1. Mission Statement
  2. Governance
  3. READ logo

Mission Statement

To highlight, celebrate, and cultivate Carleton’s expertise, leadership and collaboration with the community to create greater accessibility and a more inclusive world.


  • Positioning Carleton University as a leader in accessibility research and design.
  • To support increased program emphasis in all faculties in areas of disability, universal design, accessibility and inclusion.
  • To support research and solution based projects on accessibility in all disciplines.
  • Engage students and faculty at Carleton with people with disabilities and the broader community locally, nationally and globally, offering interactive learning opportunities for students and support and solutions to the community.

In addition to the READ Initiative, Carleton University is concurrently exploring the potential for the establishment of an academic program in Accessibility Studies.


The READ Initiative is an important program at Carleton University and is aligned with the university’s vision and strategic plan, “Defining Dreams” and the Carleton Academic Plan. READ is also integral to Carleton’s support for persons with disabilities and its outreach and community engagement goals.

READ operates as an internal unit of Carleton, subject to all the university’s relevant policies, procedures and requirements. READ ultimately reports to the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Design.  While READ is administered through the Faculty of Engineering and Design, its programs and initiatives are designed to impact on all faculties and non-academic departments at Carleton University.

READ has an Advisory Board comprised of faculty, staff, students and members of the external community who, through their experience or position, provide expertise and advice on the activities and operations of the organization.

The Advisory Board meets approximately three times each year to recommend direction and accept reports on the initiatives of the READ Initiative from the Advisory Board Chairperson and staff.

The Advisory Board Chairperson is appointed by the Dean of Engineering for a term of two years, and is responsible for recruiting Advisory Board members to a maximum of 15, with representation from all academic faculties, staff, students and the community.  Under the direction of the Advisory Board Chairperson, the Director is responsible for the day to day operation of the READ initiative.

Members of the READ Board will serve a 2 year term (with the exception of student members who serve a 1 year term) and can be re-appointed for a subsequent term.  The Advisory Board Chair will establish working groups as needed to conduct the business of READ including but not limited to members of the Advisory Board. Quorum at Advisory Board meetings is 50% of current members.  All decisions of the Advisory Board are subject to approval by the Dean of Engineering and Design.

READ logo

read initiative logo

The READ Initiative logo is a stylized representation of the sculpture by David Fels entitled “Sailing Though Time”.

Created by David Fels on behalf of his children, Cymbria, Arthur, Anastasia and Fanouria; the theme of the sculpture depicts that in life, just as in sailing, we cannot always control what happens as we cannot predict the wind, but we can use it to our best advantage.

“Sailing Through Time” began as a partnership between Carleton University, David Fels and the City of Ottawa as a lasting memorial to Ottawa’s 200+ year old Brighton Beach Oak in recognition of the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour. It is a statement of ongoing commitment by Carleton University to accessibility and a more inclusive society.