated in the justice system?
  4. Your comments or feedback on this TEDx Talk?

This chat has the potential to be a bit controversial and with the potential for differences of opinion. As always please remember codes of conduct in respect to confidentiality and professional behaviour and treat each other with respect – thanks – Kirsty.



The Numbers


#OTalk Participants

Online Transcript

#OTalk 17th May 2016 – Media Club: Nicky Seymour’s TEDx Talk from TEDxTableMountain

By: Bill Wong, OTD, OTR/L (@BillWongOT)


As a past TEDx Talker who is also an occupational therapist, I thought it will be a good idea to do some media club sessions with other TED or TEDx talks by other OT students or practitioners. So, this will be the first of this series I will try to facilitate.


When I was in my late teens (that was way before I ever decided to become an occupational therapist, by the way), I participated in three mission trips to a Native American reservation in South Dakota of USA called RedShirt. It was with a group with 1-2 dozen adolescents from California with supervision from a few clergies accompanying us. For each of these experiences, the campers were responsible to collaboratively work on a community project with each other and members of the RedShirt community during our 10-day stays. For example, we helped build a powwow arbor for the village so that they can use it to generate income for their community. Another year, we helped build a skate park where local and nearby children and youth can have a fun recreational space.


The reason why the organizers chose this area was because it was one of the poorest regions in the United States at the time. There was neither flushing toilet nor constant hot water for showers at where we were staying. Organizers would have to perform a laundry run at Rapid City, the nearest city that is a 45 minute drive from where we were staying. All in all, the intent of the organizers was to not only have us experience Native American culture (which was way different than how American History textbooks portray such individuals), but also hopefully had us realize how fortunate we were comparing to these individuals.


Now transitioning back into the TEDx presentation, I thought about these certain points.


  1. Sometimes we might take what we can do in our daily lives for granted. It might be what we own. It might be ways available to us to perform certain occupations. It might be our abilities to access services in the community. When I was staying in Croatia in summer 2015, it was fascinating to learn the differences in the types of assistive technology available there versus in the United States. In Croatia, assistive technology available are generally low tech and affordable. If I were to suggest some of the assistive technology devices that might be more effective and/or technologically advanced from the United States to families in Croatia, I would most likely get rejected due to the fact that they most likely won’t be able to afford such. Hence, it was a good wake up call.
  2. Occupational deprivation is a common issue for individuals with disability. If you add poverty and/or living in rural areas to the equation, it will be magnified even more. The question for us is- how can we assist those who are less fortunate than us, even if it’s for a short period of time?
  3. Sometimes the simplest occupations bring joy to people. Skate parks are relatively common in where I live in Los Angeles. Hence, it is an occupation that many people live around Los Angeles and love skateboarding can enjoy. However, in Redshirt village before 2004, it was an occupation that children and teens living there desired, but they had to rely on their families driving a long distance to access a skate park. Hence, completion of the skate park not only created a meaningful community and social space for them to perform skateboarding, but also a space where nearby children and teens can come to enjoy, too.


Video for Nicky Seymour’s TEDx Talk can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OZ5fu2YKCM


Discussion Questions


  1. Do you have any experiences working or living in disadvantaged communities? If so, please share your experiences.
  2. In what ways poverty might affect people who live in disadvantaged communities, including those with disabilities?
  3. If you answer yes to #1, how does that experience contribute to your worldview in OT practice?


Post Chat Updates:

Online Transcript

PDF of Transcript: #OTalk – 17th May 2016

The Numbers

1,007,875 Impressions
324 Tweets
47 Participants

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Journal Club 19th April 2016 – BJOT Editorial

Being the #OTgeeks that we are, the #OTalk team contributed to an editorial in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy which was published last week. Hopefully, this will give us the motivation to plough on with the write-up of our 2014 research evaluating the impact of #OTalk!

We would not be #OTalk without our community, and thought this week’s #OTalk would be a great opportunity to further explore some of the issues we touched on in our editorial. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 19th April at 8pm GMT+1 on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag to discuss online communities of research and practice.



The full-text of the editorial can be accessed for free at the Sage Journals website – either in web or PDF form (links open in a new window).


Here are some questions to start off the conversation:

  • For you, what is the value of building an online communities of practice?
  • How do you build your online networks? How do you maintain them?
  • How do you decide what tools are helpful or a hindrance?
  • How do you balance your time online?


If you would like further inspiration, you can also check out our 2013 poster about developing online communities of practice.

Post Chat Updates:

The Numbers

1,511,661 Impressions
536 Tweets
81 Participants

Online Transcript from Health Care HashTags

PDF of transcript: 19th April 2016

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 2nd December 2014 – 2015 Volunteer Planning

Is it really December already?

Well, with only one month to go until 2015 the #OTalk team thought it was time to entice our community into making their New Year’s Resolutions to volunteer to host an #OTalk.

Join us on 2nd December to help us make plans for 2015.

2014 saw the introduction of our Journal (Media) Club on the first Tuesday of each month. Whilst this is set to continue we have decided not to restrict it to a set schedule but to enable Journal (Media) options on any Tuesday. So, have you read an article you want to discuss, seen a film that has given you great insight into the experiences of potential clients or read a novel that made you take a step back from how you have always seen things? If so, book a date with the team and aim to write a short blog post introducing your media to the #OTalk community.

We have also seen great success with chats that have coincided with awareness days/weeks. Is there an awareness subject you are particularly passionate about, or one we’ve covered that we could take a new angle on? If so let us know. Here is a UK calendar for some inspiration. We are happy to talk to our MDT chat counterparts if you think of a topic it would be useful to have a wider perspective on.

Clarissa would like to run the models series again so if you think you can help with this then do contact us. If anyone has a burning passion for applying particular frames of reference in practice too then do get in touch.

If you’ve conducted any research or audit that you’d like to share the findings of then #OTalk is a great way to share that evidence far and wide.

And we always welcome anyone who just has an interest or passion in learning more about a topic to step forward. You don’t have to be an expert to run an #OTalk – some of the chats I’ve found most fun and informative are the ones when we’ve just been exploring a topic that is pretty new to all of us.

If you’d like to volunteer but you can’t be there on Tuesday never fear – just e-mail the team on otalk.occhat@gmail.com with your idea and some potential dates and we’ll be in contact.

I’m unable to be there tomorrow but I’ve booked in two chats for January so I hope you’ll forgive me.


Post chat update:

#OTalk Participants

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the chat, we have lots of ideas and offers. Don’t forget that you can email us anytime to suggest or offer to host a chat.

The Numbers

612,692 Impressions
267 Tweets
37 Participants

The online version of the transcript of the chat can be found here. 

Here is a PDF version of the transcript: #OTalk – 2 Dec 2014

#OTalk Journal (Media) Club 7th October 2014.

As we have been running Journal (Media) Club for one year now we thought it was a good time to review how the community feel it has gone and get your thoughts and ideas on how to move forward into 2015.

Here is a link to all the topics so far:

October 2013 – September 2014.


Some ideas of things to think about as we review the last year…

  • Have you attended any Journal (Media) Club chats?
  • Do you access the posts on the blog?
  • What do you think of the format?
  • Monthly? (1st Tuesday of every month?)
  • Should we continue?
  • Have you used the articles or chat for your CPD?
  • What would you like to change?

We look forward to discussing this with you all and planning how we take Journal (Media) Club into 2015.

If you have thoughts and can not attend on the 7th October 2014, please comment below. We would like as many of the community to have input as possible.

Thank you.

The #OTalk Team.

Helen @Helen_OTUK, Clarissa @GeekyOT, Kirsty @kirstyes and Gillian @GillyGorry

#OTalk Journal Club 2 September 2014.

Journal Club host Charlotte O’Reilly @CharlOTPlay , would like us to consider

Relationships, Sexuality and Occupation.

Thank you to Charlotte for this introduction to the topic.
When I was in my second year studying to be an OT, we were asked to put together a research article. During my project, I came across this journal which I feel I learnt a lot from and shaped a lot of my own research article.I am now working full time as a paediatric OT within a school setting and I volunteer as a governor in a college for adults with learning disabilities.
I feel human relationships and sexuality are a big part of everyday occupation as in life we make/maintain a multi-tude of relationships. Throughout, my research project I came across many journal articles around the topic of romance/sexulaty
and occupations. One written from OT persepctive was of particular interest and I feel it would be interesting to explore the article as a group of OTs. I am hoping to encourage OTs to freely and openly talk about sex, relationships and sexual occupations as sometimes this can be challenging.


White, E., Barnitt, R. (2000) Empowered or Discouraged? A Study of People with Learning Disabilities and their Experience of Engaging in Intimate Relationships. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 63 (6) 270-276.

Vulnerable people constitute the majority of referrals to occupational therapy services, due to age and social, psychological and economic circumstances. People with learning disabilities may fit all these categories. An argument has been put that vulnerable people should not be subjects in research (de Raeve 1994) and that there may be unacceptable risks in being a subject in a socially sensitive research project (Barnitt and Partridge 1999). However, avoiding research with people with learning disabilities would mean that the voice of these clients would not be heard and it is known that they have expressed the wish to be consulted and involved in research (Atkinson 1989).
A collaborative study was carried out with eight adults with learning disabilities who lived in a community residential home. Interviews were completed which dealt with aspects of intimate relationships. Three themes emerged from the interviews: the experience of intimate relationships, the future of a current relationship and the involvement of others in relationships. The findings showed that the people interviewed had a generally positive experience of such relationships. However, while the attitudes of staff and family towards intimate relationships were mostly empowering, some negative views still existed. The results have implications for occupational therapists working with people with learning disabilities.

Discussion points for #OTalk:

• Was having service user’s as subjects in the research effective? Do you feel the needs of the subjects/participants were met throughout the research process? (participants)
• Sexual activity is discussed. As an OT, do you regard sexual activity as an occupation? Do OTs have a role in facilitating sexual needs and relationships? Positives and negatives? (OT & sex)
• Was the research method (semi-structured interviews) effective in meeting the aims of the research? E.g. to establish if service users can be ‘subjects of research’ and discuss relationships. What about the structure of the questions? Appropriate/in-appropriate? (research structure)
• Final paragraph “findings have implications for OT practice and research p275” Is this sufficient information? Has/will reading this journal impact your OT practice in anyway? Positives/highlighted areas for development. (future practice)
• What is your take-away message from the journal and / or discussion?

If there are any other items you would like to include in the discussion please let me know.

Please note that the article chosen is not open source. Please be aware of copyright law.

Details and download of the Reading Record can be found on the Journal (Media) Club Resources page.

Click here for the Healthcare Hashtags transcript.

or here for a pdf of the transcripts: #OTalk – 2nd September 2014