Welcome to the Occupational Therapy Association of Jamaica The objectives of OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION OF JAMAICA (OTAJ) as established are to maintain, promote and advance the standards of Occupational Therapy in Jamaica with recognition of the role and advancement of the status of graduate Occupational Therapists as accredited members of the health team. The Occupational Therapy Association Of Jamaica is a member of the Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine. OTAJ is also a member of the Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapists (A.C.O.T). This regional body seeks to act as the official organization for the promotion of Occupational Therapy in the Caribbean region.

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Welcome to O.T.A.J | PO Box 8677, CSO | Kgn, Ja. | Call Us 1-876-630-5546


News / Events

The Regional Community for Occupational Therapy and Support.

A.C.O.T 13th Biennial Scientific Conference

O.T.A.J is proud to announce that they will be hosting the 13th A.C.O.T 13th Biennial Scientific Conference in Kingston, Jamaica on 2-4 November 2017- ‘Occupational Therapy in the Caribbean, 25 Years of Making Waves and Building Bridges’. Keep visiting the website as the conference planning committee prepare for this exciting event!

Visit Our Facebook Page

For all the latest news from OTAJ visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/OccupationalTherapyAssociationOfJamaica/?fref=ts

Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapists (ACOT) 12th Biennial Scientific Conference- “Moving Forward in Health and Education”

The 12th Scientific Biennial Conference of the Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapists (ACOT), was held from October 29th and 30th 2015, at Trinidad and Tobago hosted by TTOTA with the theme -“Moving Forward in Health Education”. One representative from OTAJ attended the event amongst the 54 conference attendees from the Caribbean, USA and UK.

A press release was issued in the Trinidad and Tobago Daily Express on Wednesday the 18th of November 2015 and can be downloaded here.

A summary report from the conference is available in the members section.

Fleur Minott Nembhard from OTAJ during a workhop on remedial handwriting
ACOT 12th Biennial Conference delegates in Trinidad & Tobago

Why Are They Not Eating? OTAJ Educational Symposium May 31st, 2014

OTAJ hosted an educational symposium, entitled “Why Are They Not Eating” on Saturday, May 31st in Kingston.

This symposium, targeted at parents, caregivers, and health professionals, explored the underlying factors which contribute to feeding problems across the lifespan. The symposium reviewed practical management strategies and hands-on techniques to deal with challenging feeding situations.  Presenters included Jamaican leaders in the fields of Paediatrics, Dietetics, Speech Pathology, and Occupational Therapy. Please see the attached flyer and brochure for further information.

Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapists (ACOT)   Conference, Oct-Nov 2013, Grand Caymans

OTAJ was fortunate to have three members attend ACOTs annual conference this year, held in Grand Caymans.  Pauline Watson-Brown presented on her research regarding primary school teachers’ knowledge, attitudes and practice towards children with ADHD. Fleur Minott Nembhard presented on workplace ergonomics.

ACOT Founding Members

Pauline Watson Campbell

Fleur Minott Nembhard

OTAJ to Participate in 2nd Digicel 5km Night Run: October 26th, 2013

OTAJ members will be participating in the upcoming Digicel Night Run/Walk. The beneficiaries of this year’s event will be:Jamaica Association of the Deaf; Jamaica Association of Intellectual Disabilities; Jamaica Society for the Blind; Jamaica Autism Support Association; Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation; The Step Centre (School for Therapy Education and Parenting of children with multiple disabilities); Mustard Seed Communities; The NAZ Children’s centre; Genesis Academy; Early Stimulation Plus; and Liberty Academy.

The race will take place on Saturday, October 26 in downtown Kingston. Register online at www. runningeventsja.com. Registration closes on Sunday, October 6th or upon achieving the event limit. We hope to see you there!

OTAJ Members in the News

Our very own Lisa Millingen was recently profiled in the Jamaica Observer on August 13th, 2013.

The picture highlighted the final day of a training programme led by Lisa and hosted by the Digicel Foundation, to better assist educators who work with special needs children. Held under the theme “Improving Special Needs Collaboratively,” the training programme engaged more than 80 teachers and caregivers across seven special needs schools including Naz Children’s Centre,  the STEP Centre (School for Therapy Education and Parenting of Children with Multiple Disabilities), Early Stimulation Plus, Jacobs Ladder of Mustard Seed Communities, Liberty and Genesis Academies. Topics covered in the training included: Occupational Therapy and Academic Enrichment, Speech Therapy and Behaviour Therapy.

The training is keeping with the Digicel Foundation’s commitment to create ‘Centers of Excellence’ by providing improved facilities, equipment, resources and on-going training for teachers and caregivers. The project also seeks to create a training hub with Information and Communication Technology links in each participating school, allowing students to learn by utilising visual auditory experiences and three dimensional (3D) learning tools… Congratulations to Lisa for increasing the awareness and exposure of occupational therapy in Jamaica!

BALANCING ACT: Lisa Stoddart  McDaniel Millingen (right), Managing Director of Therapy Plus, engages Lesandrea Archer, NAZ Children’s Centre Grade Five and Grade Six  Teacher in  demonstration. Looking on are(from left) Panseta Simon, Vice Principal of Liberty Academy; Carla Lake, Vice Principal,  Moneisha Williams, Special Needs Teacher, Alixann Narcisse-Campbell, Principal,  all from NAZ Children’s Centre in Montego Bay and Nadine Bowen, of Early Stimulation Plus. Photo Source: Jamaica Observer August 13, 2013

Symposium on Downs Syndrome

On March 17th, 2012, OTAJ hosted a symposium on Downs Syndrome in Kingston, Jamaica.

Following opening remarks from OTAJ’s President, Fleur Minott-Nembhard, a steady stream of experts presented on their areas of specialty:  OTAJ’s Lisa McDaniel Millingen presented on the role of fine motor and visual motor activities on enhancing function with the child with Downs Syndrome; Physical Therapist Andrea Cameron lectured on walking in children with Downs Syndrome; Behavioural Therapist Gillian Holt discussed the ‘ABCs’ of Behaviour; Kellie-Ann Brown-Campbell presented on how to address the educational needs of a child with Downs Syndrome; Speech Therapist Deniece Williams advised audience members on when a child with Downs Syndrome requires speech and language therapy, and developmental pediatrician Dr. Sharon Smile discussed ‘Developmental Outcomes in Children with T21’.

The symposium was well-attended by professionals and laypersons. Overall, a very enriching and informative day. Here are some photos from the event:

Jamaica’s Order of Merit 2012: Pauline Watson Campbell

The association is very proud to report that member Pauline Watson- Campbell was recognized with the national Order of Merit for services to the field of Occupational Therapy and Child Development in Jamaica. This prestigious award was conferred upon Mrs. Watson-Campbell on Jamaica’s National Heroes Day, October 15th, 2012 at Kings House, the Office of His Excellency The Governor-General & Staff.  The Order of Merit is the fourth highest honour conferred by Jamaica upon Jamaicans or distinguished citizens of other countries who have achieved distinction in the fields of science, arts, or literature. The order’s motto is “He that does the truth comes into the light.”  We offer our heartiest congratulations to Pauline and wish her every success in her future endeavors.

12th Sigma Corporate Run

Congratulations to the OT’s that completed the 12th Pan Caribbean Sigma Corporate Run on Sunday 21st February 2010. They completing the 5.6km (3.6mile) event starting in Emancipation Park, New Kingston. The event was actually three races including a walk, run and wheelchairs.

This year’s worthy cause is charities supporting children with disabilities. Here are some photos of the event.

Sacha, Fleur and Pauline (Plus Lisa holding the camera!)

Getting ready to run

OT’s wearing their OTAJ T-shirts

Caribbean OT website

The Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapy (ACOT) launched their website at the recent ACOT conference. It offers a great insight into Occupational Therapy throughout the Caribbean. Visit:


Policy documents

The association has been busy producing new policy documents to support the development of the profession. The documents have been endorsed by the World Federation of OT. We now have:

  • OTAJ Code of Ethics, 1st Edition, 2009
  • OTAJ Standards of Practice, 1st Edition, 2010
  • OTAJ Strategic Plan 2010-2015

These documents are available to OTAJ members. If you want to know more about these documents contact the association atoccupational.therapyja@gmail.com

Factsheets on Equipment for Children with Disabilities

Five factsheets are available for parents and professionals for download on the website. The factsheets give information on the range of assistive devices available to help a child with disability be more independent and support caregivers in activities of daily living. Factsheets include advice on equipment for:

  • Accessing the computer
  • Pushchairs and wheelchairs
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Bathing and Showering
  • Toileting

Go to the downloads page of the website to access these leaflets

9th ACOT Biennial Scientific Conference

The 9th ACOT Biennial Scientific Conference was held in Kingston Jamaica on 5-7 November 2009 at the Hilton Hotel. The conference was attended by 25 delegates from 7 countries including the Caribbean Islands, United States and Canada. The day prior to the conference an evening public lecture was completed at the University of West Indies by Dr Paula Dawson, Consultant Physiatrist . This followed by a lively “Meet and Greet” at one of the OT’s houses so everyone could get to know each other.

The conference was officially opened the next day with the Honourable Pernell Charles, Minister of Labour and Social Security present with other Honourable guests. Over the next 2 days OT’s received 10 paper sessions, 3 workshops and 5 poster sessions on a wide diversity of themes including mental health, paediatrics, physical rehabilitation, hand therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, fieldwork education, management and advocacy. After all that hard work a well deserved social event occurred with dinner at Morgan’s Harbour, Port Royal. The next day Lesley Garcia, outgoing ACOT President directed the AGM meeting which sparked many discussions and enthusiasm from members. One important discussion was centred around the development of an OT training programme in the Caribbean with the University of West Indies, Jamaica and the University of Trinidad and Tobago both working on this objective. A new ACOT Executive was elected for 2010-2012 at the meeting.

Overall the conference was a great success. Congratulations to the conference committee on such a well organised event. Good luck to the new ACOT Executive. The 10th ACOT Biennial Scientific Conference is scheduled for 2011 in Barbados.

Opening Ceremony with the Honourable Pearnell Charles , Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr Paula Dawson, Consultant Physiatrist, Lisa Stoddart Millingen, OTAJ President and Lesley Garcia, ACOT President

Honourable Pearnell Charles, Minister of Labour and Social Security in conversation with Lesley Garcia, ACOT Presidents

Children from McCAM Child Development Centre complete a performance at the opening ceremony