Occupational Therapy Association of Californa


Are you having password or login issues? We are here to help! Email us at staff(at)otaconline.org or use the chat box to connect with OTAC staff.

Member Login

Please renew or join using the "Join Today" or "Renew Today" links further below in order to access the Member Login.

Be A Member! Join Today!

Renew Your Membership Today

Click here for easy to follow online renewal instructions!

Calendar of Events

View the latest events


  • OTAC members and volunteers began decorating the Centennial Float for the Tournament of Roses Parade (TM)
  • OTAC Initiated the largest publicity campaign for the profession of occupational therapy centered around OTAC's official float entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade (TM)
  • OTAC celebrated its 40th Anniversary at the Annual Conference in Pasadena, California
  • Region 2 hosted the 15th Annual Tea with a Scholar, with speaker Ann McDonald, MA, PhD, OTR/L, who presented on "Family Power: Lessons from the Field and Pop Culture."


  • OTAC held first Annual Advocacy Day
  • OTAC launched School-based OT Credentialing Sub-committee
  • OTAC held the 2015 OTAC Annual Conference in Sacramento
  • OTAC held 2015 Spring Symposium in Anaheim


  • Networking: OTAC held three Meet 'n' Mingle events in Roseville, Marysville, and Fresno
  • Professional Development: OTAC held one education event in Downey
  • Networking: OTAC held a Meet 'n' Mingle event at Grossmont College
  • Advocacy Update: Davis
  • Professional Development: OTAC held the 2014 OTAC Annual Conference in Pasadena
  • Networking: OTAC held a Meet 'n' Mingle event at Stanbridge College
  • Professional Development: OTAC held the 13th Annual Afternoon Tea with a Scholar in Los Angeles
  • Professional Development: OTAC Supports the POTAC - OT Education and Evidence-Based Practice for Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Public Relations: OTAC receives Certificate of Appreciation for participating for 5+ years in the CSU, Dominguez Hills Masters of Occupational Therapy Career Fair Day | certificate
  • Professional Development and Networking: OTAC supported the Clinical Academic Educational Partnership in Occupational Therapy and held a Meet 'n' Mingle Reception following the event
  • Professional Development: OTAC held a one-day Pediatric Education Symposium at West Coast University
  • Professional Development: OTAC supported the POTAC Current Evidence on PTSD & The Evolving Role of OT and 12th Annual Practice Issues Forum
  • Advocacy: OTAC held 5th Annual Region 2 Legislative Reception
  • Professional Development: OTAC held one one-day continuing education event in Santa Rosa
  • Networking: OTAC held one Meet 'n' Mingle event in Yucaipa
  • Professional Development: OTAC held the 2014 OTAC Spring Symposium in Anaheim
  • Advocacy: OTAC held the 2nd Annual Region 1 Legislative Reception in conjunction with the 2014 OTAC Spring Symposium in Anaheim
  • Professional Development: OTAC held one one-day education event in Fresno
  • Networking: OTAC held one Meet 'n' Mingle event in Santa Maria
  • Professional Development: OTAC supported LAOTLF - OT Focus On The Shoulder and Cognition
  • Advocacy Update: University of St. Augustine


  • Webinar: Workers Compensation – Changes to Reimbursement Calculations
  • Advocacy Update: Sacramento City College OTA Students
  • Advocacy Update: Samuel Merritt OT Students
  • Public Relations: OTAC sponsored the viewing and discussion of the documentary, Age of Champions, for the Pacific Chapter of the Neuropathy Association
  • OTAC 3rd Annual Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in conjunction with the 37th Annual Conference
  • Advocacy: OTAC urged Covered California to more clearly describe essential health benefits, which includes occupational therapy, on its website
  • Public Relations: OTAC honors outstanding OT practitioners and student
  • Public Relations: OTAC helps launch new logo and branding for the California Foundation for Occupational Therapy (CFOT)
  • Member Benefits: OTAC institutes new benefit, myofficeproducts
  • Afternoon Tea with a Scholar, featuring Elizabeth Pyatak, PhD, OTR/L
  • Advocacy Update: California OT Fieldwork Council Conference
  • Advocacy Update: USC OT Students
  • Advocacy: OTAC suggested amendments to legislation to ensure that occupational therapy is protected and enhanced in all autism-related legislative bills
  • Advocacy: OTAC developed a Fact Sheet on Mandated Behavioral Health Treatment
  • Advocacy: OTAC participated in AOTA’s Annual Capitol Hill Day
  • Public Relations: OTAC President represented the Association at the Los Angeles County Supervisorial District 5 – Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection
  • Public Relations: OTAC President attended the West Coast University Masters OT Program inaugural student orientation
  • Communications: OTAC ‘goes green’ with its newsletter
  • Public Relations: OTAC President presented at the Stanbridge College OTA program
  • Public Relations: OTAC partners with Habitat for Humanity to implement Universal Design principles
  • Public Relations: OTAC established a media subcommittee
  • Professional Development: OTAC held two one-day symposiums in San Marcos and Anaheim
  • Public Relations: OTAC exhibits at the AOTA 2013 Annual Conference in San Diego
  • Advocacy: OTAC held the 4th Annual Region 2 Legislative Reception | Certificate
  • Professional Development: OTAC supported the 11th Annual OT Practice Issues Forum
  • Public Relations: OTAC exhibited at the Health Student Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Conference
  • Professional Development: OTAC held two one-day regional symposiums in Sacramento and San Jose
  • Public Relations: OTAC conducts Member Appreciation Month activities
  • Professional Development: OTAC held two one-day regional symposiums in Carson and Sacramento


  • Member Benefits: OTAC launches online practitioner community, OTAC Forums
  • Advocacy: OTAC participated in several legislative events including Speaker of Assembly John A. Perez, Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, State Assemblymember Chris Holden |Certificate Liu | Certificate County of LA
  • Patricia Nagaishi, PhD, OTR/L elected as President (2012-2014)
  • 2012 Spring Symposium held at the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel was a grand success, largest attendance in the events history.


  • Member Benefits: OTAC launches online professional development tracking program – myOTlicense
  • OTAC's Annual Conference celebrated 35 years.
  • American Diabetes Association honored as the 4th Annual OTAC Conference Sponsored Organization.


  • Shawn Phipps, PhD (Cand.), MS, OTR/L elected President for a second term of office.
  • 2010 Spring Symposium held at the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel was a grand success.
  • Members voted to support a new committee structure.
  • 34th Annual OTAC Conference in Pasadena, CA was a huge success - attendance surpassed the 2009 Conference.
  • CA Brain Injury Association honored as the 3rd Annual OTAC Conference-Sponsored Organization.
  • OTAC transitioned to a new association management database for greater capabilities at less cost.


  • 33rd Annual OTAC Conference had the largest attendance in OTAC's 33-year history.
  • Autism Speaks honored as the 2nd Annual OTAC Conference-Sponsored Organization.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants become licensed in the State of California.
  • OTAC introduces online continuing education opportunities for members via webinars and podcasts.


  • Shawn Phipps, MS, OTR/L elected President.
  • OTAC hires new executive director, Karen C. Polastri.
  • OTAC adopts a new logo, website, and newsletter format for enhanced communications with members.
  • Rebuilding Together honored as the first official OTAC Conference-Sponsored Organization.
  • Pro-Quest, a full-text evidence-based article database subscription, was introduced as a new OTAC membership benefit.


  • Chuck Strauch retires after 22 years serving as Executive Director. Karen Polastri takes the reins.
  • Annette Bushong retires after 11 years as Office Manager.
  • Richard Bookwalter signs contract with Association Resource Center (ARC) and OTAC moves to a new Folsom address. ARC offers a new staffing model and cost-sharing structure with other professional associations.


  • Richard Bookwalter elected President, 2006-2008.
  • Membership votes to approve restructure of the association and the Board of Directors from 15 chapter representation to a 5 region structure and representation.
  • 1st Spring Fling No Frills Conference held.


  • Christine Weitlisbach elected President, 2004-2006.


  • Members begin to receive their licenses.


  • OTAC moves to El Camino Avenue office.
  • Melissa Szamet elected President, 2002-04.


  • OTAC resubmits licensure bill as SB 1046 and clears the Senate with no opposition.
  • CCAPTA opposes the bill at Assembly Health Committee hearing and extensive renegotiation begin.
  • The bill is resubmitted for consideration and passed with unanimous vote.
  • Diane Josephs is elected President, 2000-02.
  • SB 1046 signed into law by Governor Gray Davis on September 25, 2000.
  • The California Board of Occupational Therapy is formed.


  • OTAC Board adopts Vision Statement.
  • Sunrise document is completed and submitted.
  • Face to face negotiations begin with the California Chapter of Physical Therapy Association (CCAPTA).
  • OTAC licensure bill is submitted (SB 1287), goes to the governor's desk, and is vetoed by Gov. Davis for financial concerns.
  • Resolution E is referred to AOTA state task force committee for consideration.
  • OTAC publishes "Branching Out: Private Practice and Beyond"


  • Luella Grangaard elected President, 1998-2000.
  • OTAC begins negotiations with AOTA to collaborate on a new licensure initiative.
  • OTAC enters into the first state association - AOTA memorandum of understanding to move forth a new licensure initiative.
  • Lobbyist is hired to begin work on the licensure bill. Senator Kevin Murray agrees to author the bill.
  • The volunteer initiative "Make a Difference" begins, which aims to recruit 300 volunteers over the next two years.
  • OTAC submits Resolution E to AOTA representative assembly.


  • OTAC is invited to begin collaborations with the California Health Association (CHA).


  • Susan Smiley elected President, 1996-1998.
  • The first OTR student representative serves on the Board of Directors.
  • OTAC publishes "OT Aide Training Manual".


  • The Board of Directors passes a budget for the first time.
  • OTAC is invited to attend a reception for the President of the United States, Bill Clinton.


  • Lin Reed elected President, 1994-1996.


  • AB 1852 is introduced initially as a licensing act, but is later amended to broaden the existing Trademark Law and is signed into law in September.


  • Brenda Collins is elected President, 1992-1994.
  • The Licensure Advisory Panel submits a revised scope of practice to the OTAC Board of Directors where it is adopted.


  • The Great Grassroots Campaign is developed to assure that key legislators are connected to local occupational therapists to assist them with health care issues.
  • An Attorney General's opinion is obtained regarding the use of physical agent modalities in conjunction with occupational therapy, which is contrary to the General's opinion in 1982.


  • The Mission Plan and Long Range Plan is revised, resulting in new goals being:
  • Quality occupational therapy practice in California
  • Occupational therapy as a viable health profession in California
  • OTAC, as a viable organization, effectively meet members needs.
  • Janet Jabri is elected President, 1990-92.


  • AB 1245 is introduced to the Assembly Health Committee to establish licensure for occupational therapy. It is defeated.


  • Ardith Breton elected President, 1988-1990.
  • A scope of practice, as defined by the Licensure Task Force, is adopted by the Board of Directors.


  • A Licensure Task Force is appointed to further study the issue of Licensure.


  • Chuck Strauch hired as first full-time salaried Executive Director/Lobbyist.
  • First OTAC office is established two blocks from the capital in Sacramento.


  • Annual conference incorporates a paid speaker and innovative educational tracks.


  • Diane Hendricks elected President, 1984-1988.
  • President-Elect position developed to allow training and transition time.
  • AB 34 79 submitted, a repeat attempt to establish a scope of practice definition. It is dropped.


  • SB 103 submitted, establishing a definition for an occupational therapy scope of practice. It is dropped.


  • Despite tremendous debate, AB 1145 is dropped.


  • AB 1145 submitted to legislature, combining licensure with annual continuing education requirements.
  • OTAC responded to a request from the Attorney General regarding occupational therapy's use of modalities listed in the Physical Therapy Practice Act.


  • The Board recognized its greatest membership challenge is to help members understand why and how decisions are made and to actively seek their support for that decision.
  • OTAC submitted a resolution to the AOTA Representative Assembly which and was passed, resulting in AOTA taking notice of this fledgling association.
  • Mary M. Evert elected President from 1980-84.
  • OTAC contracts with OTAC to provide management services.


  • AK Associates contracted to provide management support and Sacramento office established. First professional office address for any occupational therapy association in the U.S.


  • Doris Cutting elected President, 1978-80.


  • A Long Range Plan was developed for the Association with the goals:
  • To augment the understanding and use of occupational therapy.
  • To upgrade the quality of occupational therapy practice.
  • To solidify the OTAC organizational structure.
  • A Trademark Law passed which protected the title of occupational therapy.


  • Southern California Occupational Therapy Association (SCOTA) and Northern California Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA) merge to become one incorporated state association.
  • Mary Lou Hymen elected as President, 1976-1978.
  • First licensure bill passed by both legislative houses and then vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.