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					                                         The Networker
                                         The Official Newsletter of the Network for Lesbian, Gay,
                                         Bisexual & Transgender Concerns in Occupational Therapy
                                                                               VOLUME 14/NUMBER 2/JUNE 2007

                                       FROM THE CO-CHAIR                        FROM THE CO-CHAIR
   FEEDBACK                                   by Susan Roberts                           by Kay Blose
                                       Hi Everyone,                            Hello Network Members,
     YOU….                             I am the new co-chair. Actually I
                                       volunteered for the position two        I have been involved with the Net-
There are several items in this        years ago, but due to changes in        work for several years as vice chair
newsletter that need member            my life - several moves and open-       (voluntarily) and then as newsletter
discussion before the Steering         ing my own pediatric clinic -           coordinator (got drafted). I am de-
Committee can decide how to            Changes OT - I got lost and I also      lighted to be serving as co-chair with
act. Please visit our website:         lost my contact info for the Net-       Susan Roberts for the next year. As
                                       work. So at this year's meeting I       a group we have a rich and diverse                  volunteered again. (Isn't guilt a       history and that has positioned us
                                       wonderful thing?!) Apparently con-      well to provide a powerful and vo-
and give us your feedback and          fusion about my e-mail address (I       cal voice in AOTA as well as in the
ideas.                                 swear I do not do this on purpose!)     profession of occupational therapy.
                                       meant I just got word 36 hours ago
                                       that I needed to write something for    Please contact me with comments,
                                       the newsletter. I have dragged          suggestions and actions plans.
                                       myself away from my girlfriend's
                                       sickbed (dental surgery) to make
 IN THIS ISSUE                         this deadline. Fortunately I have
                                       been practicing my deadline tech-
                                       nique by writing up a couple of pro-    which list is longer. Most of my
                                       posals for next year's AOTA con-        work has been with kids and most
 CO-CHAIRS.......................1     ference. (How many characters did       of that I spent in schools, but I've
 NETWORK STEERING COM-                 you say you wanted?)                    done plenty of adult rehab as well.
 MITTEE FOR 2007-2008....2                                                     I like to think of myself as a "re-
 NETWORK MISSION                       I was asked to introduce myself -       naissance" OT rather than a gener-
 STATEMENT.........................2   so I'll start at the beginning. In      alist.
                                       1974 I graduated from Boston
                                       University, Sargent College's OT        I went back to school to study the
 N EXT N ETWORK A NNUAL                school (back in the BS days). A         sensory integration aspects of heal-
 MEETING...........................3   week before I started my Level II       ing rituals and ended up at Harvard
 2007 A NNUAL M EETING                 internship at Eastern Pennsylvania      Divinity School, graduating in 1984
 MINUTES...........................4   Psychiatric Institute I came out as
 BUTTONS FOR OUR NEXT                  a Lesbian. What a learning expe-
                                       rience! Since then I've worked a
 ANNUAL MEETING.............5                                                        continued on page 3
                                       lot of different OT jobs, and "dated"
                                       a lot of different women. Don't ask

      JUNE 2007 NETWORKER page 2

                                                          STEERING COMMITTEE
                                                              FOR 2007-2008

                                         The following Network members were voted in as officers at the annual
   “The Mission of the Network is        meeting in St. Louis, in April 2007:
   to create the means for members
      of the occupational therapy
     professional community who                                 Co-Chair: Kay Blose
    are committed to advancing an                             Co-Chair: Susan Roberts
  understandng of sexual orientation                         Treasurer: Michael Nardone
issues to identify, support and mentor                       Membership: Gloria Lucker
 one another and to promote research                          Secretary: Bobby Blanton
       in occupational therapy.”
                                                             Webmaster: Ken Dechman
     STEERINGCOMMITTEE                                     Newsletter Editor: Diana Bailey
                                                          Newsletter Columnist: Jessica Miller
  Susan Roberts (09) Flushing, NY
                                         Thank you for your willingness to serve the Network membership and
             Co-Chair                    for representing us to AOTA and the public.
     Kay Blose (08) Beckley, WV

    Gloria Lucker (09) Buffalo, NY

            Secretary                                           NETWORK
   Bobby Blanton (08) Kokomo, IN                           MISSION STATEMENT

 Michael Nardone (08) Westerly, RI                   At the annual meeting in St. Louis, there was discussion of updating our
                                         Mission Statement - we are still functioning under the original statement
         Newsletter Editor
  Diana Bailey (08) Lexington, MA        composed at the founding of the Network in 1992. The first paagraph is             printed on p. 2 of this newsletter.

       Newsletter Columnist              We will publish the full Mission Statement and purpose in the next news-
  Jessica Miller (08) Valparaiso, IN
                                         letter so that all the members can see it and give the Steering Committee
                                         feedback about whether or not it needs to be updated and, if so, how.
    Ken Dechman (08) Ghent, NY

The Networker                              The Networker is published           Subscription Price: The Networker is
                                                                                          sent to all members.
The Official Newsletter of the Network               quarterly
                                                                                    Membership is defined as
for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Con-          by the Network Steering            making a donation in any amount.
cerns in Occupational Therapy                      Committee.                   To join, send application on page 6 to
                                                                                             The Network
                                                                                 167 High Street, Westerly, RI 02891
                                                                       JUNE 2007 NETWORKER page 3

        TREASURER'S REPORT                                              continued from page 1

The treasurer reports that we have $1350 in the Net- with a Masters of Divinity. I waited another 14 years
work bank account.                                      to get ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister
                                                        (weddings anyone?). Changes OT evolved along the
Members have made three suggestions for the use of way - most recently as a play-based pediatric clinic,
some of this money:                                     where we did some wonderful trans-disciplinary
                                                        therapy but ultimately succumbed to the insurance/state
a) That we mail the Networker to all OT and OTA reimbursement system. Currently I teach in the Oc-
training programs. We have done this in the past to cupational Therapy Department at New York Insti-
meet the Network's mission of supporting LGBT stu- tute of Technology.
dents, by letting them know there is a part of the AOTA
organization for them.                                  My focus (and I do have one) is research on play and
                                                        spirituality. I think they overlap significantly if they
b) That we donate some money to the Wilma West aren't actually the same thing. I want to get together
Library to purchase books or periodicals to educate with the other multicultural OT groups and put on a
AOTA members about LGBT issues as they relate to Diversity Masquerade Ball at the Long Beach confer-
health care and occupational therapy. Education of the ence. Is anyone else out there interested?
AOTA membership is in our mission statement.
                                                        For the record my correct e-mail addresses are:
c) That we add to our (slowly) growing scholarship and My
fund to support a student who is engaged in work that office number is (516) 686-3915.
promotes LGBT issues in occupational therapy. Re-
search regarding LGBT issues in occupational therapy
is also mentioned in our mission statement.

                                                                 HOPE TO SEE YOU
OTHER IDEAS?                                                                AT OUR
            NEXT NETWORK                                        ANNUAL MEETING
See you at the next annual meeting of the Network
during the AOTA conference in Long Beach, CA, April
                                                                   LONG BEACH!!!
10-13, 2008. Details of our meeting and socializing
opportunities will be given in the Networker preced-
ing the conference.

      JUNE 2007 NETWORKER page 4

                 SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007; ST. LOUIS, MI

The meeting was called to order and led by Network
Chair, Yvonne Randall.                                  PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AND GIVE
                                                        US FEEDBACK.
Steering Committee members present: Kay Blose,
Gloria Lucker, Michael Nardone, Ken Dechman, and ITEM 2
soon-to-be-elected Susan Roberts.                       As the Network grows and becomes a moving force
                                                        in occupational therapy it may be time to revisit our
ITEM 1                                                  mission statement. Through discussion it became clear
Earlier today (Sunday), the Multicultural Coalition met that the focus of the group needs to be clarified among
with AOTA President, Penny Moyers, AOTA Liai- members. Are we a support group, a social group, an
son, Frank Gainer, and AOTA Director of Professional education group, a political action group? The full mis-
Affairs, Laurel Radley.                                 sion statement and purpose will be posted on the
                                                        website in a month or so. Please review the statement
The main topic of discussion was how to organize the and offer suggestions. As a dynamic ever-growing or-
seven multicultural groups that fall under the AOTA ganization we are open to change on many levels.
umbrella. Leaders from each group wanted to know Member input is crucial to keep the organization in a
what support AOTA could and would be giving the proactive position.
groups. They asked if the individual groups should
come together and act as one body - as a coalition. SO, PLEASE REVIEW THE MISSION STATE-
President Moyers suggested that the multicultural MENT AND OFFER SUGGESTIONS AS
groups form an ad hoc committee and generate some SOON AS YOU CAN.
common ideas. An email list was formed and commu-
nication via list serve will be taking place throughout [We will also be printing the full Mission Statement in
the summer. Co-Chairs, Kay Blose and Susan Rob- the next Networker, so you will have another oppor-
erts will represent the Network in these discussions, tunity to respond in the fall.]
and will update members on the issues.
                                                        It was suggested that the Steering Committee compile
Some of the questions the Multicultural Coalition need and send a survey to members asking what direction
to explore are:                                         they would like the Network to take.

1. Does the coalition want to develop a formal con-        ITEM 3
nection with AOTA, thus falling under their rule and       The Network bank account has done well and we
governance?                                                have some additional money that could be spent. Our
2. What exactly do we want from AOTA?                      biggest regular expenditure is the copying and mailing
3. What can our coalition offer AOTA?                      of the Networker.
4. Should AOTA provide leadership training for the
                                                     Michael Nardone, Network treasurer, suggested that
officers of each multicultural group as part of the AOTA
outreach agenda?                                     we make a donation to the Wilma West Library to
                                                     purchase books or periodicals to educate AOTA mem-
These same questions were discussed at the Network bers about LGBT issues. There would be an
meeting on Sunday evening. It was decided to solicit acknowledgement of the donation from our group pro-
input from more of the membership before any deci- viding some positive publicity for the Network.
sions will be made.
                                                                          JUNE 2007 NETWORKER page 5

It was also suggested these funds could provide cop-        might make an interesting student project to put to-
ies of the Networker newsletter to OT and OTA               gether the information for such a resource. He would
schools; or that some money could be added to our           then include the information on the website, and solicit
Network scholarship.                                        AOTA in promoting this new resource.

SEE THE RELATED ARTICLE IIN THIS IS-                        * It was requested that we seek a different time for
SUE ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THIS                              next year's annual meeting. Sunday night conflicts with
MONEY AND GIVE US FEEDBACK ON THE                           the Awards Ceremony and meetings of the other
WEBSITE.                                                    multicultural groups.Also, if we meet earlier in the week,
                                                            we can socialize during the week with Network mem-
ITEM 4                                                      bers we get to know at the meeting.
New officers were elected, and some current officers
were re-elected for another term. See list of officers * It was suggested that we exchange newsletters with
on the Steering Committee on p. 2.                     the other multicultural groups.

ITEM 5                                                      Minutes prepared by Kay Blose with assistance from
Laurel Radley is the new AOTA Director of Profes-           Clarissa Crawford
sional Affairs and will be the contact person for
multicultural issues within AOTA. We are looking for-                BUTTONS FOR OUR
ward to working with her. She attended both the                    NEXT ANNUAL MEETING
multicultural coalition meeting and the Network meet-
ing, voicing positive support for both groups. Her email It was suggested at the meeting in St. Louis that we
is Please let her know of any con-     have Network buttons made for the conference in
cerns and interests you may have - and let her know      Long Beach, and that we use them to publicize our
you are a member of the Network.                         organization. Many of us old timers remember the fun
                                                         and excitement generated by our buttons in the past.
ITEM 6                                                   In fact, I know several OT practitioners who have a
It was suggested that we have buttons for the next collection of our buttons - and some proudly display
conference in Long Beach to increase our visibility.     them.
SEND IN YOUR DESIGN NOW.                                 Past buttons are all in the Network archive in the Tretter
                                                         Collection of the Anderson Library at the University
OTHER ITEMS                                              of Minnesota. (We hope anyone who is in the area
* It was suggested that we hold a "Diversity Mas- will take the opportunity to visit the Nework archive,
querade Ball" with the other multicultural groups at the which is open to the public.)
Long Beach conference. Some people were interested
in supporting such a venture financially. Let Susan The logo for the Networker on the front page of this
Roberts know if you want to help.                        newsletter was the design for our button one year. It
                                                         was designed by Jim Sellers of Massachusetts.
* At the Multicultural Coalition meeting, the Network
was recognized as the only group that maintained an So, let's revive the tradition. SEND IN YOUR DE-
updated website - congratulations and thanks to Ken SIGN FOR A BUTTON FOR LONG BEACH
Dechman, our webmaster.                                  IN 2008.

* The Webmaster suggested that our website could            You can send it via an email attachment to Ken
host an online resource for all occupational therapists     Dechman, our Webmaster, or send a hard copy drawing
who are seeking information on cultural issues regard-      to our Co-Chairs, Kay Blose or Susan Roberts (email
ing their lesbian and gay clients. He suggested that this   them for their addresses).

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