O’Connor has a long standing commitment to providing education to the community volunteering to provide training and education on topics related to brain injury, safety and prevention, and rehabilitation to groups.
AARP / American OT Association's "Home Fit"
AARP/ American OT Association in collaboration with the Michigan State Police / Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning / Michigan Department of Transportation, and AAA of Michigan for "Car Fit"
Brain Injury Association of Michigan / Brain Injury Association of America
Michigan Family Voices
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Michigan Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. October 6, 2016. “What’s So Funny about Brain Injury? Increasing Public Awareness and Brain Injury Education through Comic Strip Media.” Michael O’Connor OTRL, presented with Anna Keough OTRL. Brain Injury is often referred to as a “silent epidemic” because the deficits may not be evident to the physical appearance, and because there is “silence” in lack of public awareness. News reports, documentaries, biographies and even fictional characters in movies or television can contribute to increasing public awareness. The “comics” or “funny pages” may be the last place to expect to meet a character with a brain injury. This presentation utilizes “For Better or for Worse” & “Doonesbury” cartoons art work two Case Studies as storytelling of functional examples of course of medical trauma care and rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury, and presents on the effect cerebral vascular accident (stroke). This presentation’s objectives: 1) Neuroanatomy review (brain structure and function) in context of Case Studies; 2) Review of psychosocial impact of brain injury on the individual, their family, and relationships; 3) Strategies for appropriate interactions for individuals with aphasia (communication deficits) will be emphasized (cartoon artwork used with paid copyright permission via payment to AMU Universal Reprints / Universal Uclick).
Michigan Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. October 7, 2016. “HomeFit Training and Working with AARP MI” Michael O’Connor OTRL, presented with Debra K Lindstrom PhD, OTRL, FAOTA and Karen Kafantaris Associate State Director of AARP Michigan. This presentation is based on the concern that as the baby boomer generation ages, there is an impending need for older adults to live in homes that are safe for them. Repeated studies by AARP finds that 89% of people over the age of 50 want to stay in their current home as long as possible and avoid needing to move to expensive assistive living or nursing homes. The AARP HomeFit program educates people on how to make their current homes as safe as possible for them. AARP MI has been providing this program since 2011 with AARP MI OT HomeFit Volunteers. In 2015 AARP MI presented 35 presentations throughout the state. This intermediate level presentation provided information to participants about the program and the opportunity to become an AARP MI HomeFit volunteer to provide presentations in their local communities.
AARP Livable Communities National Conference, Chicago, IL. October 19, 2016. “HomeFit - The Win/Win; How State Offices Can Work with Occupational Therapists” Michael O’Connor OTRL, presented with Karen Kafantaris Associate State Director of AARP Michigan, and Laura Cantwell, Associate State Director of AARP Florida. O'Connor presented as an AARP volunteer and as an American Occupational Therapy Association member to discuss the OT's role in Home Fit as public education, and will assist participants with suggestions on how to connect with OTs in their states to provide this population based intervention.
The Celtic Maze pattern symbolizes the journey of life and the path of experience, & learning. It symbolizes that there are twists, and turns, the challenges and obstacles in life, but that there are always open doors.