Diversity, inclusion, and cultural humility are given emphasis in the efforts of both students and faculty in the Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. Current and ongoing initiatives are highlighted below.
FOCUS ON: Tar Heel Preview Day
A group of OT students, PT students, and OT faculty hosted a Tar Heel Preview Day activity on November 9th!. Twenty-seven young men in grades 6-8 participated in a case-based activity in which problem-solving and teamwork were highlighted. In groups of 6-7, each accompanied by an OT student and a PT student, the middle-schoolers had to work together to solve problems of everyday living for “Kendall,” a 12-year-old with a spinal cord injury. We had the chance to talk about the work of occupational, physical, and speech therapists, how each might support “Kendall” as part of a team, and how problem-solving and creativity are key features of the work. The middle school students were amazing in their creativity and effort! Tar Heel Preview Day is sponsored by the UNC Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Several of the student projects completed in the Professional Development course are dedicated to the topic of Diversity and Inclusion. One of those projects, a continuing education event for local therapists, focused on ethics and cultural humility, tying key ideas and practices related to cultural competence and cultural humility to the AOTA Code of Ethics.
A second project included the development of a recruitment video highlighting OTs who identify as belonging to a minority population.
Is Occupational Therapy the Career for You? from UNC Allied Health Sciences on Vimeo.
Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) Diversity & Inclusion Committee
The work of this committee includes developing materials for and connections with local public schools and undergraduate groups on the UNC campus to promote OT as a possible career for students from underrepresented minorities. UNC SOTA is also an active chapter of the Coalition for Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity, an organization that operates at the national level.
Faculty-initiated group of current students, alumni, and faculty members who are committed to increasing the diversity of the profession and of the MS and PhD programs at UNC-Chapel Hill. Meetings are held approximately twice per semester, and members include and collaborate with members of the SOTA Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Diversity Awareness Scholarship
This scholarship was initiated by UNC OT Alumnus Stacy Wilson, Class of 2010. Stacy is a founding member of COTAD, and is also working with the Dive-In committee. Application for the scholarship requires that the student outline a way in which he or she will conduct an outreach event that supports the recruitment of diverse individuals into occupational therapy.