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Culture, Equity & Justice in Occupational Therapy Practice

Culture, Equity, and Justice in Occupational Therapy Practice is a starting point for the College as it begins to help occupational therapists to best apply principles of culture, equity, and justice in practice.

Because occupational therapists in Ontario serve diverse populations, it is not possible to outline specifically how registrants should approach every practice situation.

Instead, the College has created a document to educate and empower occupational therapists to develop the knowledge and tools to move toward culturally safer, anti-oppressive work.

The content can be heavy. Some may read it all at once, and others may come back several times as the concepts are digested. Occupational therapists are encouraged to think about how the concepts relate to clients and colleagues in their practice, and where change can begin or continue to evolve. 

The materials available on these pages may be viewed in any order. We invite you to:

Culture, Equity, and Justice in Occupational Therapy Practice

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Note to Readers

Culture, Equity, and Justice in Occupational Therapy Practice is written to complement the Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada (2021), Section C: Culture, Equity, and Justice. It serves to outline specific expectations for how occupational therapists can provide services that are culturally safer while upholding the human rights of all clients and the people that occupational therapists work with. These expectations are not restricted to registrants in clinical roles; they apply to all occupational therapists, regardless of practice area, setting, or job title. Those in macro-level roles, such as leading and teaching, will be especially influential in actioning this work.

*The glossary under "Building Knowledge" provides definitions of the bolded terms used, but it in no way represents every concept, definition, or group that deserves mention and understanding.

The reflective questions under "Building Knowledge" can help occupational therapists structure self-reflection.

Readers will notice that the terms used to identify racialized groups, including “Black,” “Indigenous,” and “White” have been capitalized in this document. While capitalizing “White” has not been universally adopted, some feel that writing “white” may perpetuate White supremacy by inferring that whiteness is neutral and objective. The College has made the decision to capitalize the word“ White”.