Other
Issue Date: May/June 2021
Published Online: April 21, 2021
Updated: April 26, 2021
Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Occupational Therapy Education: The Role of Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Standards
Author Affiliations
  • Kasey Brown, OTD, is a recent Doctor of Occupational Therapy graduate, Department of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA; kbrown52@mghihp.edu
  • Amy Lamont, OTD, is a recent Doctor of Occupational Therapy graduate, Department of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA.
  • Anna Do, OTD, is a recent Doctor of Occupational Therapy graduate, Department of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA.
  • Kim Schoessow, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and former Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA.
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Columns: The Issue Is . . .
Other   |   April 21, 2021
Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Occupational Therapy Education: The Role of Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Standards
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2021, Vol. 75, 7503347020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.047746
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2021, Vol. 75, 7503347020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.047746
Abstract

Now more than ever, the lack of racial and ethnic diversity must be addressed within the health care system, specifically in occupational therapy. This change starts with the successful completion of educational programs by underrepresented minority (URM) occupational therapy students. To increase diversity in the profession, accrediting bodies should mandate support for students of all backgrounds to be successful in higher education. As addressed in the American Occupational Therapy Association 2020 Code of Ethics, the Vision 2025 statement and its pillars, current knowledge on health disparities and occupational therapy demographic data, and other health professional programs’ accreditation standards, there is a need for an addition to, or revision of, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) standards to support the recruitment and retention of URM occupational therapy students.

What This Article Adds: This column provides an evidence-based rationale to address the need for an ACOTE standard requiring documented efforts to support racial and ethnic diversity within occupational therapy education.