19th WFOT Congress 2026


The next WFOT International Congress and Exhibition 2026, will be held in Bangkok, Thailand at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC). Dates to be announced soon.

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​The Congress Scientific Programme Committee has been announced:


Affiliation: Australian Catholic University, Australia

Professor Elspeth Froude is the National Head of School of Allied Health and Professor of Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University (ACU). The school of Allied Health includes the disciplines of Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, and Social Work and Occupational Therapy. Elspeth is currently an elected academic representative of ACU's Senate. Elspeth has demonstrated leadership in the University sector for over 25 years. Elspeth has made outstanding contributions to the Occupational Therapy profession as Editor in Chief of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 2008-2015, inaugural Member of OTA Research Foundation, Chair of the WFOT Scientific Programme Committee 2022, Member of the National Occupational Therapy Conference Scientific committee 2016/17, Paediatric Symposium Committee 2018, and the Occupational Therapy Australia Paediatric Steering Committee. Elspeth is an active researcher with research interests in the area of childhood disability, Autism, knowledge translation and Occupational Therapy education. Elspeth is a certified instructor for the Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance approach (CO-OP) and a board member of Developmental Coordination Disorder Australia.


Affiliation: Coventry University, United Kingdom

Tongai Chichaya (PhD, MPH, BSc Hons) is an Assistant Professor in occupational therapy at Coventry University. His PhD focused on applying the occupational justice framework in disability policy formulation and described occupational inconsideration as a new form of occupational injustice. Tongai previously worked in Zimbabwe, Namibia and St Helena. His previous roles include a wide range of clinical and managerial duties. As a former National Coordinator for a community-based rehabilitation program within primary health care services he developed a CBR training manual and guidelines that were rolled-out nationally. Tongai has previously worked as a Rehabilitation Quality Specialist for a state-owned enterprise overseeing the rehabilitation of people injured in road traffic accidents with a focus on return to work. He is a former Vice President of the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group (OTARG). He has also been involved in other roles such as external reviewer for the annual awards for research and innovation for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT); Technical Advisor for assistive technology for the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS); and editorial board member for the African Journal of Disability. Tongai is passionate about occupational therapy knowledge and critical occupational therapy discourse. He regularly hosts discussions on different occupational therapy and occupational science topics on the mOTivate OTs channel.


Affiliation: Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil

Ana Malfitano is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Department and the Post-graduate Program in Occupational Therapy at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil. Ana was involved in the creation of the Master in Occupational Therapy (started in 2010), and PhD in Occupational Therapy (started in 2015), the first one in Latin America. She teaches in undergraduate and postgraduate occupational therapy courses, including the supervision of Masters and PhD students. She is Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy. Ana’s career is focused on Social Occupational Therapy, which has been developed in Brazil, to deal with various inequities and social injustices. Ana is part of the Metuia Network, a Brazilian inter-institutional group, which develops teaching, research and community-university partnership in social occupational therapy. Her research focuses are on Social Occupational Therapy, Social Policies, Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy, Community, Youth, Citizenship, and Excluded Groups.


Affiliation: McGill University, Canada

Aliki Thomas is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and research scientist at the Institute for Health Sciences Education at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After several years practicing as an occupational therapist, Aliki went on to complete a master’s in education followed by a PhD in Educational Psychology, with a major in Instructional Psychology and a minor in Applied Cognitive Science. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship on knowledge translation (KT) for evidence-based practice (EBP). Aliki holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Education Practice and Policy for Evidence based Healthcare. The goal of her research is to bring key stakeholders from education, practice, and health policy to synergistically co-develop, implement, and test innovative strategies that will address the longstanding challenge of the underutilization of scientific findings in practice. One important focus of her internationally recognized research program is ensuring that educational programs in rehabilitation are evidence-informed and clinically meaningful, such that, under their influence, graduates become scholarly practitioners and agents of change. Aliki is recognized as a leader in the areas of health profession education, KT, mixed methods research, and methodological approaches to knowledge synthesis. She has served on the editorial boards of several occupational therapy journals and health professions education journals.


Affiliation: Batterjee Medical College, Saudi Arabia

Hassan Sarsak (PhD, OT) received his Doctorate Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Occupational Therapy (OT) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Dr. Sarsak has worked in the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan for over 20 years in a variety of clinical, academic, and research institutions. In 2017, Dr. Sarsak developed the Wheelchair Training Program (WTP) to become the first Arab training program receiving recognition from the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP). In 2018, Dr. Sarsak became an ISWP certified international trainer at basic, intermediate, managers and stakeholders’ levels until nowadays. In 2019, Dr. Sarsak developed an OT Program and Curriculum at Batterjee Medical College to become the first approved OT program in Saudi higher education private sector by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and is currently the Head of the Program. In 2020, Dr. Sarsak developed the Enriching Arabic Content in OT Project and has authored over five OT books in Arabic language, such as the first Arabic OT dictionary “Comprehensive Dictionary in Occupational Therapy” and the first Arabic OT encyclopedia “Arabic Reference to Occupational Therapy”. Dr. Sarsak has recently developed the OT Dictionary Mobile Application to become the first digital OT Dictionary worldwide.


Affiliation: Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom

Pat Chung (PhD, MRCOT) is a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK where she teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, providing supervisions for MSc and PhD by research. She has experience as external examiner for MSc by research/PhD thesis’ viva. She has been an Adjunct Associate Professor for the BSc (Hon) in OT at the Tung Wah College, Hong Kong since 2016. Pat has a long-standing interest in occupational therapy education, practice and research. She has extensive clinical experience in working with older adults with chronic illnesses and mental health issues in the community. Her PhD research explored the activity engagement of people with dementia at home from family caregivers’ perspectives. Her post-doctoral research focuses on caregiving in dementia care, enablement, occupational engagement, and student learning in health education. She has led and collaborated research projects with various healthcare professionals in UK and US. She has served as peer-reviewers for journals including Arts and Health, British Journal of OT, BMC Geriatrics, European Journal of Mental Health; and for grant proposals for the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) programmes, with specific focus on dementia care; and as a Deputy editor for the WFOT Bulletin between 2016 and 2023.


Affiliation: Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Sarinya Sriphetcharawut, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of occupational therapy at the Occupational Therapy Department, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand. Sarinya received her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Chiang Mai University. She later earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy and her Ph.D. in occupational science from the University of Southern California, USA. Her doctoral research employed an ethnographic study to examine the mothering occupations of Thai women with physical disabilities in northern Thailand. With over 20 years of experience in pediatrics, specializing in sensory integration, child development, and children’s occupations, her current research interests and practice focus on occupational performance and participation of children with special needs, as well as occupation-based practice. Additionally, Sarinya is responsible for teaching occupational therapy and occupational science courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate classes and supervises clinical fieldwork for bachelor’s degree students. She currently serves as the head of the Occupational Therapy Department at the Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand’s pioneering occupational therapy school. Moreover, Sarinya has represented the Occupational Therapists Association of Thailand (OTAT) at the WFOT Congress and council meetings for over 10 years and is currently Thailand’s first alternate to WFOT.