Read on to learn more about how the Northern Arizona University (NAU) COTAD Chapter has made a difference in the lives of students and community members!
Our NAU COTAD Chapter officially began less than a year ago and in the time since then we have worked on collaborating with community partners, building relationships within our own program and creating resources for our profession. We have built a relationship with our school's leadership to increase awareness on the importance of having student organizations such as COTAD at our campus and resources available to students like ourselves. These relationships have led to funding for members to attend conferences, discussions on changes to class curriculum, collaborating with our department on a holistic admissions project and funding for workshops hosted by our chapter.
We have created a safe space for underrepresented students and host monthly meetings to discuss our mental health, local and national resources and how to support one another.
We have advocated for our profession and the increasing diversity amongst its professionals at multiple events such as- career day focused on refugee and immigrant families, Native Health Day for high school and community college students, multiple high school visits to our campus. We have hosted a Hispanic/Latinx Heritage celebratory lunch and a three part Diversity and Inclusion Workshop Series which included workshops on “Unconscious Bias”, “MedSafeZone, LGBTQ+ health” and “Why Your Diversity Quotient Matters”.
As our chapter’s members adjusted to transitioning to online platforms for school, they also continued to advocate for diversity through use of social media and video communication. Students and faculty participated in virtual events including a Zoom Zumba class workout; COTAD’s Distance Day of Service and a discussion on Racism, Representation, and Responsiveness in OT; a national COTAD event, hosted by NAU OT third year student, Alejandra Arroyo, centered on Building Community Around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; as well as participating in an American/Pacific Islander Heritage Docuseries watch party. Our chapter continues to grow, with 28 members total now, and is looking forward to continuing our projects and collaborating with more local organizations. To stay up to date on our chapter’s latest activities, as well as join us in celebrating the Americans Disability Act’s 30th anniversary in the month of July, please follow us on social media (instagram @cotad_nau, Facebook @naucotadchapter) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.