Dr Michael Iwama, regarded as one of Occupational Therapy's emerging progressive thinkers and theorists, talks to students and health providers about the 'Kawa' model
Over 120 Occupational Therapists, students and other healthcare providers gathered at the University of East Anglia for the opportunity to hear a lecture by Dr Michael Iwama, who is regarded as one of the profession’s emerging progressive thinkers and theorists.
In his presentation entitled ‘The Kawa Model - culturally relevant Occupational Therapy
’, Dr Iwama shared the model as an approach to occupational therapy that challenges some of the assumptions that western society makes about the place of occupation in relation to health and well being. The framework was developed from his work with occupational therapists in Japan and reflects the way in which people in the East and other non western societies may view their place within the environment and society. Dr Iwama’s model, is increasingly influential across OT practice world-wide, and sets out to position occupational therapy beyond its familiar bases of individual autonomy and agency, toward collective-oriented, interdependent views of human occupation.
Jill Jepson (pictured with Dr Iwama), Course Director for OT in the School of Allied Health Professions, who organised and hosted the visit said, “We were delighted that Michael Iwama was able to come here and share his ideas direct with us through his presentation and discussions. His ideas have prompted significant debate in OT and are becoming very influential in how we approach our teaching and practice.”
Dr Iwama, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto, regularly lectures internationally and has delivered close to 100 invited lectures over the past 4 years - many of which were keynote addresses at conferences and symposia in the United Kingdom, Europe, East Asia, Oceania, and in North America- which included the 2007 American Occupational Therapy Association Congress in St. Louis. More recently, he delivered the keynote address at the 6th Africa Regional Congress of Occupational Therapy (OTARG).