“Multiculturalism is a philosophy that recognizes ethnic diversity within a society and that encourages others to be enlightened by worthwhile contributions to society by those of diverse ethnic backgrounds.”
Free Dictionary by Farlex (

Welcome to the NJOTA Multicultural Page. Here, you will find information regarding cultural affairs relevant to occupational therapy practice. In addition, please note that there are many diverse OT groups, forums and blogs that can be accessed through the “Groups” section of OT Connections, which is the American Occupational Therapy Association’s web-based networking site located at

Please feel free to alert NJOTA as to announcements or events of New Jersey cultural groups or other interests related to diversity by contacting the Multicultural Liaison through our website.

NJOTA Statement: Justice and Systemic Racism

In light of recent events, the New Jersey Occupational Therapy Association would like to share that we support the equity and inclusion of all of our colleagues, families, friends, and neighbors. As a profession, occupational therapy has always fostered inclusion and the right of every client we serve to be able to engage in meaningful occupations. We stand against systemic racism and support occupational justice for all, a stance consistent with AOTA’s Statement on Justice and Systemic Racism.
The NJOTA Board acknowledges that we need to be more proactive in our approach to diversity and our efforts regarding the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, in the New Jersey occupational therapy community. We know that we need to take action. NJOTA currently has a vacant board position for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, formerly the Multicultural Liaison that has historically been difficult to fill. We see the value in this essential position, leading a dedicated committee of individuals to represent the interests of all NJOTA members. This role would be integral in guiding the organization in future endeavors, focusing on diversity across the spectrum, equality in all actions, and inclusion in all instances. If you would like to champion these efforts, please contact us. In addition to filling this position, we need to do more to assure equity and inclusion and we want to hear from you, our members. How can we as the NJOTA Board, along with our occupational therapy practitioners, students, and faculty, make a change for the better? What are the next steps we need to take?
Please share your thoughts and ideas with NJOTA!

 TJC Updates Requirements on Communication, Cultural Competence

New Joint Commission requirements to advance effective communication, cultural competence and patient- and family-centered care take effect Jan. 1.
Hospitals will be surveyed on their compliance with the new and revised standards starting in January, but accreditation decisions will not be made until January 2012. As part of the new and revised TJC requirements, hospitals will be expected to:
    • Collect patient-level demographic information on preferred language, race and ethnicity and store in electronic or paper-based medical record. (RC.02.01.01)
    • Identify patients’ oral and written communication needs and provide care and services in a manner that meets their needs. (PC.02.01.21)
    • Develop internal policies on the qualifications and competencies of individuals who provide interpreting or translation services in the hospital. (HR.01.02.01)
    • Provide language interpreting/translation services consistently and offer an appropriate mix of services, including on-site, video, computerized Web and telephonic. (RI.01.01.03)
    • Allow family members, friends or other individuals to be present with patients to provide emotional support, comfort and alleviate fear during the course of the hospital stay and  provide equitable care, treatment and services to all patients regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, etc. (RI.01.01.01)
Along with the new requirements, The Joint Commission also released a monograph titled, Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and-Family Centered Care: Roadmap for Hospitals. This monograph includes information about issues identified in the care continuum and recommendations and practices for hospitals to address them. To access the monograph, visit the TJC Web site.


 The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities has awarded a grant to ARC of Hudson County New Jersey to support underserved immigrant communities. The project aims to create "a 'bridge' between the existing network of cultural and service organizations in Hudson County and the complex world of disability and special education services." Please click on the following link to access the entire article:

The Arc of Hudson County Reaches Out to Support Underserved Communities