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.  


This CoP is for inpatient, outpatient and early intervention providers. Topics covered include behavioral management, feeding, documentation, PCIT, communication with families, and mentoring. Look for future topics that cover all areas of occupation for the birth to 21 age group. Contact if you have a topic you want to discuss!


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

: Adult

The Adult CoP meets on the 4th Tuesday, 7-8 pm (Jan-April and Sept-Nov).

Our Fall 2023 theme is "Enhancing the lives of older adults".  

Sept 26InnovAge PACE. Megan Bailes, OT 

Oct 24Aging joints? Not my hands! Extending useful life of joints and muscles." Nancy Krolikowski, OTD, OTR/L, CHT  

Nov. 28“Care for those on the dementia journey”. Beth Cole, OT 

Mental Health

The Mental Health CoP meets on the 2nd Tuesday, 7-9 pm.

We are looking for a new co-facilitator! If you are interested, please reach out to office@vaota.org or pstephenson@marybaldwin.edu.


The Pediatric CoP meets on the 3rd Monday, 8-9 pm.

Monday September18 (8-9pm)

Chrissy Amatangelo will faciliate a discussion on neurodiversity affirming practice.


The School-based CoP meets on the 1st Wednesday  7-8 pm.

Wednesday October 4th (7-8pm)

Exploring 504 Plans

Women’s Health

The Women's Health CoP meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every “odd” month, 7-8 pm.

This CoP is temporarily on hold as we take time to gather information and get reorganized.  Our goal is to resume meetings beginning in January 2024.  We would love to get your input on topics of interest related to OTs role in female health across the lifespan, potential presenters, and general logistics (frequency of meetings, days/times, etc.).  Please join us at the Community of Practice session at the VOTA Annual Conference  or email us with your ideas and questions. Elizabeth Richardson at eerichardson@marybaldwin.edu  &/or Elle Russell at elle@occupationaltransitions.com 

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