Monday, 25 August 2014

SHOUT at Conference 2014

SHOUT at the BAOT National Conference..... but where were all the men? 

 Were you there? Did you see us? How could you miss us? Our green t-shirts stood out a mile (well we felt like that when we were wearing them). Whilst having breakfast at the American Diner on our way to the first day of the conference we were even tweeted about.  We definitely felt like we didn’t need to SHOUT about our arrival that’s for sure. 

The annual BAOT conference for all OTs and students held a veritable plethora of new inventions, new ideas, challenges and paths for all to debate, peruse, think about and traverse. As a student myself still I felt overwhelmed and inspired by the vast amount of opportunities available in every available area.

Many of us attended a wide variety of presentations of interest and even helped out in presenting (anyone attend Collette Beechers 'Teaching Neuro the OT way?') and submitted posters that gained commendations (see Gillian Smiths’ 'Occupational Science and knitting poster').  The students in SHOUT did us proud! 

Shout meets Jennifer Creek or Jennifer Creek meets SHOUT?

SHOUT also networked with the ‘stars’ of OT including such big names as Anita Atwal Senior Lecturer of Brunel University particularly noteworthy as having just personally read front to back and back to front her book ‘Occupational Therapy and Older people’ for Claire Craig’s module Ageing and Occupation. We also chatted with the other star of OT  Jennifer Creek  whom I feel humoured our student exuberance at her presence and discussed her latest research with us which felt an honour.

An overall memory of the conference was the stark lack of male presence in attendance which struck me a hugely sad, as a ‘mild’ feminist, and someone whom believes in equality of the sexes this was I felt a real loss.  Female domination of thought could stand us at a disadvantage when carving out new and emerging roles for the profession, (which appears to be a major future projection) particularly gaining insight into working with emerging spheres that may be more traditionally male dominated. 

Finally, I would definitely attend Conference again, SHOUT had an absolutely amazing time and hopefully we will get the opportunity to attend again and promote OT and the work that we do at SHOUT to help promote the profession.

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