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 2024 Annual Research Conference will take place October 17 - 19, 2024, at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, North Carolina. 

The pandemic is ongoing and public health guidance is evolving rapidly. SSO:USA will monitor events closely and adjust our meeting plans as needed to ensure the safety of all attendees.

The Call for Papers is now closed. Registration information is coming soon!


Conference Theme The Art of Occupation: Creativity, Critical Theory, and Social Transformation

The theme of art in occupational science is expansive, ranging from the notions of art as experience and artistry in everyday occupations to the potential of art for well-being, to heal, and to fuel social change. In alignment with the ethos of Occupational Science, art expresses human experience and can illuminate societal issues, provoke critical dialogues, and advocate for justice, particularly within and for marginalized communities. We invite a broad range of topics such as arts and humanities-based methodologies, artistry of doing, art forms (visual, dramatic, literary, musical, performance, etc.), interpretations, creativity, critical theory, art and culture, creativity and Artificial Intelligence, beauty, sensory experiences, aesthetics, social transformation, and identity.


Pre-Conference Institute: To Be Announced

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.

  • 2024 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Lilian Magalhães, PhD

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.  

Annual BYOT "Bring Your Own Talent" Circle Tradition: TBA


SSO:USA is committed to supporting and welcoming participants of all gender identities, races and ethnicities, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and diverse cultures to our conference space. The Conference Committee is working to ensure that resources and supports are provided to facilitate inclusion and safety for all attendees. 

It is the expectation that attendees at this year's SSO:USA Annual Research Conference will treat others with respect, follow event rules, and alert SSO:USA and/or hotel staff if exclusionary or discriminatory behaviors occur. If you have questions or concerns about inclusivity or safety prior to the conference, please contact Linn Wakeford at [email protected]


Conference registration information to be announced. 


The conference will be held at: 

Durham Convention Center
Durham, North Carolina

Hotel information to be announced. 


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.  


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