What’s on in September 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events

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What’s on in September 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events

What’s on in September 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events 

We’ve rounded up some of the main events on offer this September for anyone interested in occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation – as a service provider or user!

You will find all the links to these amazing events at the bottom of the page.


RCOT Specialist Section Neurological Practice presents:

Visions for Neuro Occupational Therapy in 2021 and Beyond – held on the 9th and 10th of September, the first virtual annual conference of the RCOT’s Specialist Section Neurological Practice (SSNP) focuses on occupational therapy today and looks ahead to future developments and delivery. Curated jointly by the Stroke, Brain Injury & Long Term Conditions Forums. It promises to be a fascinating event. 

Find out more and book a place here.


Trust trio

The Children’s Trust has a sporty September ahead with a trio of events to raise money for children with brain injury: 


  • Its annual golf day in Surrey tees off at Hindhead Golf Club on 9 September.
  • On 12 September, trust team runners will be joining the Brighton Marathon - but more are welcome!
  • The trust hopes to send five representatives to the Run Reigate races around the Surrey town – a half marathon and 10K, 5K and kids’ races on 19 September.


To support the trust as a runner and for all other details, race to the link below. [1]


DAD’s 30th birthday!

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Disability Awareness Day (DAD), a UK event tagged as the world’s largest not-for-profit disability exhibition run by volunteers. 

Over 200 exhibitors will be gathering at DAD this year when it opens in a sprawling tented village on the grounds of Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington, Cheshire, on 12 September.

Expect everything to be disability-friendly and lots of information about disability equipment, holidays, transport, employment, leisure, support groups and services. 

And, for the more adventurous, there’s a sports zone, including scuba diving, to try, an arts marquee, and family entertainment – all for free! [2]


White ways

The occupational challenges of brain injury will be bringing experts together at an online webinar hosted by the Acquired Brain Injury Forum for London (ABIL) this month.

Reasonable adjustment, vocational rehabilitation and therapeutic whiteboarding are among the topics on the table, as well as ways to use vocational rehabilitation to inspire brain injury recovery.

The event on 13 September runs from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. [3]



Survivor support

Brain injury survivors, their families and carers can access a wealth of free advice on coping during the covid pandemic at an online conference hosted by brain injury experts in Wales this month.

The annual Headway Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Neurosciences Annual Conference will feature presentations from:


  • Headway - the brain injury association.
  • Occupational therapists (OTs) and clinical psychologists in community brain injury rehabilitation.
  • Lived experience experts.


Professionals and students are also welcome at the half-day Zoom event on 14 September. More details below. [4]


Euro neuro

Birmingham’s NEC stages Europe’s only trade event for brain and spine experts this month.

Neuro Convention 2021 opens on 15 and 16 September at the Solihull venue at the same time as the Home Care Expo and the Dementia & Nursing Home Expo, providing a useful ‘one-stop shop’ for some.

The convention will include:


  • Life-saving technology from 200 exhibitors.
  • University of Plymouth specialist neurological rehabilitation workshops.
  • Interactive training sessions.
  • 150 CPD presentations.


More information via the link below. [5]


Defeat dizziness

There’s a global drive this month to help restore balance to lives disrupted by inner ear (vestibular) disorders.

Balance Awareness Week is marked worldwide by organisations supporting folks struggling with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance and related nausea.

In the UK, that includes The Meniere’s Society which is hosting events and encouraging others to run their own, such as:


  • An Around the World walking/running challenge.
  • Wearing blue on Blue Monday (20 September) to show support.
  • Sharing a ‘Dizziness&Me’ selfie or story on social media.


More about the campaign from 19 to 25 September is below. [6]


Dementia BFF

World Alzheimer's Month this September is all about becoming ‘dementia friendly’ by breaking down barriers surrounding dementia, the syndrome most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The UK’s Alzheimer’s Society is backing the global campaign by highlighting the importance of talking about dementia – the way to become a ‘Dementia Friend’.

“We want to raise awareness of how [dementia] impacts the daily lives of people affected by the condition and challenge the stigma that surrounds it,” said a spokesperson for the charity.

“We know that receiving a dementia diagnosis can leave a person feeling very alone. 

“We have also spoken to primary carers who feel isolated since their loved one received a diagnosis. But you are not alone — Alzheimer's Society is here to support you.”

World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September is the campaign's focus to support the estimated 49 million-plus people living with dementia around the world. [7]


   …we can all unite in starting our own recovery journeys, together on the same day, using physical activity, fitness and general everyday movement to look after our bodies, our minds and regain our social connection.   

Hattie Jones, ukactive


Shaker maker

September provides a perfect launchpad for anyone wanting to shake off lockdown lethargy or explore physical exercise after brain injury.

National Fitness Day on 22 September is a chance to enhance keep fit motivation as the entire UK is urged to get active in any way they can.

Amid a theme of ‘Fitness Unites Us’, the aim is to show the inclusive power of physical activity in bringing people together regardless of age, background or ability.

Co-ordinated by ukactive, a not-for-profit representing over 3,500 members of the active lifestyle sector, it’s hoped the day will help prevent the estimated 37,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

Hattie Jones, ukactive’s Strategic Lead – Campaigns and Engagement, hoped this year, National Fitness Day would prove “a chance to reset for the future” after “an incredibly turbulent and challenging time” since the start of the covid pandemic.

“There is also great mileage in knowing that as individuals we can all unite in starting our own recovery journeys, together on the same day, using physical activity, fitness and general everyday movement to look after our bodies, our minds and regain our social connection,” she said.

“This might take the form of weekly walks with a friend, group exercise in a studio, team sports, or that simple feeling of being near people on a gym floor but in your own space and with your own goals. 

“Whatever it might be, we can all strive to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle with the support of the fitness and leisure sector.”

With covid restrictions still varying, events this year will be a hybrid of in and outdoor and online activities to ensure everyone can have a chance to take part.

Further information about National Fitness Day events below [8], along with some other exercise ideas after brain injury. [9]



Pain gains

September is Pain Awareness Month when pain care specialists and researchers lift the lid on the latest pain treatments and therapies.

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) provides several tools to enable access and sharing of information this year.

It also hopes to raise awareness of ‘the vital importance of an individualised multidisciplinary and multimodal approach to pain care.’ [10]


ABC of child ABI

Join a ‘no-nonsense, jargon free’ interactive workshop exploring issues faced by young people and their families after childhood acquired brain injury.

Hosted by the Child Brain Injury Trust, the Zoom event, split over two days, aims to provide plain answers to complex issues such as:


  • What is an acquired brain injury?
  • Supporting a child with a brain injury.
  • Learning strategies.


The workshop on 29 and 30 September is helpful for anyone who works with children and young people.

The Eden Dora Trust for Children with Encephalitis [11] has provided funding for free tickets for some non-private professionals. Further details below. [12]


Bear with…

Headway - the brain injury association hopes to bring out the Bear Grylls in its corporate supporters by challenging them to ‘escape the wild’ to raise money for the charity.

Starting at a remote spot at Coniston in the Lake District, teams will have to find their way back across tough terrain in wickedly unpredictable Cumbrian weather to the safety of civilisation.

And along the way, they’ll have to tackle rafting, scrambling, mountain biking, archery and kayaking.

The challenge runs from 30 September to 1 October. Dive down for further details. [13]


   The lack of ataxia awareness in the UK has an astonishing impact on

people who live with the condition.   

Ataxia UK [14]


Ataxia Two-Step

Take just two steps this month to help speed up diagnoses and management of ataxias– neurological conditions that cause problems with speech, balance and coordination.

Due to the rarity of ataxiasmany medical professionals don’t know what they are or how to treat them, says the supporting charity Ataxia UK.

Yet there are medical guidelines that can help – and on International Ataxia Awareness Day – 25 September – you can too!

Sign up to receive the guidelines for your GP and get sponsored delivering them by running, walking or wheeling all the way there.

More details via the link. [15]


RCOT round-up

Here’s what’s on at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists this month to enhance or broaden your occupational therapy skills [16]


  • 7 September: Adapting and designing for wheelchair users – interactive training in design standards and adaptation work.
  • 7 and 14 September: Major adaptations for OTs new to this area of work.
  • 9 September: Occupational therapy role in the management of Hyperventilation Syndrome (HVS).
  • 9 and 10 September: Visions for Neuro Occupational Therapy in 2021 and Beyond – the annual conference of the RCOT’s Specialist Section Neurological Practice (SSNP) looks ahead to future developments and delivery. Hosted with the stroke, brain injury and long-term conditions forums.
  • 10 September: Risk assessment – a tool to assist with clinical decisions.
  • 11 September: Self-care and occupational therapy – what’s at stake if we do or don't prioritise our own mental, emotional and physical well-being?
  • 14 September: BAOT/RCOT annual general meeting with Chair of Council, Professor Diana Cox and a Q&A.
  • 16 September: SSPLD Annual Study Day and Conference with the RCOT’s Specialist Section People with Learning Disabilities.
  • 15 September: Bathroom adaptation and design for accessible bathrooms.
  • 16 September: Compassion focussed therapy approaches in pain management with the RCOT’s Pain Clinical Forum.
  • 17 September: Neurological upper limb – assessing upper limb neurological conditions with NCORE lecturer Erica Malcolm.
  • 21 September: Reading and using plans for OTs – understanding architectural adaptation plans.
  • 21 September: National Care Service Consultation (Scotland): views sought from Scottish OTs on “the biggest piece of public sector reform since devolution".
  • 29 September: Training to help OTs prescribe and issue walking aids.


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  1. The Children's Trust: events
  2. Disability Awareness Day
  3. ABIL webinar: Occupational Challenges of Brain Injury
  4. Headway Wales and Betsi Cadwaladr UHB Neurosciences Virtual Conference 2021
  5. Neuro Convention: welcome
  6. The Manières Society
  7. Alzheimer's Society: World Alzheimer's Month
  8. National Fitness Day
  9. How to enjoy a daily dose of exercise despite brain injury
  10. IASP: Pain Awareness Month
  11. Eden Dora Trust
  12. Child Brain Injury Trust: Understanding Childhood Acquired Brain Injury
  13. Escape the Wild for Headway - the brain injury association
  14. Ataxia UK: Ataxia Awareness
  15. International Ataxia Awareness Day 2021
  16. RCOT: Events


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