SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Said Nafai is chairperson for the third annual Occupational Therapy Assoc. of Morocco (OTAM) conference, which will address the need for physical and mental rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this year’s event is “Turning Challenges into Opportunities.”
Nafai was born and raised in Morocco and received his doctorate from Boston University. Considered the “Father of Occupational Therapy” in Morocco, he is president of OTAM, the Moroccan delegate to World Federation of Occupational Therapists, and chair of the Arab Occupational Therapy Regional Group to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. In addition, he is a certified lymphedema therapist and provides occupational-therapy services in rehabilitation hospitals and facilities. He is a member of the GATE Community, a group of the World Health Organization that aims to improve access to assistive technology worldwide.
According to Nafai, “attendees will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with experts worldwide about wide range of rehabilitation topics, and having our AIC students promote occupational therapy by presenting internationally is a proud moment of scholarship for our institution.”
Seven AIC students currently enrolled in the master’s program for occupational therapy will join nearly three dozen experts from five continents in presenting. Third-year graduate student Kimberly Putnam is looking forward to the conference as a speaker and participant. “The OTAM conference is a wonderful opportunity for occupational-therapy practitioners and students to connect, share ideas, and learn from one another,” she said.
Janelis Rodriguez, a second-year student in the OT program, also a presenter, shares Putnam’s sentiment. “The opportunity to collaborate on the latest occupational-therapy practices among highly renowned practitioners across the globe is both an honor and reflection of the great things occurring within the School of Health Sciences right here at AIC.”
The conference is free and open to the public and will be hosted virtually by the University of New England, Tangier Campus, on Saturday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The conference will be presented live on the Occupational Therapy Assoc. of Morocco’s Facebook page or on Zoom. The webinar ID number is 93343551929. Pre-registration is not required.