VOTA is Virginia's leading organization for occupational therapy practitioners and students. VOTA is committed to advocating for and further developing the profession of occupational therapy in our state.

VOTA's Communities of Practice
VOTA has developed a range of virtual Communities of Practice (CoPs) as an evidence-based strategy for building networking opportunities and professional occupational therapy connections across the state. CoPs allow occupational therapy practitioners, students and educators to connect across geographical boundaries and to focus on shared interests or concerns. As a VOTA member benefit, CoPs facilitate connections between members and strengthen not only individual practice, but also the organization.

What is a Community of Practice?
A community of practice (CoP) is a “group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Wenger et. al., 2002, p.4.). CoPs are social learning groups that focus on networking, sharing information, and creating new knowledge together to advance a domain of professional practice.  

What are the benefits of a CoP?

CoPs provide opportunities for participants to come together and have a shared learning experience around a common passion or interest. This can happen virtually, making participation possible across a wide geographical area and without the need for travel time! CoPs are a good fit for individuals at all stages of their career as they focus on the sharing of experiences and ideas.

What is the purpose of a CoP? 

    • Engage people in learning more about a common theme, topic, passion or interest.

    • Provide a shared context for people to communicate and share information, stories, and personal experiences in a way that builds understanding and insight.  
    • Enable dialogue between people who come together to explore new possibilities, solve challenging problems, and create new opportunities.  
    • Stimulate learning through collaborative processes that include communication, coaching, and self-reflection. 
    • Share knowledge and explore evidence-based practices.
    • Facilitate knowledge translation and ultimately improve practice in changing contexts.

CoP Facilitator Guide
VOTA Community of Practice Guidelines

If you are interested in starting up a CoP, please contact Pam Stephenson at pstephenson@marybaldwin.edu

Did you know that you can use time engaging in CoPs as continuing education for licensure renewal? All you have to do is keep a log with the date, duration, and topic, which you can submit in the case of an audit!

Communities of Practice Forums and Information
Click name of CoP for forum. Membership required to access


The Adult Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of OTs and OTAs from around the state who gather virtually to share experiences & ideas as well as collaborate about practice.  Practitioners come from a variety of practice areas including acute care, rehab, home health, long term care, and outpatient.  Our meetings offer opportunities to talk about practice challenges, learn from guest speakers, and review current evidence.  

Mental Health

This CoP is open to anyone looking to help advance OT's role in mental health throughout the lifespan. Topics include advocacy, the unique roles of OT in mental health. trauma informed care, and more! Together we hope to open the discussion around increasing OTs presence and involvement in mental health settings and promote the impact of mental health in all practice areas to enhance holistic care and improve function.  


The Pediatric CoP is an opportunity for OT practitioners who work with children and adolescents to meet virtually and discuss a variety of pediatric topics, learn from guest speakers, share experiences, and collaborate with peers. This CoP is designed for OTs and OTAs who are passionate about working with individuals between birth to 21 years of age, and who want to feel energized by learning and sharing wisdom in a supportive pediatric space. We look forward to collaborating with you!


The School CoP is for practitioners to share experiences and ideas as well as collaborate about school-based practice. Topics include legislation, inclusion, collaboration, IEPs, and more. Our meetings offer opportunities to talk about practice challenges, learn from guest presenters, and review current evidence.

Women’s Health

This CoP provides a platform where like-minded individuals can connect to discuss the role expansion and advocacy work of OTPs in addressing factors that are unique to supporting the health of women, representing a broad range of backgrounds and with different life stories, within medical, educational, and community-based settings.

Communities of Practice Calendar of Events

If you have log-in difficulties, please email office@vaota.org

Schedule Update!

CoPS are transitioning to a new schedule! Each month, a different CoP will meet on the third Tuesday at 7:00pm. You will be able to participate in a variaty of discussions across the lifespan and practice settings. 

Current CoP Offerings: Stay tunded for more infomation

May: Women's Health CoP


July: Pediatric CoP

August: Women's Health CoP


October: Pediatric CoP &  Women's Health CoP collaborative

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