On March 29, 2022, the Equity Office launched a new initiative to develop McGill's first Accessibility Strategy. Over 45 people gathered at the Elizabeth Wirth Music School or participated online via Zoom. Students, staff, and faculty with disabilities and their allies discussed different issues related to accessibility and disability and shared their vision for ensuring McGill continues its efforts to become a more welcoming and inclusive place for all.
Since the event, members of the Equity Team have taken stock of the discussion and reflected on the best way to move forward to ensure broad engagement and meaningful change. A Working Group was found to be a most effective way of ensuring members of the disabled community can participate in and guide the development of the Accessibility Strategy. The Working Group's mandate will include the following objectives:
- Identify and seek to remove or reduce barriers to accessibility at McGill for persons with disabilities.
- Develop and recommend specific, measurable, ambitious, and feasible goals that will enhance accessibility for students, faculty, and staff at McGill, which are aligned with the University’s Strategic EDI Plan.
- Identify and propose resources and measures needed to ensure the success of the Accessibility Strategy and accountability in its implementation.
- Ensure that all five elements of the Strategic EDI Plan are accounted for in McGill’s Accessibility Strategy:
- Student Experience
- Research and Knowledge
- Hold open consultations with members of the McGill community to crowdsource ideas and perspectives that should find reflection in the Accessibility Strategy. In particular, designated opportunities will be established to hear from members of the McGill community who are persons with disabilities.
The Working Group will begin its work in Fall 2022 and will aim to have a draft of the Accessibility Strategy developed and shared for public consultation by September 2023, following which the Strategy will be finalized. The target date to begin implementing the Strategy is Winter 2024.
McGill's disabled community is a wealth of knowledge and experience and critical to the success of this initiative. We therefore invite faculty, students, and staff who wish to join the Working Group to send a short (1 page maximum) expression of interest to catherine.roy7 [at] mcgill.ca (Catherine Roy, McGill’s Accessibility Advisor), which sets out the reasons underlying your submission for participation in the Working Group and the vision and contribution you would bring to the development of our university’s first Accessibility Strategy. Expressions of interest will be received until 15 June.