National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) is happening this week, from May 29 to June 4, 2022, and is a time to celebrate the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and promote efforts to increase accessibility and inclusion in Canada. This year, the theme for National AccessAbility Week is “Inclusive from the start.” Imagine a Canada where no one is left out. A Canada that does not just accommodate disability, but one that is disability inclusive from the start.
At the University of Waterloo, we believe in developing a culture that fosters inclusivity and a sense of belonging. Every campus member works towards the University’s goal of advancing programs, policies and processes that foster equity, diversity, and inclusivity. We are committed to achieving barrier free accessibility for persons with disabilities studying, visiting and/or working at Waterloo.
Follow #InclusiveFromTheStart and #NAAW2022 on social media for more updates throughout National AccessAbility Week. Considering joining events and participate in the conversation around creating an accessible and inclusive Canada from the start.
Some live presentations and webinar suggestions:
- Life Made Accessible: a virtual series about accessibility
Each day, Monday, May 30 to Friday, June 3, 2022, 1 to 2 p.m. (regional event)
Explore topics surrounding wellness, health and medical care, community programming, diversity within disability, and what a hybrid world looks like as we progress through the pandemic and beyond. Join us each day for these regional discussions with people who are building more accessible and inclusive communities.
- Leading Change: Young Disability Champions in Conversation with Rick Hansen
May 31, 2022 | 10 am PST/1pm EDT (National event)
Rick Hansen connects with young leaders to discuss how students can lead the way towards improving disability awareness, inclusion, and accessibility in today’s society. Suitable for youth and adults, Grade 6 and up.
- Keynote speaker: Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador Casey Perrin together with the Neil Squire Society in New Brunswick
June 1st at 10 am ADT / 9 am EDT (National event)
Casey lives her life with gratitude and lots of stamina. She is an accomplished para-athlete, traveller, and respected student, being chosen as her university valedictorian in 2019. An ATV accident in 2011 had a huge impact on Casey’s life. With both a spinal injury and a brain injury, she had a long journey to recovery. Learning to live a new life, using a wheelchair, provided Casey with new insight, new ambitions and new challenges. She will share the importance of attitude, kindness, perseverance and ways everyone can be a difference-maker in creating a more inclusive and accessible world.
- City of Ottawa AccessAbility Day
June 1, 2022 | 9 am to noon (Ontario event)
The event’s theme is “Intersectionality–celebrating the diversity within our community.” At the virtual event, Deputy Mayor Dudas will provide remarks and proclaim Wednesday, June 1 AccessAbility Day in Ottawa. It will also feature keynote speaker Sarah Jama, video testimonials from the City’s Employees with Disabilities Affinity Group, and a community panel discussion on intersectionality and disability focusing on ways individuals can be more inclusive.
- National AccessAbility Week 2022: Moving Forward Together
June 1, 2022 | 1 to 3 pm (ET) (National/Federal event)
Panellists will discuss some ongoing barriers to inclusion, practical tools, and strategies to remove them, and the benefits of applying an intersectional approach to disability inclusion in the workplace. (Open to all. As you do not work for the Government of Canada, please select "Other" for department when registering for the event.)
- The Power of Inclusive Workplaces Panel
June 2, 2022 | 10 am PST/1pm EDT (National event)
Designed to provoke conversation on how a disability inclusive workplace promotes equity and inclusion, this event will provide you with helpful tips to bring back to your workplace.
- Digital Dialogue – Ensuring Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities into the Digital Space
June 2, 2022 | 10:00 AM-11:00 AM EDT (Global event)
We take this opportunity to ask: How to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the digital space? The ambition should be clear: Inclusion of and access to the Internet for everybody and everywhere. Join us when a panel of experts will discuss possible ways forward. By the International Civil Society Centre
Keep the learning going past the week!
- Developing your Neurodiversity Strategy
Wednesday, 29 June 2022 | 12 – 1.30pm BST/ 7 – 8:30am EDT (Global event)
In this interactive webinar, we will explore what neurodiversity is and why you should care; Why organisations should design for neuro-inclusion, and why many are not; common approaches for you to consider when creating or developing your neurodiversity strategy, and more!
- Learn more about Accessibility at Waterloo (including training, resources, and guides)
- Learn more about Accessibility in Teaching at Waterloo
- Read the Accessibility Progress Report 2021 for the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
- Further reading: Future Focused - Creating better systems to include people with disabilities