List of Accessibility Initiatives at Waterloo

Required Accessibility Training

All Waterloo employees are required to complete Accessibility Training.

Training Course Source Notes
Accessibility Training (self-registration course in LEARN) Disability Inclusion Team, Human Resources
  • In order to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the University tracks completion of this course
  • AODA Customer Service Standard training
  • Will be updated to include the upcoming AODA Postsecondary Education Standards

Recommended Accessibility Resources

Refer to these resources as you strive toward inclusive teaching.

I want to... Initiative Source Notes
Make documents, slides, websites accessible Digital Accessibility Guide  University Relations
Make inclusive choices in language, images, web, and social media Inclusive Communications Guide   University Relations
  • Includes the Digital Accessibility Guide   

Connect with others re. how to apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in my courses/workshops etc. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Community of Practice  Campus Wellness in collaboration with campus partners  
  • Monthly virtual sessions on various themes related to UDL 

  • Open to all, attend whenever you want  

Check my course to identify where it meets accessibility requirements and what I can focus on to make the course more accessible  Course-Level Accessibility Guide for Instructors project  Project lead: Christine Zaza 
  • This Guide incorporates Postsecondary Education Standard recommendations and WCAG 2.0 guidelines that can be implemented at the course level by individuals who have little/no web development expertise.  

  • Christine has submitted a proposal for funding to conduct user testing and peer reviews and develop the Guide into an interactive web-based resource. 

  • Current draft is available upon request (contact Christine Zaza if interested). 

  • Collaborators:  Stephanie Boragina (CEL), Chun Chih Chen (OHD), Felicia Pantazi (formerly CEL, now WIL), Gitanjali Shanbhag (CEL), Vincent Sweeney (CEL)

Find accessibility guides and resources re. accessibility legislation, universal design, etc. Developed by Waterloo staff Accessibility at Waterloo – University of Waterloo’s resources on accessibility and universal design Disability Inclusion Team, HR
  • A comprehensive list of Waterloo’s resources on accessibility and universal design 

  • Resources created by various groups, including the Library, CTE, University Relations, Accessibility at Waterloo, CEL, IST 

Find out the legal requirements re. student accommodations  Accommodation Role and Responsibilities  AccessAbility Services   
Find external resources on accessibility   Accessibility at Waterloo – External Accessibility Resources  Disability Inclusion Team, HR 
  • Recommended resources on various aspects of accessibility 

Accessibility initiatives to be aware of (but no action is required)

Here's a list of what else is happening on campus related to accessibility.

Initiative Notes
Educational Technology Hub 
  • Centrally-support educational technology tools and supports 

  • Evaluation of ed tech tool accessibility is being developed

Accessibility Training Strategy 
  • Currently being developed by Disability Inclusion Team 

  • Core training for all employees 

  • Specific training for instructors 

  • In progress

Keep Learning Website – Accessibility subsection
  • General guidance and collection of resources for instructors 

  • Available but no longer updated – use other accessibility resources

Digital Learning Strategy  (DLS) 
  • Co-Chairs: Aldo Caputo and Johanna Wandel 

  • A comprehensive framework for digital instruction and program design 

  • The DSL report was approved in June, 2023 

  • Recommendations are being developed

Digital Accessibility Resource Collective (DARC)
  • Co-ordinated by University Relations 

  • Non-teaching and learning resources 

  • Unclear at this time

Disability Inclusion Steering Committee (DISCo)
  • Established in 2022 to develop a strategy for the implementation of AODA’s Post-Secondary Education Accessibility recommendations 

  • Membership includes: Joyce Barlow, Dave DeVidi, Cathy Newell-Kelly, Lili Liu, Jenny Flagler-George, Rebecca Butler

Teaching Innovation Incubator (TII) Accessible Education Project
  • This project will support the creation of a teaching and learning environment in which innovative, accessible education practices are valued and supported, and so are tried, assessed, and improved over time. Projects: 

  • Digital content and learning materials project (Co-Leads: Aldo Caputo & Rob Hill) 
  • Instructional programs and practices project (Co-Leads: Donna Ellis & Diana Skryzdlo) 
  • Policies and Guidelines project (Co-Leads: Dave DeVidi & Jennifer Coghlin)
Inclusive Physical Space Framework 
  • This framework intends to guide and empower post-secondary institutions to plan, build, operate, and maintain physical spaces on and off campus which uphold strategies for accessibility, well-being, and sustainability. 

  • Project leads: Joyce Barlow and Christine Hancock (Plant Ops)

STEM with Disabilities Project
  • Created by Emma Collington (PhD Student in Biology) and Samantha Fowler (Disability Inclusion Coordinator)
  • Emma Collington and Samantha Fowler are currently organizing an Ontario Summit for Students with Disabilities for 2024, with assistance from Christine Zaza (Workplace Accessibility Specialist)
Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 
  • Jay Dolmage, Editor 

  • Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association 

  • Hosted by University of Waterloo Library 

If you would like to see a University of Waterloo-based Accessibility Initiative included on this page, please email Christine Zaza (Disability Inclusion) or Victoria Feth (Centre for Teaching Excellence).