Beyond Cultural Competence in OT

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Beyond Cultural Competence in OT with Khalilah Johnson

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The term cultural competence can feel too soft and narrow to really push our profession towards equity and justice. 

But, the article we are reviewing today from the top 100 OT-related articles, brings up several essential points for discussion. 

The mention of OT in the article is grim. The article highlights “culturally blind” attitudes of OTs that failed to change after cultural competence training. 

This is a stark reminder of the need for change—and the multi-layered work needed to make change happen. Ultimately, the article attempts to put forth an understanding of cultural competence that is both expansive and dynamic, but also able to be operationalized into practice. 

After we review the article, we are honored to welcome Khalilah R. Johnson, PHD, MS, OTR/L to discuss what this research means for your OT practice and for our profession. 

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Primary Journal Article Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article. Then, share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Supporting Research and Journal Articles

Additional Reading Mentioned in the Episode

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to identify antecedents to cultural competence for health care providers. 
  • You will recognize the defining attributes of culturally competent OT care.


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

  • Some background on cultural competence
  • Some pitfalls of the term “cultural competence”
  • What was the intent of this research? 
  • What were the methods?
  • What were the results? 
  • Occupational therapy and cultural competence
  • Conclusions and discussion
  • Takeaways for OT practitioners

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with guest Khalilah Johnson) (50 minutes)

  • Can you tell us the story of how you found OT?
  • Can you tell us about your current work and projects, related to our topic today?
  • Let’s start by unpacking the term cultural competence and what it means to you. Did the article align with your understanding of it?
  • The article highlighted research with a group of occupational therapists who exhibited cultural blindness (and who failed to change after cultural competency training.) It felt to me like an important piece of research to really reflect on. Do you agree?
  • I want to talk about the strengths of this article and the concept of cultural competence—and also critique it. 
    • What did you think was useful from this article?
    • Do you have any critiques of this article?
    • What are the limitations and potential harms of focusing on cultural competence?
  • What is one thing you would like each OT practitioner to do differently after listening to this podcast?
  • What is one thing you would like to see change on a macro level for the occupational therapy profession? 
This course on Beyond Cultural Competence in OT is AOTA approved!

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & more. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be canceled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to learn about Cultural Competence & OT. The educational level is introductory.

Financial and Non-financial Disclosures

It is the policy of OT Potential to disclose any financial and non-financial interest the provider or instructor may have in a product or service mentioned during an activity. This is to ensure that the audience is made aware of any bias of the speaker.

We here at OT Potential have no financial disclosures related to the topic, nor does our speaker, Khalilah R. Johnson.


Khalilah R. Johnson, PHD, MS, OTR/L:

Khalilah R. Johnson, PHD, MS, OTR/L:

Dr. Khalilah R. Johnson is an Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and owner and operator of Slaying Academia, LLC. She also serves as an affiliate research faculty member at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention in Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. Johnson serves on the boards of the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA (SSO:USA) and the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD), and is the immediate past Advocacy and Policy Coordinator for the Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Khalilah is also the co-host of the Dr. thOTs podcast. Read full bio.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L:

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

Sarah’s passion is helping fellow OT practitioners translate evidence into daily practice. Sarah earned her BA in religion from St. Olaf College, then earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2011.

Since then, she’s worked in numerous facilities, including a critical access hospital, an acute trauma hospital, and a state inpatient psychiatric hospital. Sarah is the founder/owner of OT Potential. Read more about OT Potential here.

This course was designed to meet your continuing education requirements

We designed the courses in the Club to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. To verify the requirements from your specific state (within the US), check out our post, OT Continuing Education Requirements. If you are outside of the United States and have questions, please contact us.

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See our other OT courses!

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Beyond Cultural Competence in OT • OT Potential

Today we’ll be covering “Cultural Competence in OT.” We’ll look at new research and discuss it with Dr. Khalilah Johnson, PHD, MS, OTR/L.

Course Provider: Organization

Course Provider Name: OT Potential

Course Provider URL:

Course Mode: Online

Start Date: 2022-06-20

Duration: 01:00:00

Course Type: Subscription

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