While I was busy neglecting my homework and enjoying a snowy evening home from school last week, I came across an exciting opportunity for OT and OTA students and practitioners!
For the past 40 years, the assistive technology and adaptive equipment company Maddak has been sponsoring the annual Maddak Awards with the purpose of “recognizing and rewarding the dedication and creativity of occupational therapists!” Here’s the official description:
The Maddak Awards Program was started to provide a forum for Occupational Therapy professionals and students to share their ideas and innovations with each other.
It is our tribute to the creativity, ingenuity and dedication of Occupational Therapy (OT) professionals and students who are continually looking for new ways to enhance the rehabilitation of their clients. The OT professional is a born innovator – always looking for something that is “just a little better” for their clients’ needs. When the right products can’t be found or don’t exist, they will make it. These inventions and innovations are important because they satisfy a need in the patient’s rehab process. (Maddak, 2015)
Sounds awesome, right? 😀
On its website, Maddak describes itself as “the largest U.S. manufacturer of Aids for Daily Living, therapeutic games, and assessment kits” for people in various allied health professions, including OT, PT, and SLP. The majority of their products are produced in the United States, and apparently they were also the first company in the world to create a raised toilet seat – who knew!
If you are an OT, OTA, or OT/A student who has a great invention that could make the lives of people with disabilities easier, you could win up to $1000 at the AOTA conference in April!
There are just a few simple steps necessary to enter the competition:
- Have an awesome idea about a product, innovation, or improvement on a current product that can help people.
- Complete the entry form HERE by Monday, April 6, 2015.
- Attend the judging and voting events at the AOTA Conference in Nashville, TN
Location: Music City Center, Room 110AB
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: Setup – 9:00 AM; Judging – 9:45AM
- Attend the Awards Presentations (Contestant or designated representative should be present for entries).
Location: Music City Center, Room 110AB
Date: Friday, April 17, 2015
Time: 7 – 8:30 AM
- Have fun and GET PAID!
Note: If you plan to enter, you should also read the rules and entry submission information at the bottom of the general information page.
And the prizes are AMAZING! In addition to creating and sharing innovative products that can help people of all abilities live life to the fullest, here’s what at stake for Maddak Awards competitors:
You can also click HERE to see the kinds of products that won last year, and the wide variety of ideas and inventions from OTs, OTAs, and students.
There is also a People’s Choice Award category, in which “all conference attendees are invited to vote on their favorite Maddak Awards entry” at the judging on Thursday morning OR Thursday evening at the Maddak Awards (Exhibition/Expo Hall Booth #604). The winning entry will be awarded a gift basket full of OT inspired items worth over $300!
Maddak Awards Intercollegiate Challenge For OT & OTA Students
In addition to sponsoring the annual Awards competition, just last year Maddak started the Intercollegiate Challenge that encourages OT and OTA programs to enter innovations and compete for prizes. The steps to enter are the same, and the winners of the competition get some pretty legit perks:
Along with bragging rights the winning school will be promoted in a press release, the Maddak Awards program booklet and on all of our social media platforms. And, as if that weren’t enough, the winning school will also receive the coveted Maddak Challenge trophy to display with pride for all to see. (Maddak, 2015)
The winning school is determined by a point system that takes into consideration the number of student entries received from each school with bonus points being given to the school whose student entry wins first place. (Rehab Management, 2015)
Check out this article about the students and staff at the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Assistant Program who won last year’s competition. They seem like pretty stiff competition, since they have won more professional and student awards than any other U.S. college program over the past 13 years!
Market Your Inventions with Maddak “Inventor’s Corner”
If you are an OT or OTA who has a really great idea for a product or tool that could benefit people with various health or care needs, Maddak’s website has a link to their “Inventor’s Corner” where you can submit a product idea, get feedback from the Maddak team, and potentially even get your idea into production! You can check it out HERE.
For example, they describe the Leg Wrap Positioning Aide as a product that was conceptualized by an OTA and produced by Maddak. She now receives royalties for every product that’s been sold, which is pretty cool!
And even if you’re not interested in inventing anything, if you join the Maddak email list you can save 20% on your first purchase!
Even if you don’t have any ideas to enter into the contest this year, it’s definitely a cool opportunity to tell your classmates, friends, and coworkers about! Good luck inventing, and perhaps I’ll see you (or your invention) at the Maddak Awards in a couple months!
Note: This post was not sponsored or endorsed by Maddak. I just learned about their website and wanted the share this opportunity for creativity, learning, and competition with other OTs!