Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Announces the 2023 Recipient of its Prestigious Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award

Ottawa, Ontario, Aug. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is proud to announce the recipient of the 2023 Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award. This award is CAOT’s most prestigious honour and recognizes the outstanding contributions made by an individual in the fields of research, teaching, and the practice of occupational therapy.

The 2023 recipient of the CAOT Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award is Dr. Gayle Restall, an occupational therapist and professor emerita in the Department of Occupational Therapy of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Restall received the award on May 12 during CAOT Conference 2023, which was held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Phillip Wendt, President of CAOT’s Board of Directors, celebrated Dr. Restall during the awards ceremony with a description of her extensive contributions to occupational therapy practice, research, and academia, as well as her impact on the larger community.

“Gayle is a most worthy nominee for the Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award,” he said. “Her research career has highlighted unmet long-term needs and limited access to rehabilitation supports by marginalized and underserved communities. She has developed ethical and reciprocal knowledge exchange relationships with communities and organizations reflecting the health interests and policy orientations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and with consumer and professional organizations involved in disability and provision of rehabilitation services.”

Mr. Wendt added that Dr. Restall has shown exemplary volunteer leadership as an occupational therapist through her roles with a wide range of groups including working to advance HIV research and care at both local and national levels, as well as within the occupational therapy profession. Her work has been recognized by many collectives and she has been honoured with a number of research appointments throughout her career. In 2020, she was also awarded CAOT’s Golden Quill Award for her manuscript describing the development and use of an equity lens for occupational therapy.

Mr. Wendt noted that Dr. Restall has been a key player in moving the discussion forward around the response of the occupational therapy profession to Truth and Reconciliation at all levels.

“Gayle has been a powerful influence on and ally for social justice work in occupational therapy in Canada,” he said. “Through teaching, research, mentorship, and advocacy, she has made and continues to make an outstanding contribution to the body of knowledge of occupational therapy.”

Dr. Restall has spent the past few years working collaboratively with co-editor, Dr. Mary Egan,  an international advisory panel, and key contributors to develop a new occupational therapy textbook that makes a powerful case for, and the beginnings of, a roadmap to disrupting existing colonial oppressions in occupational therapy. Throughout the development of Promoting Occupational Participation: Collaborative Relationship-Focused Occupational Therapy, she led efforts to ensure equity and justice considerations were central to these new ideas.

As is tradition with the Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award, Dr. Restall will deliver a lecture on a topic of her choice at CAOT Conference 2024, which is taking place in Halifax from May 1-3. She saluted  her colleagues who put forth her name when she accepted the honour during the awards ceremony.

“I am humbled to receive this award and want to thank CAOT and those who nominated me,” said Dr. Restall. “I want to acknowledge all my colleagues from across Canada and around the world who challenge me every day to learn, unlearn, and relearn. I am forever grateful to them.”


About the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is a national organization that supports more than 20,000 occupational therapists (OTs), occupational therapist assistants (OTAs), and students who work or study in Canada. We provide resources, services, and learning opportunities that assist OTs in achieving excellence in their professional practice. Additionally, CAOT provides leadership in the development and promotion of the occupational therapy profession in Canada and internationally.

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