Network for LGBTQIA+ Concerns in Occupational Therapy
The Network began in 1992 at the annual AOTA conference in Houston when a small group of occupational therapists met to discuss related concerns. Subsequently, regional groups were organized and the membership of this group grew rapidly. There were 60 people at the first inaugural meeting of the Network in 1993 at the AOTA conference in Seattle where officers were elected and the by-laws of the group formed. The Network has held membership meetings at the AOTA conference annually since then and currently has a steady membership with members represented from five different countries at this point. Our goal as the Network is to continue to grow and expand in order to support our members and the community at large while focusing on our core mission and governing values.
The mission of the Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, among others (LGBTQIA+) Concerns in Occupational Therapy is to support & empower LGBTQIA+ OT practitioners, students, researchers, & educators to care for their communities and shape change in their local contexts. We engage in work that is intersectional at its core, focusing on those most impacted by systems of oppression, such as TGNC communities and minoritized racial groups. The Network aspires to create the conditions for high-quality, comprehensive LGBTQIA+ health care. We equip non-LGBTQIA+ OTPs with the tools needed to become accomplices in the work to dismantle the structures that produce conditions of oppression.
Ultimately, our work seeks to produce structures that celebrate and uplift queer joy and thriving in everyday living.
We envision a future in which LGBTQIA+ people thrive in their daily living. In this future, queer folks are celebrated, included and supported.
We envision occupational therapy as a profession that embraces queerness, dismantles the systemic structures that produce oppression, and amplifies that message to the rest of healthcare and the world as a whole.
We believe in building a bridge of understanding from the LGBTQIA+ community within the OT profession to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) membership at large.
We believe in supporting and mentoring one another including but not limited to communication and connection with the community at large, opportunities for research and training in LGBTQIA+ issues, and serving as a liaison for state organizations and academic programs.
We believe in educating the AOTA membership concerning sexual orientation, transgender, intersex, and gender and sexual identity/expression and its implications for providing occupational therapy services.
We believe in educating the AOTA membership concerning sexual orientation, transgender, intersex, and gender and sexual identity/expression and their rights within their work environment and opportunities for advocacy.