Michelle Reed Honolulu 0

Keep Hawaii's Vote in the AOTA's Representative Assembly

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March 2022

To the American Occupational Therapy Association:

AOTA’s proposed governance restructure poses a detrimental risk of losing diverse member voices from the people of Hawai'i. Limiting member voices from Hawai'i and eliminating the long-established state representative position created in 1965 counters AOTA’s goal of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) (1,2,3).

Hawai'i resides as a series of islands thousands of miles and time zones away from mainland U.S. and is as diverse as it is isolated. As the only geographic region of the United States that was originally a monarchy, it continues to deal with the effects of colonialism as an overthrown nation and is one of the most diverse states with a minority-majority population of 38% Asian, 26% White, 24% multiracial, and 10% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (4). Further, there is no OT program and only a single OTA program is charged with cultivating the profession across the islands. These historical, social, political, educational, and geographic distinctions mean that occupational therapy practitioners of Hawai'i add profound value, insight, and expertise to the national organization while also depending on this continued representation and connection to our mainland professional community.

We, the undersigned, ask for your support to preserve diversity by maintaining Hawaii’s representative role in the AOTA representative assembly.


Helpful links:

AOTA governance chart (right now)

AOTA governance chart (proposed change)

AOTA governance bylaws (proposed changes)


1. AOTA governance change proposal

*****Questions people have about this change

2. AOTA Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

3. Jones, J.L. (1992). Therefore be it resolved: 25 years of delegate assembly/representative assembly legislation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 46(1), 72–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.46.1.72

4. 2021 Census Estimates: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/HI

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