Society Updates and Accomplishments

Below, please find a Report on projects and initiatives supported by the OT L&LS as a way to serve and enhance the profession of occupational therapy. This content is updated as of January 2023.

Page Table of Contents:

Membership Committee


  • Expanded recruitment efforts by sending invitation letters to NBCOT and AOTA award recepients from 2021 and 2022.

  • Engaged members who indicated interest in contirbuting to society sustainability to review new applications to the Society.

  • Developed letters to use as templates for members to invite individuals to apply for membership in the society (can be found in the members-only section of the website).

  • Developed PowerPoint slides to use for recruitment and society visibility (can be found in the members-only section of the website).


  • Engaged members to submit Bios for website; ~35% of members have uploaded Bios.

  • Updated volunteer interest checklist to promote member engagement.

  • Grew society membership by 8%.

    • Placed an advertisement in the January 2020 issue of OT Practice.

    • Surveyed expiring members to determine reason for non-renewal.

  • Developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

  • Corresponded with AOTA Fellows awarded in 2020 and OTA Recruitment Task Force.


  • Revised member application process.

  • Drafted Bio template and Volunteer Interest Checklist.

  • Created Acceptance Letter and Certificate for New Members.

  • Discussed possible recruitment efforts.

  • Sought Board approval for Society acronym.


  • Refined application form-new form uploaded to website in April 2018.

  • Renamed Nominations and Recruitment Committee as Membership Committee (May, 2018).

  • Developed process for members to propose new projects (See RFP form in the Members-Only section of the website).

    • Form uploaded to website, May, 2018.

  • Enabled electronic application to Society through the Society's website.

  • Established Society Facebook Group (May, 2018).

    • FB Administrators: Barbara Kornblau, Sandy Hanebrink, and Ellen Kolodner.


  • Continued expanding resources related to all types of historical works, including oral histories (individual and group recollections), peer-reviewed and other significant publications, dissertations/theses/capstones, in memoriams, and links to state assocations.

  • Webpage headings and subheadings were re-worded and re-organized to accurately reflect new content and ease use.

  • Release forms were modified to have fillable fields for easier completion.

  • Project completion guidelines were revised to increase clarity as needed.

  • The history preservation project, and the Society, was promoted via ALC presentations and e-mail blasts to state association leaders and the membership. Emails were sent out celebrating diversity and highlighting related resources on the webpage (i.e., Black History month, Hispanic Heritage month, National Disability Employment Awareness month, etc.).

  • Collaborated with the social justice initiative to identify diverse leaders and preserve legacies and history of diverse populations.

  • Established the Digital Archive webpage and created a release form and submission guidelines in preparation for the webpage to be made live in 2023.

  • Began exploring methods to make the History Preservation webpage searchable to ease navigating and accessing resources.


  • Re-organized webpage to promote ease of finding and accessing available resources as contributions to the site increased.

  • Collected several more oral histories of OT leaders.

    • Additional oral histories posted to website include University archives, St. Augustine Tea with a Scholar, and 'My OT Journey' podcasts.

  • Expanded oral history project to include the We Remember project (dedicated to small group reminiscence of deceased OT leaders) and the Remember When project (dedicated to recounting seminal events).

    • Resources including release forms and project guidelines were posted to website.

  • Expanded posted scholarly historical works to almost 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and several dissertations.

  • Launched "In Memoriam" section to honor 29 memorials and tributes of deceased leaders.

  • Identified additional online historical archives as resources, including ADAPT's online museum, the Fred Sammons archive project, and the WWL.


  • Launched the History Preservation section of the website on July 6, 2019.

  • OTArchive participants and OTL&LS members were contacted and invited to participate in the OTL&LS History Preservation Project.

    • Resources (e.g., release forms, suggested prompts, student project guidelines) for collecting oral histories were shared.

    • General thank you acknowledgement sent to those who responded affirmatively with a note that contribution details will follow.

  • Obtained assistance from Chris Davis and Barb Dickson of the AOTA that the AOTA centennial celebration website will be maintained for the foreseeable future.

  • Authored a plan for updating the OTL&LS website to include sidebars with links to identified resources that are available and related to OT's history.

  • Identified several historical resources, listed on the Web-based Historical Resources page, including:

    • MOTA's association and Historical committee.

    • Archived documents (i.e., Gary Kielhofner's) and collected materials (i.e., San Jose State, Temple University).

    • Transcribed oral histories and videos.

    • TWU identified as a potential repository for physical items and other historical resources.

    • Canadian OT Association's website as an exemplar.


  • Members facilitated the collection of stories from 87 occupational therapy legends. The approach of each interview varied according to the format of the project in that area and/or the preference of the interviewee.

  • Explored and established a scholarly historical website that will be populated with easy accessible short papers

    • Initial efforts focused on establishing a website in conjunction with the Temple University campus library and OT Program.

  • Developed short history briefs that will be posted on the above history website.

    • Six papers were completed. Of particular note are two papers that focus on the use of social capital by OTs in the 1930s and 1940s. All papers include digitized representations of physical artifacts.

  • Created an artifact exhibit.

    • OT artifacts from 1910-1970 are on view at the Ginsburg Medical Library on the Health Sciences campus of Temple University.

Recruitment and Honoring of OTA Leaders


  • Chapter certificates for the AΩT OTA Honor Society were completed for 17 programs.

  • Sent out invitations to 137 individuals; accepted 9 candidates and 5 became members.

  • Presented the AΩT OTA Honor Society at the AOTA PD meeting and at the AOTA annual conference.

  • Explored electronic methods of payment (i.e., PayPal, Zelle, etc.).

2020 - Alpha Omega Tau (AΩT): OTA Honor Society

  • Launched the AΩT OTA Honor Society website to enable electronic application to the honor society (

  • Established a bank account through the OT Leaders and Legacies' Foundation.

  • Purchased supplies for creating and mailing certificates for chapters and members. Chapter certificates were mailed to 10 OTA programs.

  • Designed and ordered AΩT OTA Honor Society pins.

2019 - Alpha Omega Tau (AΩT): OTA Honor Society

  • Created the OT Leaders and Legacies' Foundation to oversee the Honor society. For more information, visit the Foundation's webpage at

  • Established a National Coordinator (Kathryn Eberhardt, MA Ed., COTA/L, ROH).

  • Established a Mission and Pledge for the society.

  • Approved documents include the Philosophy of Scholarship; Chapter Structure, Petition for Chapter Establishment, Chapter Candidates, Suggested Chapter Resources; Membership Eligibility, Applicant Assessment Criteria, Membership Procedure, Membership Review and Board Materials, Membership Application, and Member Types.

  • Launched a pilot program of 8 Universities for honor society chapters in May 2019.


  • Reviewed previous recruitment efforts, recommendations by the membership committee, and membership numbers.

  • Explored national honor society umbrella organizations to determine a good fit for our profession.

  • Developed a draft mission statement for the OTA honor society with a dual focus on academics and service.

  • Surveyed 197 OTA Program Directors to determine interest in participation in proposed honor society.

    • 50% response rate; 90% positive interest.

  • Developed organizational structure for OTA Honor Society effort.

    • OTA Honor Society Chairperson: Julie Kalahar

    • OTA Honor Society Co-Chairperson: Booker Johnson

    • Board Oversight: Teri Black

  • Identified 9 pilot OTL&LS OTA Honor Societies.

  • OTL&LS recruitment flyer was updated.

  • Brainstorming use of social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn).

  • Discussed reaching out to OTA program directors, informing them of Society activities for recommendations of alumni OTA leaders.

  • State association presidents: a letter has been sent seeking recommendations of OTA leaders that are leading in their community and state, however, may not have been recognized.

  • Identified AOTA Conference sessions that address leadership and are specific to OTAs. Reported progress to OTA Program Directors during AOTA Annual Conference in 2017 and 2018.

  • Discussed reaching out to VLDC leaders for identification of OTA leaders.

  • OTL&LS buttons were created to promote and increase visibility of the Society.

  • Collaborated and coordinated efforts with the membership committee.


  • Taxes for 2021 submitted.

  • Met to plan and continue to develop the Foundation as an independent organization.


  • Taxes for 2020 submitted with shortened version (no income to report).

  • Joint meeting with L&L Society in June, identified changes to SOPs and identified categories for funding.

  • SOPs approved.

  • Foundation logo created and approved by the Board.

  • Foundation webpage ( published for public viewing.


  • Elected Board members, drawn from OTL&L Society members.

  • Created SOPs.

  • Created and submitted Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

  • Established checking and savings accounts.

  • Established a calendar for regular meetings.


  • Created to support and oversee the AΩT OTA Honor Society.

Social Justice


  • Continued co-sponsoring webinars with the MDI (Multicultural, Diversity, and Inclusion) Network.

  • Supported Society initiatives by identifying diverse professionals for interviews and collecting artifacts that promote aspects of diversity and inclusion for the History Preservation Project, and including diverse students and professionals as mentees through the Mentorship project.

  • Explored collaborations on a state, national, and global level.


  • The OTL&LS began collaborating with the MDI to co-sponsor webinars aimed at enhancing accurate cultural knowledge about select groups. If interested in accessing a recorded webinar, please email to request the link.

    • "An Indigenous Perspective on Cultural Safety in OT: A Native American History Month Webinar" hosted on November 19, 2020

    • "Social Inequities in our Society: Our Profession Prepared us for Crisis" hosted on June 17, 2021

    • "ADA31: ADA Impact & OT" hosted on July 22, 2021

    • "Experiences/Perspectives of Occupational Therapy Practitioners of Asian/Pacific Origin in the U.S." hosted on September 14, 2021

  • The MDI Network created the MDI Scholarship Fund in collaboration with the OT Leaders & Legacy Society and OT Leaders & Legacies' Foundation to support diverse OT/OTA students for entry-level and post-professional education opportunities. Donations are tax deductible. Please click here to use PayPal to donate if desired. Thank you for your generous contribution.


  • Held planning meeting in the first quarter of 2022.

  • Created a dedicated tab on the OTL&LS website for mentorship information and documents.

  • Developed an application for mentees to be matched with a mentor.


  • Conducted a breakout session at the OTL&LS' 2021 annual business meeting to gauge member interest in mentorship areas and plan for advancing project.

  • Main focus of the initiative determined to be providing mentorship to mid-career and senior career occupational therapists.

Society Visibility

2022 AOTA Annual Conference

  • During the 2022 AOTA Annual Conference and Expo in San Antonio, TX, the Leaders & Legacies Society was fortunate to have a booth in the Expo hall (click here to view a photo of the booth). The booth was manned by many volunteers who were also conference attendees. The booth afforded L&LS the opportunity to spread the word and awareness of our mission, and current undertakings.

  • Society members distributed information on the History Project, the OTA Honor Society, and talking points about the proposed Bylaws changes of AOTA.

  • A QR code was created for attendees to scan to be directed to the L&LS web page and application materials in an effort to generate interest in the society and attract new members.

L&LS is grateful to AOTA for the opportunity to increase our visibility, and we look forward to obtaining a booth next year in Kanas City.

2022 ALC Meeting

Rita Fleming-Castlady, Chairperson of the History Preservation Project, presented at the 2022 Academic Leadership Council (ALC) meeting. View the PowerPoint presentation here.

2021 ALC Meeting

Rita Fleming-Castaldy, Chairperson of the History Preservation Project, presented at the 2021 Academic Leadership Council (ALC) meeting to provide information about the OTL&LS, including the Society's mission and updates on the History Preservation Project. Click here for a video of her presentation with the slideshow.

Annual Meeting Materials

2022 OT Leaders & Legacies Society Annual Meeting

2021 OT Leaders & Legacies Society Annual Meeting

  • The 2021 annual meeting was held virtually on November 3, 2021 from 4-6 PM Eastern Time via Zoom. Click here to access meeting materials, including audio/video recordings, the PowerPoint file, and meeting minutes.

2020 OT Leaders & Legacies Society Annual Meeting

  • The 2020 OT annual meeting was held virtually on October 1, 2020 from 4-6 PM Eastern Time. Click here to access meeting materials, including audio/video recordings, the PowerPoint file, and meeting minutes.

2019 AOTA NOLA Annual Meeting

The OTL&LS hosted an annual meeting at the 2019 AOTA Conference, overviewing the accomplishments of various projects and initiatives supported by the Society, explaining future plans and goals for Society initiatives, and offering a "question and answer" session for viewing members. Please click below to access meeting materials as a way to stay up to date and explore options to get engaged with Society projects and initiatives.