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National AccessAbility Week 2021

Reframing Disability, Embracing Difference

May 31 to June 4, 2021

To mark National AccessAbility Week (NAAW), we invite you to engage with us on a number of sessions exploring ways to reframe disability and embed intentional inclusivity, eliminating barriers to accessibility. Each day, the AODA office and its partners will host transformational and multimodal discussions covering accessibility in healthcare settings, co-designing peer support networks, demystifying brain injury, and inclusively designing curriculum. Join us, as we learn from experts and those with lived experience of disability in rich and dynamic ways.

Officially recognized by the Government of Canada, NAAW is an opportunity to celebrate the valuable contributions of members of Canadians with disabilities and recognize those who are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

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Event details

Monday May 31, 2021 ▸ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Alone in the Ring

In this performance, members of the Inclusive Campus project from the University of British Columbia will use research-based theatre to bring attention to inclusive workspaces for health students and professionals. This project’s work seeks to identify and address barriers to accessibility in university and healthcare settings through storytelling. Over three years, they held 150 interviews with 80 students and clinicians who self-identify as living with a disability. The goal: to understand the success and challenges to inclusive workplaces.

Participants will witness the stories heard as part of this research, learn new perspectives, and reflect on their own experiences. What can we do to make our own workplaces more accessible?

Alone in the Ring event details and registration information

Tuesday June 1 ▸ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Co-designing an Employee Peer Network

Join us for an engaging and interactive session to develop a framework for creating a new affinity group at the University for employees with disabilities. Many organizations have affinity or Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) generally based on building community, providing support and contributing to personal and professional development in the work environment. However, how do we know what kind of group is appropriate for employees at the University?

Using inclusive design principles, this session will co-design a solution that is inclusive and responsive. Participants will learn from affinity groups already in place at the University and be given the opportunity to take an active role in designing their own. Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity will provide opening remarks.

Peer network session details and registration information

How might we challenge and reject colonial projections of disability?How might we shift to a social model and embrace Indigenous ways ofknowing, being, and doing? In this one-hour webinar, we will exploreIndigenous perspectives on holistic accessibility and how we may shiftour approaches to teaching and learning. This webinar will be facilitatedby Victoria Herrera, Educational Development Consultant, SheridanCollege.

Reclaiming the Narrative event details and registration information

Wednesday June 2 ▸ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Demystifying Head Injury and Concussion

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada, and almost 500,000 people in Ontario have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In this session, we will learn about some of the hidden or underappreciated affects and how we can support those living with an ABI. Irene Sullivan, Neurologic Team Lead at Accessibility Services St. George will address some of the myths and misunderstandings of ABI and provide practical advice on eliminating barriers, especially in online spaces.

Head injury and concussion event details and registration information

Join U of T student Beau Hayward to learn about his role as a peer leader at Kinesiology and Physical Education. Beau will take participants through his efforts at KPE to create more opportunities for students with disabilities to engage in physical activity. Beau will also discuss lessons in adaptation, progress, goal setting, and how he’s remained healthy during isolation with a physical disability. Participants will then be invited into the discussion to share their own lived experiences of disability, motivation, curiosity, and procrastination.

Your Shape event details and registration information

In our final session of the week, we will focus on ways to make education both accessible and inclusive. We will learn from educators who have brought disability and difference into the classroom to create inclusive and person-centred curriculum. Our presenters will highlight how educators can collaboratively create courses with community members using co-design principles and how to implement accessible course design to ensure those courses ensure all learners call fully participate. Attendees will leave this session with new perspective on how to design and deliver a curriculum that is truly inclusive.

Curriculum design event details and registration information