About COTAD Chapters

COTAD Co-founder Arameh Anvarizadeh initially established the COTAD Chapters Program in 2017 as part of the COTAD mission to meet society’s occupational needs by developing local and national initiatives and aligning with key stakeholders to create a socioculturally diverse workforce that is able to provide culturally sensitive and client-centered services to occupational therapy consumers.

COTAD Chapters are designed to support occupational therapy students to work together to develop and promote diversity and inclusion within occupational therapy education programs and in the profession. Each Chapter is designed to create opportunities and resources to foster open conversation and increase awareness of different lived experiences to increase cultural humility. We envision that each Chapter will provide a safe environment where students gather to have open dialogue about current affairs, unconscious bias, and the impact of culture on occupation. Chapter leaders and membership chairs will have the opportunity to work alongside leaders in COTAD and connect with other students around the country, collaborate with COTAD to create presentations, events, and share resources with other programs to communicate the desire to increase diversity within the occupational therapy workforce and prepare clinicians to serve diverse client populations.


By working with students to establish and grow COTAD Chapters, Dr. Anvarizadeh is helping students establish valuable professional skills while preparing the next generation of occupational therapy educators and practitioners to serve an increasingly diverse clientele. As the Chapters program continues to grow, we hope to see today’s student leaders become tomorrow’s advocates for diversity and inclusion within the occupational therapy profession and around the world.


To learn more or create a COTAD Chapter on your campus, email Dr. Anvarizadeh at anvariza@gmail.com.

Official COTAD Chapters

Arizona School of Health Sciences

A. T. Still University

Creighton University

Duquesne University

Georgia State University

Johnson & Wales University in Providence

Lemoyne College

LSU Health Sciences Center

Maryville University Occupational Therapy Program

Midwestern University

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences

Northern Arizona University

Rush University

San Jose State University

Shenandoah University

St. Catherine University

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

The Ohio State University-School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences

Thomas Jefferson University

Towson University


University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Florida

University of Indianapolis

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Southern California

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio

Virginia Commonwealth University

Washington University at St. Louis

Wayne State University

West Coast University

Western New England University

Wingate University




COTAD Chapter Intro Video





How to Establish a COTAD Chapter

  1. Complete a Needs Assessment for your campus and student body. Please have as many students as possible complete the form and email the results back to Dr. Anvarizadeh at anvariza@gmail.com.

  2. Complete Chapter Commitment Form and Submit to anvariza@gmail.com

  3. Establish role or position within SOTA or take steps to become an officially-recognized campus organization. Connect with your faculty advisor to learn about how to structure your Chapter and plan your group's activities.

  4. Pay dues to become recognized as an official COTAD Chapter.

  5. Receive Welcome Letter and COTAD Chapter Certificates via email.


Once dues are received and the Chapter Commitment Form is approved, your COTAD Chapter is official!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why establish a COTAD Chapter?

Student members of COTAD members stand to gain many valuable benefits, including:

  • Connecting and collaborating with students and Chapters across the country

  • Developing communication, collaboration, and advocacy skills

  • Receiving mentoring from COTAD leaders

  • Learning and exchanging ideas on quarterly COTAD Chapter conference calls

  • Earning state, national, and international recognition for COTAD Chapter efforts to promote diversity and inclusion (including COTAD Chapter Award)

  • Gaining access to valuable resources and materials for advocacy and education

  • Supporting and advancing COTAD’s mission of a future with a diverse workforce prepared to serve culturally diverse clientele


Is a COTAD Chapter the same as a SOTA?

COTAD Chapters are distinct from general SOTA groups in that they are formed with a specific focus on identifying and addressing issues related to  to diversity and inclusion. Just as COTAD as a whole collaborates with many other professional organizations but maintains a distinct identity, COTAD Chapters are designed to work within existing SOTAs at occupational therapy programs.

How is a COTAD Chapter structured?

COTAD Chapters typically exist as smaller committees within SOTA organizations, with a specific focus on highlighting and advocating for diversity issues.  Each is formed to meet the specific needs of its students, and the great diversity in occupational therapy programs (class size, resources available, hybrid vs. traditional curriculum) means that each Chapter will have to determine how best to accomplish its goals.​


One important benefit of collaborating with an existing SOTA is the increased likelihood of maintaining your COTAD Chapter's existence after founding members graduate or take on new roles. At programs that do not have a SOTA, the COTAD Chapter may exist as a "standalone" organization. After the establishment of your COTAD Chapter, we recommend members discuss a structure that best meets its members and community’s needs and write bylaws describing this structure. For questions about how to organize your Chapter, email anvariza@gmail.com

Why does our Chapter have to pay dues?

As a nonprofit organization, COTAD is composed of all volunteer members who freely donate their time and talents. However, we have many operating expenses (website hosting, business transactions, resource development) that require a steady source of income to keep our organization active and effective. Your dues go to helping us pay our taxes, maintain our website, create new programs, sustain old programs, and continue to work towards our organization’s goals.​

Log in to the members-only COTAD Chapters site to learn more about next steps for newly formed and established Chapters, links to online forms, pay dues, and more!


IMPORTANT: Any and all use of the COTAD, COTAD-ED, or COTAD Chapter logos must be approved in writing by a COTAD Executive Board member. To request permission to use the logo, CLICK HERE.

© 2019 Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity. All rights reserved.
COTAD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.