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IDEAS Task Force: Initial Steps Toward Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Advocacy Strategies (IDEAS) Task Force, which is headed by co-chairs Cathy Ortega, EdD, PT, ATC, OCS and Carla R. Gilson, MA, AT, LAT, CES, continues to support the BOC’s Strategic Plan priority of Advocacy. The task force, since its formation in November 2020, has defined its mission with a statement of work, and defined measurable strategic goals.

The direction and work of the task force is to investigate inclusion, diversity and equity opportunities within the BOC as it relates to the athletic training community and to suggest strategic and deliberative advocacy and leadership development for future committees, policies and procedures.

One of the task force’s first actions was to develop a formalized BOC statement of inclusion, diversity, equity and advocacy that encompasses their mission. This statement lives on the BOC website so all visitors — candidates, Athletic Trainers (ATs), educators, BOC Approved Providers, other stakeholders and the general public — will realize the organization’s stance and driving mantra in this area.

In addition to developing this statement to guide its work, the task force has made strong headway to define and prioritize strategic goals. First areas of focus include exam development, continued professional development, administration and work with BOC strategic partners.

An initial project of the task force includes analysis and alignment of the BOC collection process for demographic information within candidate and AT profiles. As the preeminent source of data collection for candidates and ATs, the task force has suggested enhancements in demographic collection through the new BOC360 portal. ATs will have new opportunities to provide ethnicity and gender information, disability status and other background details. Once this data is collected the task force and future committees will be able to address issues related to diversity within the athletic training profession.

The IDEAS Task Force will collaborate with BOC staff in an ongoing basis to support initiatives for recruitment and leadership development of future volunteers and recruitment of diverse individuals. In addition, they will work with the BOC board and our Strategic Alliance partners, to proactively align efforts and communicate as a profession.

The article was originally published in the 2021 summer “Cert Update” newsletter.

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