Using community-engaged and collaborative approaches, this project will aid in the development of an anti-racist accessibility review tool to be used throughout Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (MUNL). The Office of the Vice Provost, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (VP-EDI-AR) will oversee the creation of a steering committee consisting of community partners and students, staff, and faculty (from St. John’s, Grenfell, Labrador Institute and Marine Institute campuses). The steering committee will lead community-engaged conversations with members of the MUNL community and community groups (with expertise in disability and/or anti-racism advocacy) to inform the development of the review tool.
Overview and Objectives
This innovative project will assess MUNL’s accessibility policy from a community-engaged disability and racial justice lenses. There are few models which community-engaged approaches to developing or enhancing accessibility policy; nor have many accessibility audits taken up intersecting disability and racial justice lenses in robust ways. For example, while universal-design-of-learning (UDL) models to address accessibility in educational institutions are sometimes utilized across North America, the work to explore possibilities of anti-racism within UDL models is only just beginning. Additionally, while most disability education models focus primarily on learner outcomes, this project’s strength is in its engagement with students, staff, faculty and members of disability and anti-racist advocacy groups.
The purpose of this project is to aid in in the development of an anti-racist accessibility review tool to be used by the Office of the VP-EDI-AR at MUNL. This project is timely, given that in 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Accessibility Act was proclaimed and the government has begun its work towards a Task Force on Anti-Racism. While MUNL has policies, practices and services in place for students and staff with disabilities, a full anti-racist accessibility review is necessary if MUNL is to achieve its accessibility vision and mission.
The objectives of this project are to:
1. enhance knowledge about accessibility, accessibility review/assessment/audits, and racial and disability justice across four campuses at MUNL (St. John’s, Grenfell, Labrador Campus and Marine Institute);
2. hold accessible and online community-engaged consultations with members of the MUNL community (faculty, staff, students) and community groups (with expertise in disability and anti-racism advocacy) to assist in the formation of the anti-racist accessibility review tool;
3. develop an anti-racist accessibility review tool to be used by the Office of the VP-EDI-AR at MUNL.
Empower-The Disability Resource Centre