Diversity in OT

Earn 1 hour of continuing education by joining OT Potential after taking this course.

In previous courses, we’ve discussed that one of the primary ways we can improve our care, as OT professionals, is to increase the diversity of our workforce—with the ultimate goal of having our workforce’s diversity mirror the diversity of the populations we are seeing.  This goal will ensure we have the multiple perspectives needed to respond to the needs of our clients. 

But, until now, we’ve mostly talked about this theoretically. 

So, what do the actual numbers have to say about the current diversity of our workforce? 

It’s a mixed bag. 

In today’s 1 hour CEU course, we’ll look at a report from JAMA that estimates racial/ethnic representation in 10 U.S. healthcare professions.

To give you a taste of the positive news: the percentage of Black OTs is better than in PT and SLP. But startlingly, the authors specifically call out OT for having a smaller percentage of Black OTs students than is in our workforce. In other words this measure of diversity showed shrinkage. 

There is so much to unpack from this data, and we are excited to welcome back to the podcast a guest from one of our most popular episodes: Arameh Anvarizadeh OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA.

Example OT Potential Club podcast course certificate.
Earn 1 hour of continuing education

1. Listen to the podcast for free.

2. Sign up for the OT Potential Club.

3. Pass the quiz and download your certificate!

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

Supplementary Materials

Mullan Institute- Health work force diversity tracker

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to identify where OT compares to other professions in terms of the diversity of our workforce. 
  • You will be able to recognize what the metrics of our student pipeline indicate for the diversity of our future workforce. 


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (50 minutes)

  • 00:13:00 Intro to Arameh Anvarizadeh
  • 00:14:49 How Arameh was persuaded to join OT
  • 00:19:27 Article impressions
  • 00:25:54 Transparency around diversity statistics in education
  • 00:29:05 Holistic admissions
  • 00:33:47 Transparency around diversity statistics in our national association
  • 00:39:36 Promoting OT versus protecting it
  • 00:45:14 What can I as an individual do?
  • 00:51:33 Closing thoughts
This course on Diversity 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 Diversity in 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 stake in this topic.  Our guest, Arameh Anvarizadeh also has no financial disclosures.


Arameh Anvarizadeh OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA is the Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Dr. Anvarizadeh is responsible for developing the holistic admissions process and for maintaining effective admissions strategies and procedures within the division. She also oversees each academic program and makes certain the division is filled with high caliber diverse students.

Dr. Anvarizadeh is a Founding Member and Chair of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD), a non-profit organization striving to empower occupational therapy leaders to engage in practices that increase diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, anti-racism and anti-oppression for a more transformative occupational therapy profession. She is responsible for developing the COTAD toolkit, the Ignite Series, and COTAD Chapters. She tirelessly works to support and establish COTAD Chapters at academic programs across the country while empowering students to facilitate dialogue, awareness, and change related to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, anti-racism, and anti-oppression within the profession and beyond.

Dr. Anvarizadeh recently made history as the youngest and first African American/Iranian woman to become Vice President of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is also the youngest woman of color inducted into the prestigious Roster of Fellows (FAOTA). Besides being the current AOTA Vice President, Dr. Anvarizadeh previously held the leadership positions as the Credential Review and Accountability Committee (CRAC) Chair, as a Representative Assembly Leadership Committee (RALC) member, as a Governance Task Force member, and as the liaison between the Governance and DEI task forces. Dr. Anvarizadeh was also a member of the AOTA Special Task Force on Entry Level Education, and a crucial contributor to the professional dialogue on the entry level degree requirements.

She is a recent alumna of the 2020 cohort for the Executive Leadership Program for Multicultural Women. Within the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC), is a recipient of OTAC’s Janice Matsutsuyu Outstanding Service Award and Vision Award. She previously held the position of Communications Chair for seven years. Dr. Anvarizadeh is an accomplished speaker who has lectured in numerous state and national conferences, as well as internationally at the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ (WFOT) congress. Dr. Anvarizadeh is passionate about building healthy, diverse communities through inclusion, equity, empowerment, and advocacy. Using her skills as an occupational therapist and her passion for people, Dr. Anvarizadeh helps others discover, cultivate and spread their maximum potential.

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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Diversity in OT • OT Potential

Today we’ll be covering Diversity in OT. We’ll look at new research and discuss it with Arameh Anvarizadeh.

Course Provider: Organization

Course Provider Name: OT Potential

Course Provider URL: https://otpotential.com/

Course Mode: Online

Start Date: 2024-02-08

Duration: 01:00:00

Repeat Count: 5

Repeat Frequency: Yearly

Course Type: Subscription

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