What is Queen's doing to improve accessibility?
Queen’s University is committed to building a campus community that is inclusive for all individuals, and ensuring that its services, supports and spaces are accessible for persons with disabilities to achieve success in their academic and employment endeavours.
We are a community that works together to create an environment where everyone has a full and enriching Queen’s experience.
Successful learning, living, and employment outcomes are the result of a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, staff, faculty, and senior administrators towards removing and preventing barriers to participation.
Here are a few recent examples of the efforts of Queen's University to build an accessible and inclusive community.
Web-Accessibility Compliance Auditing for Queen's Websites
The Accessibility Hub and ITServices are offering a free service that will help owners of Queen's websites meet the upcoming provincial compliance requirements outlined in Section 14 of the Accessibility for Ontarians with a Disability Act (AODA).
In an effort to support website owners at Queen’s, ITServices is piloting a one-year subscription to a website auditing service called "Siteimprove for Education." Website owners and administrators will be given access to the service to review their own websites for compliance by performing their own audits and viewing reports and recommendations.
Mental Health Initiatives, Programs and Services
Queen's currently has a broad range of initiatives designed to help students, faculty and staff support those experiencing mental health problems.
Dr. Mike Condra is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Queen’s University and the Director of the Department of Health, Counselling, and Disability Services. In this video, he describes some of the most common mental health problems at universities, the nature and impact of mental illness, best practices for identifying and responding to mental health challenges, and opportunities to reduce stigma.
The aim of the Accessibility Framework is to foster a sense of shared accountability and responsibility for accessibility for persons with disabilities at Queen’s. The goal is to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of our leadership, faculty, staff, and students as they relate to the AODA standards – Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communications, Transportation, and the Built Environment - so that accessibility is an integral part of our strategic planning and operational processes.
As part of our commitment to building a more inclusive campus community, a new accessibility statement has been developed for use across the university. The statement is meant to raise awareness of accessible services and ensure persons who experience barriers to access can obtain the service and information they need. lt is an important way to reassure persons with disabilities that they will have equitable access to goods, services, and facilities at Queen’s.
In keeping with the Queen’s Policy Concerning Students with Disabilities (approved by Senate, November 21, 1996) that clearly articulates both the commitment that Queen’s University has to facilitating the integration of students with disabilities into the University community and the responsibility that students with disabilities have to identify needs requiring accommodation, all educators are encouraged to add the accommodation statement to their course syllabi.
Education, Training, and Awareness
Queen’s recognizes the importance of collaboration in order to share and gain expertise. We continue to strengthen our capacity to inform, educate, raise awareness, and involve both persons with and without disabilities on and off campus.
The month of October in 2012 marked the launch of a series of Accessibility Cafés, also facilitated by the Equity Office. Grounded in appreciative inquiry, the Cafés were thematic with a shared goal of beginning an ongoing and inclusive dialogue. Themes included: envisioning the roadmap to accessibility, accessible instruction for educators, considering accessibility in building residences, and creating an inclusive environment for students.
Customer Service Training
As part of its obligations under the Accessible Customer Service Standard, a regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005, the University is required to provide training to everyone who acts on its behalf in accessible customer service. This training requirement applies to faculty, staff, managers, directors, department heads, senior administrators and student leaders.
As required, individual workplace emergency response plans have been developed for employees with disabilities. An ‘Accommodation in the Workplace Policy’ is being developed.
With E-reserves, you can manage your resources on your own (and only rely on us for Copyright and Accessibility) or you can use our full service solution that includes meeting with library staff and having them help you add citations to the system. Scanning is also optional - you are free to scan things yourself or have the library do the work. E-reserves will also allow you to modify, delete and add materials throughout a term and will allow you to add material to both physical (print) or electronic reserve.
When you add your readings to Ares, library staff will check and ensure that the material meets basic accessibility standards. If these standards do not meet the needs of a student in your class, we will work with Library Services for Students with Disabilities to ensure that they do.
This service is now available for any faculty using the Moodle Learning Management System.
Queen’s is committed to greater accessibility into, out of, and around our facilities.
Campus Master Plan
The Queen's Campus Master Plan (CMP) project will establish and reinforce a collaborative, integrated process for guiding the continued evolution of our campus. The master plan will take into consideration many factors and accessibility and inclusively is one of them.
Building an inclusive campus community based on the principles of universal design, i.e. accessible spaces that everyone can use and that respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. The Equity Office works with officers of the University, the Senate Education Equity Committee and the Council on Employment Equity to ensure that equity is achieved throughout the University.
In the Fall of 2011, The Diversity and Equity Task Force completed a plan of action for implementing recommendations and to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for enhancing diversity and achieving educational equity goals.
Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP)
The Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP) project launched in May 2012 and is very closely integrated with development of a new Campus Master Plan. When completed, LAMP will provide high-level options and recommendations for the development of the Library’s and Archives’ facilities. Again, the principles of universal design incorporated into space planning were recommended to welcome all abilities and provide safe, secure and universally accessible learning and study environments in all campus libraries and archives.
The Accessibility Hub is a central online resource for accessibility at Queen’s. It will serve to elevate inclusion and improve access for everyone on our campus. The Accessibility Hub will not only provide support and feedback concerning accessibility initiatives, it will also serve as an online community for those seeking information on disability and accessibility issues on campus, and assist the university in meeting its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).