Every year, the SSO:USA annual research conference brings together leading researchers, scholars, therapists and students to exchange ideas and share their work related to the study of participation in daily activities, or those activities that occupy our lives. We are excited to announce that the 2022 research conference will take place October 20 - 22, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay in beautiful San Diego, California. 

The pandemic is ongoing and public health guidance is evolving rapidly. SSO:USA will be monitoring events closely and will adjust our meeting plans as needed to ensure the safety of all attendees. We hope to see you for our society’s long-awaited reunion in San Diego!


Abstract submission has now ended. Authors and presenters have been notified of acceptance status. Please check back with updated information included conference registration and scheduling.


Registrant Type

Early Registration


Regular Registration


Main Conference (On-Site)

Main registration includes the following:

  • Full access to all face-to-face events, as well as online items listed under Virtual Registration for up to three months post conference
  • Face-to-face program of paper presentations, poster sessions, forums, and panel sessions
  • Two Ruth Zemke Lectureships in Occupational Science (2020: Dr. Staffan Josephsson & 2022: Dr. Gail Whiteford)
  • Welcome Reception & In-Person Poster Sessions
  • Ruth Zemke Reception Silent Auction and Celebration Dinner







Student Member*


Retired Member



Guest - Social Rate**


Pre-Conference Institute


Virtual Conference (Online)

irtual registration includes online access to the following presentations during the week of conference and up to three months post conference:

  • Live zoom session and recording of the two Ruth Zemke Lectureships in Occupational Science: 2020: Dr. Staffan Josephsson & 2022: Dr. Gail Whiteford
  • Recordings of poster presentations and access to poster PDFs






*Attention students: SSO:USA is offering a special limited-time promotion! Every student who registers for the 2022 conference will receive one complementary year of membership. If you are not yet a student member of SSO:USA, you can join at no cost during the conference registration process by inputting the following discount code on the payment screen: STDNT22. If you are already a current student member of SSO:USA, please contact Adam DePrimo ([email protected]) to receive instructions on renewing your next membership year at no cost!

Registration is Closed

Pre-Conference Institute 

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 1:00pm-5:00pm
“A Workshop on Participatory Action Research Methods”
Dr. Joy Hammel, Dr. Amber Angell, and
Daniella Florindez, MPH


What do the Main Conference registration fees include?

Thursday, October 20, 2022:

  • Welcome Reception (appetizers and cash bar)**
  • Poster Session

Friday, October 21, 2022:

  • Conference attendance for all Friday sessions
  • Continental Breakfast
  • 2020 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Staffan Josephsson
  • Morning Coffee Break
  • 2022 Ruth Zemke Lectureship Reception**
  • Annual Celebration Dinner and Silent Auction**
  • BYOT (Bring Your Own Talent)**

Saturday, October 22, 2022:

  • Conference attendance for all Saturday sessions
  • Breakfast during Annual Business Meeting
  • 2022 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Gail Whiteford
  • Morning Coffee Break
  • Wine and appetizers and community forum**

 **Items marked with a double asterisk above are the only events included in the Guest - Social Rate.

Note that the following are NOT included in the Main Conference registration or Guest - Social Rate:

  • Dinner on Thursday evening (appetizers only at the Welcome Reception)
  • Lunch on Friday
  • Lunch on Saturday
  • Dinner on Saturday evening
  • Any fees for occupational balance activities
  • Pre-conference Institute on Thursday afternoon 1:00-5:00 pm, you need to register for it separately

If you would like to add the Pre-Conference Institute or make other registration changes after your registration has processed, please contact


We have an extraordinary program this year! View it here: SSO:USA 2022 Research Conference Schedule (draft program subject to change).

This year, we are using Whova as our platform to deliver virtual content. In addition to viewing the poster sessions via Whova, you will also be able to look up and learn more about Paper, Panel, and Forum session presenters and their topics. Whova provides apps for both Android and iOS; please see below to download. As we near closer to conference, registrants will be receiving an email with instructions on how to create an account and login to view SSO content on Whova.



The conference will be held at: 

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay
1441 Quivira Road
San Diego, California, 92109

A visual map of the hotel grounds can be found here.

There will be a limited number of rooms available at a discounted group rate. You must use the following link to reserve a room with this discounted rate: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/group-booking/SANIS/G-SSOU. The discounted rate will expire on September 28, 2022, so be sure to secure your room early.


The Society holds an annual silent auction at conference to facilitate student scholarship in occupational science. Donated items collected prior to the annual conference support this activity. Consistent with the mission of the Society, proceeds from the Silent Auction foster the development of researchers by funding student research projects and presentations on the study of occupation. The auction began with the efforts by Dr. Phyllis Meltzer to obtain donations of hand crafted and artful objects for fund-raising in support of the work of SSO:USA. The auction has expanded to include a wide range of items and opportunities, whose auction proceeds support student research in the study of occupation.The society welcomes donations of artful handmade objects as well as other items such as gift certificates, books, jewelry, vouchers for trips or vacation stays, souvenirs of the conference location, etc.

Please consider donating an item for the auction this year! Any stories about the item, what it is made of, its meaning, or its creator are appreciated. You will receive a tax-deductible receipt for your donation. Please let us know about your donation by September 15, 2022, though we will continue to accept items until the opening of the Silent Auction. Please plan to bring your auction item(s) with you to San Diego and enter them at the conference registration table. If you have any questions about the silent auction, you may contact the Silent Auction Coordinator, Daisy Alvarado at [email protected]


Conference Theme: Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy: Tension and Fit: The relationship between occupational science and occupational therapy has evolved over their shared history. This conference builds on the Position Statement on the Relationships Between Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy created by SSO:USA members to foster shared interests and nurture productive relationships between occupational science and occupational therapy.

Pre-Conference Institute: Presenters - Dr. Joy Hammel, Dr. Amber Angell, & Daniella Florindez

Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, is a Professor and Endowed Chair in Occupational Therapy and Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She identifies as disabled woman, scholar and activist. Her research is focused on participatory action research (PAR) with disabled people and disability rights communities specific to living and fully participating in communities of choice. She is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Americans with Disabilities Act Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA PARC), a 5 year center grant funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) which uses PAR to document disparities disabled people experience in community living, participation and economic equity since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  ADA PARC focuses on policy and system changes to promote more equitable participation opportunities, and on disability community empowerment.  Contact Information: [email protected]; ADA PARC Website: adaparc.org

Amber Angell, PhD, OTR/L, is an assistant professor in the Mrs. T. H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. She is director of the Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services (DREAmS Lab), a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, students, volunteers, and autistic lived experience collaborators. Rooted in occupational science theories and scholarship, DREAmS Lab projects are also influenced by dissemination and implementation science, disability studies, and public health; community engaged and participatory research approaches; and the disability rights and neurodiversity movements. DREAmS Lab research focuses on groups of autistic people that are under-identified with autism, under-represented in research, and under-served in health systems; and utilizes a range of health services research methods and designs, including surveys, large data analysis of health records, and qualitative methods. Current projects focus on autistic girls and women, autistic Latinx children and their families, and LGBTQIA+ autistic adults. DREAmS Lab research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. Angell, who has previous clinical experience as a pediatric occupational therapist, has a BS and MOT from Texas Woman’s University and a PhD from the University of Southern California. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Translational and Community Engaged Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, then received a K12 career development award in the Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program at the University of Florida.

Daniella Florindez, MPH, CYT, is a research consultant, qualitative methodology expert, and mindful movement instructor, certified in guided imagery and yoga. Daniella completed her Masters in Public Health at USC, where she studied alternative health communication modalities such as mindfulness, guided imagery, Theater of the Oppressed and energy work as effective conduits of understanding, learning and healing across health care settings. She began her career in health research as a qualitative interviewer, and gained years of experience conducting interviews, focus groups, participant observations, and analyzing qualitative data. Her research interests include exploring patient provider-communication, with an emphasis on understanding unequal power dynamics, health equity, and social justice for neurominorities, racial/ethnic minorities, and sex/gender minorities. Daniella is a peer reviewed author who is passionate about the power of story-telling, and learning about her own neurodiversity. From her own lived experience in her family, she is particularly drawn to exploring late/undiagnosed neurodiversity as impacted by culture, intergenerational family structures, assimilation, and survivorship. As a late diagnosed autistic, Daniella is passionate about living her life authentically, and re-categorizing her past using this perspective. Daniella doesn’t quite like the word occupation, it has a weird connotation; though she does love to spend time analyzing the impact of a word and words strung together. She loves her dogs, her family, and is mostly sensory seeking, from a childhood full of tip toe walking and spinning to bike rides and wind in her face. Daniella is open to creating research partnerships with those who share her interests and goals; she is best reached via email at [email protected]

Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: In recognition of Dr. Ruth Zemke's mentorship, questing intellect, and ongoing efforts to foster an occupational science community of researchers, this Lectureship was named in her honor. The lectureship is designed as a forum to present visionary, theoretical, and critical analyses of occupational science.

  • 2020 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Staffan Josephsson

Staffan Josephsson is Professor and a Research Director in the Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He earned his degree in occupational therapy at Stockholm College of Health Sciences in 1985. Between 1985 and 1989 he worked as an occupational therapist in geriatric care, in addition to studying pedagogics and theatre studies at Stockholm University.
He completed his PhD in 1994 at Karolinska Institutet, writing his thesis on everyday activities as meeting places for people with dementia. As a part of his PhD studies, he spent time at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying narrative, family interventions and conceptual foundations with Cheryl Mattingly, Mary Lawlor and the late Gary Kielhofner.  His work there was influenced by a shared interest in the philosophy of Paul Ricouer, who was known for combining phenomenology and hermeneutics to explain how everyday human activity shapes understanding through narrative.Professor Josephsson began his teaching and research at Karolinska Institute in 1998 and he was promoted to full professor in 2011.  In 2010 he affiliated with Sør-Trøndelag University College and later the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. At NTNU, he has collaborated with Professor Sissel Alsaker to develop a “narrative-in-action” approach to explore how everyday activities help people make sense of the world by integrating interpretating and communicating individual, social, structural, ideological and existential material.Dr. Josephsson’s work has also been influenced by his connections with occupational scientists in Chile and Japan, as well as in his personal life, where his community interactions as a storyteller and his involvement in the local art community continuously inform his perspectives.
  • 2022 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Gail Whiteford

Dr. Whiteford has been an active contributor to occupational therapy and occupational science for three decades. She has served in clinical, managerial, academic and consulting roles including for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia. Her contribution to the profession has been recognised through awards from international bodies including the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Australia and her giving keynote addresses in 11 countries. She was made an inaugural Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Research Academy in 2017 and has 4 books and numerous referred publications. Professionally, Gail has held a number of senior academic, executive and conjoint appointments in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and served as Australia’s first Pro Vice Chancellor of Social Inclusion. She was the Strategic Professor and Conjoint Chair of Allied Health and Community Wellbeing and was appointed by the Minister of Health to a regional health district board with oversight of 7 hospitals. Dr. Whiteford has published extensively in the Journal of Occupational Science and has mentored many occupational scientists around the world.

She currently leads an international team on the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Occupational Narratives Data Base project.

Zemke Lectureship Title: Towards Salience and Solidarity: The Importance of Epistemic Development in Occupational Science, Occupational Therapy and the Relationship Between Them

Occupational Balance:  One of the unique features of SSO:USA conferences is the attention devoted to balance and the quality of participants’ experiences.  Researchers should leave an SSO:USA conference refreshed, stimulated, and energized to return to their work.  Shared meals, conference break blocks, and a range of balance activities encourage attendees to rejuvenate, network, and explore unique aspects of local culture. San Diego has excellent occupational balance opportunities including cultural explorations of art and history in Historic Old Town or the 17 museums in Balboa Park, visiting the famous Gaslamp District, venturing out for some whale watching or water activities, or checking out more local area attractions as well as local restaurants and food fareAbstracts of presentations will published in the 2022 Proceedings. 

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