June 2021

In January 2020, the Board updated the College values to reflect our commitment to treating everyone with dignity and respect and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion. We felt it essential that we make clear that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated by the College. We acknowledge the existence of discrimination and systemic racism in our communities and throughout the province and know that we must all work together to do better.

As a College, as a profession, as individuals and as society we must all continue to learn how we can better understand and address systemic - and any other form of - racism. We have work to do.

The College regulates occupational therapists in the interest of public protection. Client-centred care, ethics and professionalism are essential elements of practice. These expectations are reflected in our Code of Ethics. We are committed to ensuring services delivered to the public and occupational therapists are free of discrimination and uphold the values of the College and the profession. If there are concerns or behaviours that are discriminatory or racist, we will investigate and address.

The College is working to address diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all areas. Steps taken in 2020-2021 include:

  • Ensuring all staff and later the Board understand diversity, equity and inclusion issues and are trained in anti-racism and unconscious bias.
  • Reviewing our regulatory processes, policies, practices and organizational culture to support diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Working with the Health Profession Regulators of Ontario Anti-Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) Racism Committee to identify systemic racism and implement tangible and coordinated actions to eradicate racism and build a culture, systems, and practices that allow diversity, equity and inclusion to thrive.
  • Implementing a Board Competency Framework that incorporates the following diverse perspectives and backgrounds: professional diversity, regional diversity, age diversity, cultural and gender diversity.
  • Updating the College’s Code of Conduct for Directors and Committee Members and adding provisions that address diversity and inclusion.
  • Revising the Code of Ethics for registrants to reflect diversity, equity and inclusion commitments.
  • Consulting with registrants to inform development of anti-racism practice resources.
  • Retaining a consultant who is an expert in diversity, equity and inclusion to assist us in our journey.
We will continue to listen and learn as we work together to move forward.

I encourage you to contact me directly at elarney@coto.org or 1-800-890-6570 x233 or anonymously at info@coto.org with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,


Elinor Larney, MHSc., OT Reg. (Ont.)
Registrar