Human Rights have come to the forefront in recent years, as the world looks to EDI principles and practices to create living and working environments that foster empathy, individual expression, belonging and ensure everyone, regardless of personal characteristics, can achieve their full potential. And while accessibility is still too often overlooked, it is imperative that persons with disabilities be included in EDI efforts.
In 2020, McGill adopted its EDI Strategic Plan 2020-2025 which lays out a shared vision to recognize and address historical and contemporary forces that result in social inequities in postsecondary contexts, with specific commitments in areas of Student Experience, Research and Knowledge, Outreach, McGill’s Workforce and Physical Space.
In Fall 2021, McGill published a report on the first year of implementation of the plan. One priority identified in this report was to take more robust action to increase accessibility for staff, students and faculty with disabilities as McGill.
McGill created the new full-time position of Accessibility Advisor in 2020 within the Equity Team to help implement the EDI Plan’s various commitments regarding accessibility and people with disabilities. One of the major motivations behind the creation of the Accessibility Advisor role is to support McGill in developing policies and practices that will have a systemic impact, creating change from within and ensuring all stakeholders can contribute to making McGill more accessible and welcoming to all.
Like many universities and learning institutions across North America, McGill recognizes the immense value in developing a strategic vision for accessibility, enabling the university to implement a consolidated plan to realize that vision. Accessibility and disability are concerns to many stakeholders at McGill, whether students, staff or faculty. Accessibility permeates all activities at the university, whether it be learning, teaching, communicating, recruiting and staffing, campus management, etc. Bringing all these interests together to help build our vision is a crucial first step in this journey.
To help kick-start the process, Professor Angela Campbell, Associate Provost, and the Equity Team will meet with members of the community to listen to their perspectives and reflections regarding the development of McGill’s first Strategic Plan for Accessibility.
The event is scheduled Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 1:00PM-3:00PM and will be held at the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, situated at 527, Sherbrooke Street West, in room 832. A zoom link will also be available for those who wish to attend online.
If you are interested in participating, please RSVP before Friday, March 25, end of day. We will be serving a light snack so be sure to let us know of any dietary restrictions as soon as possible. To register, please write to catherine.roy7 [at] mcgill.ca (Catherine Roy).
We are very much look forward to meeting you and discussing this exciting new initiative with you. And please note that this event is only the beginning of the conversation; there will be many more opportunities and ways to participate in the upcoming discussions.