Experiences of Diversity and Inclusion in an Occupational Therapy Curriculum

Investigators: Barry Trentham (Principle Investigator)

Co-investigators: Jill Stier, Lynn Cockburn, Sylvia Langlois, Ruheena Sangrar, Anne Fourt, Rebecca Renwich, Deb Cameron

Year of study: 2014/15



The goal of this pilot project was to find out how to facilitate peer learning, critical self-reflection and cross-cultural dialogue in an occupational therapy curriculum in regards to diversity and inclusion. The specific research question reads as follows:

What do student narrative accounts reveal about how features of their educational program, including student diversity, organizational factors, and curriculum content and processes, influence student engagemet in cross-cultural dialogue?

Nearly 10 University of Toronto occupational therapy students (including Year 1, 2 and recent graduates) were interviewed about their experiences in the program, with a focus on diversity and inclusion themes. Participants varied in religious, socio-economic and geographic backgrounds.

A research assistant wrote an in-depth narrative for each interview, which were then analyzed and coded by the Diversity & Inclusion committee. Findings from the project were presented at the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) 2015 Annual Conference, held in Winnipeg.