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News Release

New Brunswick Citation Awards presented
regarding National Occupational Therapy Month

National Occupational Therapy Month - October 2006
Access occupational therapy to build the skills for the job of living

FREDERICTON, October 20, 2006 - The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the New Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapists are pleased to honour the Tetra Society of North America (Fredericton Chapter) and Dr. Colleen O'Connell with Citation Awards.

Citation Awards are bestowed to recognize the significant accomplishments of an agency, program and/or individual within each province/territory that has contributed to rehabilitation, community health, self-help groups, provincial, territorial or municipal government initiatives in health care or other related programs. Citation Award winners will have demonstrated support of occupational therapy philosophy and their nomination will have been endorsed by their provincial/territorial organization.

Recruiting skilled volunteers to create assistive devices so people with disabilities can live more independently is just one of the reasons the Tetra Society of North America (Fredericton Chapter) is being honoured with a Citation Award.

Tetra recruits skilled volunteers such as occupational therapists as well as engineers, design technicians, and other health professionals to work with clients to make assistive aids or modifications to their environment in order to reduce physical barriers in all aspects of basic living.

Recent projects include: redesigning a tricycle with hip supports, creating a spring-loaded pool cue for individuals with one functional upper extremity, adapting a bike trailer with a booster seat and seatbelt for a child with cerebral palsy, modifying snow sleds with backrests and seatbelts, and adapting a battery-operated ride-on car with a head-mounted switch for speed control.

Tetra is an extremely important volunteer organization in New Brunswick since government funding for assistive devices is very limited. The personal expense to have custom modifications to a device may be more than some can manage. Tetra offers solutions that are often simple but can change someone's life and offer them more independence.

Dr. Colleen O'Connell, a physiatrist working in Fredericton, is being honoured for her international efforts to assist people with disabilities who do not have access to rehabilitative care.

This includes Dr. O'Connell's involvement in many research initiatives, including a project examining the physical, emotional, functional, and social factors affecting amputees in Mozambique. The majority of her subjects were survivors of land mines explosions or injured during the civil war.

Dr. O'Connell has also initiated the Canadian "Helping Hands for Haiti". She coordinates numerous teams of rehabilitation and health care professionals, including occupational therapists, who travel to Haiti to provide equipment, treatment and training to local people so they may enable themselves and others.

The Citation Award will be presented to the Fredericton Chapter of the Tetra Society of North America and Dr. Colleen O'Connell on Friday, Oct. 20, 2006 in Fredericton at the Holiday Inn Mactaquac, 35 Mactaquac Road, at 1 p.m.

CAOT Citation Awards are presented to recipients typically during October, which is National Occupational Therapy Month. This year's theme "Yes I Can!" communicates that all people can and should participate in their desired activities, regardless of age or ability.

For more information on occupational therapy, visit www.caot.ca. To find an occupational therapist in your community, visit www.otworks.ca and click on OT Finder.


Tanya Baglole
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
Tel.: 1 800-523-2268, ext. 225, 613 523-2268, ext. 225
Fax: 613 523-2552
E-mail: communication@caot.ca

Christine Plourde
Fredericton Chapter Coordinator
Tetra Society of North America
Tel: (506) 462-7662
Fax: (506) 462-7646
E-mail: cplourde@CRAworld.com

New Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapists
Tel: (506) 458-1001
Fax: (506) 455-8846
E-mail: info@nbaot.org


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