ESIC 2017 Organizing Team


Get to know our committees, their leaders, what they are working on, and how you can contact them!

Quick Contacts

Congress Chairs: can be contacted through the General Secretary (see below)

Scientific Committee:

Social Program Committee:

Human Resources Committee:

Marketing & Communication Committee:

Sponsoring & Exhibition Committee:

General Secretary & Administration: or by phone +43 1 71511 89

Congress Chairs

Elisabeth Söchting, M.A., OTR/L, president of the Austrian Society of SI, GSIÖ, has been dedicated to SI for more than two decades, collaborated with the first generation of SI scholars following Dr. Ayres since the mid 1990s,  moved her whole life to the origins of SI from 2010-12. Elisabeth's motivation to organize this congress is her respect for the scientific sincerity and the humanistic philosophy of SI that is reflected in the intervention. Her PhD courses at a neuropsychology department showed her that there is an abundance of research out there that supports all aspects of SI theory and intervention. Through her efforts in disseminating information about SI she hopes to advance the profession and help individuals with sensory challenges to find more understanding and respect to improve their quality of life. 

Helene Grabuschnigg, OT, became so fascinated with SI that she embarked on a 4-month journey to California in 2000 to take OT610. Since then she has been an active supporter of the Austrian SI organization GSIÖ e.V. and is the current vize president. Her motivation to 

Dr. Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, advisor of the congress. Erna has been our mentor for almost two decades and has influenced more than anyone else the way we understand SI functions' contribution to everyday life, scrutinize sensory integrative functions in evaluation to taylor specific intervention strategies, and teach SI. Her focused clinical reasoning and her Chilean personality guarantee for lively and interactive teaching that always stimulates participants' thinking. Through her large private clinic in LA specialized in SI,  Erna has gathered vast experience of how to translate research into practice. She will host a pre-congress workshop on this topic.

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee (SC) is made up of 4 members who are appointed by the board of the hosting organization GSIÖ. To ensure continuity, at least one board member of GSIÖ is represented in the SC.   

The SC ensures that the agreed congress themes, aims and objectives are achieved in a timely and organized manner. This includes managing reviewers, abstract submission, and publication of the final program. The committee's main duty is to supervise the quality of the scientific content  and to ensure that  there is no overlap. 

Mona Dür, PhD,  MSc, OT, is chairing the Scientific Committee (SC). While she is relatively new to SI, she is one of the most accomplished OTs in Austria in regard to an academic career. She holds a research position at MedUni Vienna and a teaching position at the University of Applied Sciences Krems.   

Daniela Schlager-Jaschky, MSc, OT, has been working in the field of pediatrics since 25 years, teaching at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna. 

Since her OT 610 she has been deeply fascinated of the theory and practice of SI.

Daniela was part of the SC at ESIC 2014 in Finland

Her motivation to be a member of the organizing team for ESIC2017 is the challenge to create a fascinating, inspiring and joyful congress  - like the ones before!

Elisabeth Hartig, MEd, OT, 

Elisabeth Söchting, M.A., OTR/L, is the co-opted GSIÖ board member supporting the SC. She served as head of the SC at ESIC 2011 in Portugal and was part of the SC at ESIC 2015 in the UK.

Social Program Committee

The SP committee's task is to make the congress fun and entertaining for you, schedule time for relaxation and international exchanges, and create opportunities to visit Vienna and enjoy the "vacation" part of your trip!

Annemarie Alzinger, OT, is co-chairing this committee with Veerena (see below). Annemarie  gathered her first experiences with Sensory Integration during her paediatric internship as an OT student. She was immediately drawn to the SI-approach and, after one year of work in the field of neurology, she decided to go to California in 2009 to participate in OT610 at USC. Since then, she has worked as paediatric OT in a multi-disciplinary clinic in Vienna. In addition, she recently opened her private OT practice in Lower Austria where she applies a Sensory Integration approach.



Verena Klement, OT, is co-chairing the SP committee.

Human Resources Committee

The HR committee's task is to recruite and coordinate (wo)manpower - from  reviewers to the  helping hands during the congress.

Danielle Belleflamme, OT, is co-chairing this committee through a long-distance cooperation with Birgit Pimpel inthe UK. Danielle is a practitioner who has been working with SI for over a decade. She is constantly seeking new challenges. Currently she is in a Psychodrama training. Her motivation to work in the organizing team is... 

Dr. Birgit Pimpel, OT, MD, is co-chairing the HR committee with Danielle. She completed her OT studies and human medicine in Vienna. After taking the 'OT610' course on sensory integration at USC in LA, she worked as paediatric OT in a private practice in Vienna. Birgit currently pursues a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London. Her motivation to contribute to ESIC2017 is to engage with the sensory integration community and current SI research.




Helene Grabuschnigg is the co-opted GSIÖ board member supporting the HR committee.

Marketing & Communication Committee

The Marketing Committee's task is let the world out there know that there's a congress coming up that is worth to attend.

Evelin Fischer, BSc, OT, embarked on chairing this committee all by herself. However, she found several supporters - Martina Mückler, Maritta Eberle, and Theresia Langgartner - for her team within a few weeks. Evelin is a practitioner who has worked with SI for over a decade. She also is the chief editor of the GSIÖ News. Her motivation to chair an organizing committe of ESIC2017 is.... 

Sponsoring Committee

The Sponsoring Committee's responsibility is to develop opportunities for sponsoring in the context of ESIC2017, and to identify and contact potential sponsors and exhibitors and make contracts with them. 

Elisabeth Söchting (see above) is co-chairing this committee with Judith.

Judith Ertl, OT

General Secretary & Administration

Cogress administration is outsourced to the SeminarInstitut's office with Babsi Baier as the general secretary. Registration, booking, finances, confirmations, certificates, and general questions are going over her desk.