Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in Occupational Therapy: Expanding the focus to national, state, and university levels

My capstone purpose was to increase my knowledge on DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice) efforts in occupational therapy on a national, state, and university level and contribute towards those efforts.

Student name: Alejandra Arroyo (OTD, OTR/L)
Name of Mentor: Catherine Hoyt (PhD, OTD, OTR/L), Heidi Carpenter (OTD, OTR/L), and Oaklee Rogers (OTD, OTR/L)
School: Northern Arizona University, Phoenix Biomedical Campus
Setting and location: N/A, 3-part remote project
Virtual / In-person / Hybrid: Virtual

Purpose: My learning objectives were to increase my skills in leadership, program development, advocacy, research, and education pertaining to DEIJ advocacy in OT.

Method/Design/Approach: I worked with the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) to create a diverse case study library and extensive literature review, the Arizona OT association to create diverse marketing materials and help the efforts of the JEDI committee, and the NAU OTD department to conduct a department DEIJ needs assessment.

Results/Outcomes: Most memorable outcomes include:

Ideas for next steps to build on this topic: My project was catered to the needs of the three organizations I was most impacted by at the time. Students who are interested in this type of work should reach out to their local and state organizations to see if they are in need of a student’s time/efforts to push forward a DEIJ-related project.

Tips for students undertaking a similar project:

  • Network and connect with potential mentors and sponsors to create a strong support system. Use social media, attend in-person and virtual conferences, email article authors, ask current professors and mentors to connect you with acquaintances, etc.

  • Every opportunity is a learning opportunity, integrate continuing education opportunities into your project. Expand your learning beyond just occupational therapy and healthcare and learn from experts in other areas of work.



Wow! You’ve complied such great resources in here. Thank you for sharing! (I’m also geeked out to see the combination of @catherine8 and Heidi Carpenter as your mentors, since I know both of them :slight_smile: )


So glad to see this great work shared!


@alejandra1 Was your collection of Spanish resources part of your capstone? I’d love to build out a library of Spanish OT resources someday on my website! (Maybe that’s an idea for a future capstone project?)

1 Like

@SarahLyon The collection of resources was separate from my capstone project. Both of my level two fieldwork rotations were primarily with Spanish-speaking patients so I started collecting resources to prepare for those rotations. I believe COTAD has a collection of resources for its members and I’ve seen other Spanish-speaking therapists who offer collections on their websites/blogs. Still, it’s always great to see resources highlighted to reach broader audiences!


I’m looking around the COTAD website now for it, and can’t find it. Let me know if you come accross it!

The most comprehensive list I know of is from @michelle43! I feel like this is the kind of list that could be expanded on and updated every year!

1 Like

If you go to the COTAD website >> “Account” and sign in >> there should be a pop-up panel titled “COTAD members” >> “Spanish Resources”.

I totally agree, Michelle has an impressive collection of resources!