Attendees at the 2018 COTAD ED Dinner in Louisville, KY during the AOTA Education Summit
The second annual COTAD-ED dinner at the AOTA Education Summit was a success! Attendees included nearly 20 faculty and staff members from occupational therapy education programs across the country, as well as prominent AOTA leaders. The AOTA President, Vice-President, and President-Elect were all present and active participants in the dinnertime dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues affecting OT practitioners.
After a brief introduction of the COTAD-ED leaders and program background, attendees broke into small groups to discuss topics including: holistic admissions, increasing awareness of OT among individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, collaborating with established campus initiatives, student organizations and educational programs, and supporting COTAD Chapter activities related to diversity. Participants also discussed the importance of critical self-reflection by program admissions coordinators, faculty, and others to identify strengths, weaknesses, and goals related to diversity and inclusion.
Future plans for COTAD-ED include developing a shared database of relevant literature, resources, and information to help facilitate skill and knowledge development for occupational therapy educators. Additionally, the group’s leaders plan to continue gathering information about issues in academia related to diversity and inclusion to help identify problems and find solutions that will ultimately benefit all groups involved with the profession of occupational therapy – from prospective students to OT educators to the wide variety of clients OTs serve. If you would like to get involved with COTAD-ED or learn more about initiating or facilitating similar conversations in your academic setting, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.