1. Broad Themes
    1. Education and training
    2. Research and development
    3. Student support services
    4. Employment and employee support
    5. Physical campus
    6. Information and communication
    7. Coordination and leadership

In order to create an outline and proposed next steps for the Coordinated Accessibility Strategy, the Office of the Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) (OVPSE) conducted preliminary individual interviews with campus representatives from academic and administrative units, student services, and student groups. The interviews resulted in the identification of seven broad themes. The Steering Committee for the Coordinated Accessibility Strategy has undertaken the task of soliciting further feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on campus. The Committee requests your important feedback on the following themes, from a perspective of accessibility at Carleton University. In this context, accessibility is understood broadly, including but not limited to academic accommodations, with the following definition adopted for the Coordinated Accessibility Strategy:

“Accessibility is best defined as the provision of flexibility to accommodate each [individual’s] needs and preferences;[1] when used with reference to persons with disabilities, any place, space, item or service, whether physical or virtual, that is easily approached, reached, entered, exited, interacted with, understood or otherwise used by persons of varying disabilities, is determined to be accessible.”

Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Social Policy and Development, Accessibility and Development Mainstreaming disability in the post-2015 development agenda (United Nations, 2013), available online.

[1] Leo Valdes, “Accessibility on the Internet”, report to the United Nations (16 June 1998, updated 31 March 2004) available [online], cited in report of the Secretary General, “Implementation of the world programme of action concerning disabled persons”, (United Nations document A/54/388/Add.1).

There will be many opportunities to provide feedback throughout the process. Feedback from the community is welcome at any time via email at AccessibilityStrategy@carleton.ca.

Broad Themes

Education and training

This theme refers to best practices in accessibility for teaching and learning (e.g., Universal Design for Learning) as well as developing relevant policies, knowledge, skills, and attitudes within Carleton’s academic programs.

The theme also refers to skills-focused certification training programs (e.g., Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification Professional, International Association of Accessibility Professionals Certification).

Research and development

This theme refers to academic research and application of research to campus and community development in accessibility.

Student support services

This theme refers to a range of student support services related to accessibility (e.g., PMC, mental health support services, and Career Services).

Employment and employee support

This theme refers to inclusive hiring of persons with disabilities at Carleton University, and ensuring an accessible and inclusive work environment, as well as contributing to employment initiatives for students and graduates with disabilities beyond Carleton University.

Physical campus

This theme refers to the reduction and elimination of physical barriers at Carleton University, consideration of accessibility in future development of spaces and buildings on campus, as well as accessible signage and wayfinding.

Information and communication

This theme refers to the accessibility of all information and communication content and technologies at Carleton, including websites, documents, and events.

Coordination and leadership

This theme refers to the need to better coordinate the various accessibility initiatives at Carleton. Strategic and coordinated activities can enhance effectiveness and impact of efforts to promote accessibility. An accessibility lens should be given to many activities, including building, renovations, research, pedagogical development, student services, and information technology. Policies, guidelines, and best practices related to accessibility need to be shared and well communicated. Increased awareness and promotion of accessibility should be done both within Carleton and beyond. The goals of the Coordinated Accessibility Strategy should be supported and sustained long term.