Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Stephanie de Sam Lazaro


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Introduction: Most of the occupational therapy profession identifies as white, female practitioners. The lack of diversity in the profession must be addressed on a national and state level. Occupational therapy state associations can contribute to the closing of the gap between cultural humility and cultural competence in occupational therapy education. State associations provide students and practitioners with resources, education, and opportunities for professional development. Current DEI literature promotes the use of the transformative adult learning in continuing education to increase the self-awareness of practitioners and improve patient-centered care. Transformative adult learning theory aligns closely with diversity, inclusion, and equity principles. Continuing education (CE) is vital to the occupational therapy profession because it reinforces best practices. There is minimal evidence in the literature that identifies best practices to promote DEI principles in OT continuing education.

Purpose: This capstone project aimed to incorporate DEI principles into a non-profit occupational therapy professional organization to increase cultural humility practices within the organization and specifically in CE offerings.

Approach: This quality improvement project consisted of several project activities. The project focused on educating the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association board members on DEI principles and providing recommendations to improve the MOTA membership experience.

Outcomes: An outcome from the project activities included a lack of understanding on how to translate DEI practices into practice from both the board members and MOTA members. Furthermore, the professional development of MOTA to needs to provide members with opportunities for self-assessment and reflection regarding DEI.

Recommendations: MOTA as an organization should include DEI practices in CE that identify one’s own cultural preferences, learn about cultural fluency and cultural humility practices, and provide continuing education events in which participants leave with a set of action steps to implement in practice from a DEI lens.