The Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) began in 2014. Their mission is to empower OT leaders to engage in practices that increase diversity, equity, and inclusion for a more transformative OT profession.
The organization envisions a future in which OT is accessible, inclusive, and effective for all. NBCOT’s board of directors and staff believe in and support the work that COTAD is doing, and we continue to listen, learn, and take steps toward helping ignite change. We encourage you to take time in your daily lives to do the same.
Here are some of the ways you can interact with COTAD:
Attend IGNITE Series
Through these online events, COTAD states it is providing “support, resources, and brave spaces where people of all backgrounds can learn and be enriched by colleagues whose experiences often go unheard.” Attending these events will help you “learn how to do the difficult and necessary work of dismantling systems of racism, oppression, and discrimination to promote occupational justice and well-being for all.”
The next event on February 11 at 6 p.m. CST is about disability inclusion in OT. RSVP to expand your knowledge and help create equity for all certificants, as well as your clients.
Join the COTAD Book+ Club
Are you interested in educating yourself more on racial injustice and anti-racism? Are you overwhelmed with where to start? The COTAD Book+ Club uses different media (books, documentaries, podcasts, short films/movies, and videos) to educate participants on multiculturism, race issues, the racial justice movement, and why these topics are important to occupational therapy practice.
The next club meeting is on February 18 at 7:30 p.m. CST. The discussion piece is a series of podcast episodes called “Seeing White” from Scene On Radio Podcast. Register for the Book+ Club meeting to educate yourself and continue to grow both personally and professionally.
COTAD Mentorship Program
Underrepresented OT and OTA students and newly certified OTRs and COTAs can face conflict and challenging situations, but by participating in COTAD’s Mentorship Program, they can receive guidance and support from a mentor. Mentees have “the opportunity to learn about the individual multicultural groups to which his or her mentor belongs, as well as [to learn] about professional organizations and associations within the profession.” Mentors can serve as professional references as students transition to practitioners.
Are you interested in learning more about this opportunity? You can find more information on the program and apply to be a mentor on COTAD’s website. Read their recent blog post that provides the mentor and mentee perspective.
Join or Create COTAD Chapters at OT/OTA Programs
OT and OTA students who are looking for a safe environment to get together with peers to discuss current affairs, unconscious bias, and the impact of culture on occupation can join or create a COTAD Chapter at their school. The Chapters program was initially established in 2017 to provide students with a place to work together to develop and promote diversity and inclusion within OT/OTA programs and the profession. There are currently more than 80 COTAD Chapters throughout the U.S.
Interested in learning if your school has a COTAD Chapter or looking to start one? Find out more on COTAD’s website.
Review Their Resources
Stay Informed with COTAD
We encourage you to follow COTAD on social media to stay up-to-date on their events and resources.
You can further support the organization by becoming a member. To learn more, visit COTAD’s website.