Advocacy in Action

Per our mission statement, one of COTAD’s primary goals, is “increasing diversity within the occupational therapy workforce by empowering…practitioners, educators, and students to enhance cultural humility and promote diversity and inclusion.” One way in which COTAD leaders are working towards achieving this goal is by working with members of our national association to develop and strengthen policies, documents, and resources that include diversity in all forms as a priority. During the Spring 2017 session of the AOTA Representative Assembly (RA), COTAD Board members Dr. Arameh Anvarizadeh and Dr. Cristina Reyes Smith introduced and helped pass an RA motion specifically related to creating and revising professional documents and resources related to cultural diversity and humility.

Image of the Report of the Representative Assembly, with passage of Diverse Workforce motion at 2017 AOTA Conference & Centennial Celebration

A brief summary of the proposed motion and resulting impacts on AOTA bodies and OT practice was included on AOTA’s “Summary of the Spring 2017 Representative Assembly Meeting” page:

“A motion to direct several bodies of the RA to develop professional and educational tools and supports related to cultural diversity and humility was also adopted with some minor language revisions. This directs the Ethics Commission (EC) to add language addressing bias and discrimination among students and practitioners to its existing ethics advisory opinion on cultural competency; the Commission on Education (COE) to develop a Blueprint for teaching cultural competence and humility; and staff revising the Professional Development Tool (PDT) to develop a section on cultural competence and sensitivity.”

For more information about the motion and to read the dialogue that took place prior to its passage, visit the OT Connections “RA Meeting Site” thread.

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