Monday, May 27, 2024

Celebrating the advancements of today and tomorrow: National AccessAbility Week and the Accessible Education Project

National AccessAbility Week banner image.

A message from the Disability Inclusion Team.

National AccessAbility Week, led by the Government of Canada, runs from May 26 to June 1 to celebrate Canadians with disabilities and to raise awareness about the importance of accessibility and inclusion within our communities. This year, the Disability Inclusion Team is excited to participate in National AccessAbility Week and will be celebrating e a different University initiative each day of the week that demonstrates a commitment to advancing accessibility and disability inclusion at Waterloo. To kick off this celebration, today, we are featuring the Accessible Education Teaching Innovation Incubator Project.

A woman with a service dog speaks with a seated front-desk worker.

The Accessible Education Project (AEP) is developing and evaluating teaching and learning policies, practices, and tools to reimagine inclusive education for tomorrow. Kyle Scholz, Interim Managing Director of the Teaching Innovation Incubator, describes the project’s design as “striving to going beyond legislative compliance” to design better education for accessible and inclusive learning.

The AEP is structured into three collaborative teams of staff and faculty focused on innovation in Policy and Guidelines, Instructional Programs and Practices, and Learning Tools and Materials. The project fosters this collaboration to ensure outcomes are pragmatic and user-centric. Scholz emphasizes the importance of the project being “co-owned…so that those who will use it are there to design it.”

The team acknowledges the long journey ahead and the need for a commitment to continuous improvement in accessible education. We cannot advance accessible and inclusive education without celebrating ongoing work and ensuring support for those asked to make changes to their own practices.

Faculty and staff can learn more about the project and ways to implement recommendations at Accessible Education.

National AccessAbility Week is May 26 to June 1s, 2024 and is just one opportunity to share initiatives that advance accessibility and disability inclusion. Share your initiative at Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Initiatives.

Sustainability Action Fund open for spring term applications until June 21

The pollinator garden project at Conrad Grebel - a picnic table in the centre of radiating circular garden patches.

A previous Sustainability Action Fund project: the pollinator garden at Conrad Grebel University College. This project supported the planting of an 850 square foot garden consisting of plants native to Ontario’s tallgrass prairies. The project engaged over 70 campus community members and serves as a community-building feature.

Have a project idea to advance sustainability on campus? The Sustainability Action Fund is now accepting applications for projects that will work towards Waterloo’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy. Projects can include infrastructure improvements, activities or campaigns to increase awareness of sustainability issues, or programming to support sustainable choices.

Applicants can request between $2,000 and $25,000 in funding this term, and can be led by staff, students, or faculty members.

Some examples of past projects that have successfully received funding include:

  • Student climate conference;
  • Tools and materials for campus repair workshops;
  • Pollinator garden at Conrad Grebel;
  • Biology growth chamber retrofits;
  • Electric landscaping equipment pilot.

Applications will now be accepted on an ongoing basis and will be reviewed as part of two intake rounds. The deadline for spring 2024 intake is Friday, June 21 at 5:00 p.m. Full details and instructions are available on the Sustainability Action Fund webpage.

New course explores climate change from interdisciplinary perspectives

WIcked Problem of Climate Change banner image.

A message from the Teaching Innovation Incubator.

A new course, ARTS 390: The Wicked Problem of Climate Change is available for upper-year undergraduate students (3A and higher) in Fall 2024 and will introduce students to innovative ways of learning – primarily through the integration of a flipped-classroom approach and cross-disciplinary perspectives on the topic of climate change.

This course approaches the wicked problem of climate change from diverse disciplinary perspectives (i.e., applied sciences, health sciences, engineering) to investigate the various dimensions of this global challenge. Topics addressed may include the history of climate change and its scientific underpinnings, approaches to governance, climate change communication, and impacts on the natural environment, human health, society, culture, technology, and economies, among others. The course prepares students to analyze the wicked problem of climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective, to evaluate and critique diverse perspectives on the issue, and to devise potential solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

Does this sound of interest? Learn more about the course and it’s team of instructors by visiting the Wicked Problem of Climate Change website.

SEE Canada Grant deadline extended to June 15

A map of Canada with dotted lines radiating out from the University of Waterloo's approximate location in southern Ontario.

A message from Human Resources.

We are pleased to announce that we are extending the deadline for applications for the Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada grant program to June 15. Thank you to those who have enquired about the timeline and the possibility of an extension. We understand that the first of the term can be a busy time for many in our University community and hope this extended deadline provides you more time to complete your proposal.

If you are unfamiliar with the program, the grant is aimed at supporting the professional development of our regular full-time staff members by offering a unique opportunity by supporting national travel for staff to engage in idea exchange and learning experiences with counterparts from various Canadian universities, colleges, research institutions, or industry partners.

The 2024 Waterloo Staff Conference featured a special session on this development opportunity, “Expand your professional horizons with funded travel experiences through the Staff Enhancement Experience (SEE) Canada Grant,” which highlighted the achievements of a several successful grant recipients and their learning experiences at other institutions across Canada. If you missed this presentation, you can now access the recorded session to learn more about this grant (your WatIAM credentials are required).

If you are interested in investing in your professional development through a work-travel experience, please consider applying for this amazing career opportunity! Detailed application information and forms are available on the SEE Canada Grant webpage. Proposals must be submitted by June 15.

For any inquiries regarding the grant, please contact us at

Upcoming office closures

The Office of Indigenous Relations will be closed for staff training today. Staff will be delayed in responding to email inquiries.

The Office of Indigenous Relations will be closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, May 29 for a staff event. Staff will be delayed in responding to email inquiries.

Register for the "From Targeting in Academia to Promoting Trust and Understanding" conference

Registration for the upcoming international conference, "From Targeting in Academia to Promoting Trust and Understanding," is now open. The conference will take place from June 27 to 28 at Federation Hall.

Link of the day

Fast Foodie: Morgan Spurlock dead at 53

When and Where

The Student Health Pharmacy (located in the lower level of the Student Life Centre) is offering flu shots with no appointments needed daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for more info. COVID shots will be available on appointment basis only. You can register online at

Warriors Youth Summer Camps. Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Multi-Sport and Volleyball. Register today!

Safeguarding Science workshop and more, throughout May and June. Public Safety Canada invites faculty, staff and students to attend a series of virtual event via MS Teams. Register to receive a link.

Food Truck Wednesday, Wednesday, May 8 to Wednesday, July 24, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Arts Quad.

Tri-Agencies webinar on Sensitive Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC) policy (in English), Tuesday, May 28, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Register.

Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence open session for staff and faculty, Tuesday, May 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register for the session on Porta

Waterloo Genomics Lunch and Learn Series: Illumina, Tuesday, May 28, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., B2-350. Please register.

Together|Ensemble Conference, Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29.

Climate Change Planning, Projects, and Pathways at the City of WaterlooWednesday, May 29, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Presentation ad Networking Lunch, SLC – Black and Gold room (2nd floor). RSVP.

Foundations of Collaborative Leadership, Chapter one of the Community Leadership Certificate (CLC), Wednesday, May 29, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (virtual).

WISE Public Lecture: Solar Powering Ontario's Clean Grid Economy” by Steve Dyck (President, Guelph Solar), Wednesday, May 29, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Engineering 7, 7303/7363, in-person and on Zoom. Register today!

Tri-Agencies webinar on Sensitive Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC) policy (in French), Thursday, May 30, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Register.

Chemistry Seminar: Advanced catalyst discovery for clean energy transformation using computational material design, featuring Samira Siahrostami, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Thursday, May 30, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 reading room.

Sexual Violence Awareness Month Speaker Series, Thursday, May 30, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., MS Teams.

Reunion 2024, Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1.

NEW - Jewish Heritage Month reception: in recognition of Jewish Heritage Month, the Rohr Chabad Centre for Jewish Life and the University of Waterloo are pleased to host a reception for UWaterloo students, faculty, staff and alumni, Friday, May 31, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., remarks at 4:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Black & Gold Room (SLC 2136.) Kosher refreshments will be served.

Pride Month flag-raising ceremony, Monday, June 3, 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., outside South Campus Hall.

Generative Artificial Intelligence and the Literature Review, Wednesday, June 5, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., LIB 323 learning lab.

The Future-Ready Workforce Series: Building inclusive workplaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ students, Wednesday, June 5, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Engineering Graduate Studies Fair, Wednesday, June 5, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Engineering 7 second floor event space.

Inert Atmosphere Fabrication and RAC Capabilities Open House, Thursday, June 6, 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Research Advancement Centre (RAC).

Soapbox Science Kitchener-Waterloo, Sunday, June 9, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Victoria Park near the playground and picnic area. Hear from twelve STEM researchers as they take to their soapboxes with short discussions and fun demos. Questions from the public are encouraged!

NEW - University Senate meeting, Monday, June 10, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407 and Zoom.

Hallman Lecture featuring Rick Hansen: In motion towards building an inclusive and healthy world without barriers, Monday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., EXP 1689.

Spring 2024 Convocation, Tuesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 15.

School of Planning Graduation Luncheon, Tuesday, June 11, 12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Federation Hall.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture featuring Vint Cerf, "Internet: Past, Present and Future," Tuesday, June 11, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Indigenous Community Concert | Sultans of String "Walking Through the Fire", Monday, June 17, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Upcoming service interruptions

Stay up to date on service interruptions, campus construction, and other operational changes on the Plant Operations website. Upcoming service interruptions include:

  • Physical Activities Complex, Student Life Centre, Federation Hall fire alarm testing, Monday, May 27, 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., fire alarm will sound, building evacuation not required.
  • Pathways connecting William Tutte Way and B.C. Matthews Hall closures, Monday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 28, weather permitting. Pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic will be re-routed around alternate pathways as asphalt paving and other repairs are carried out.
  • Biology 1, Biology 2, Health Services, Quantum Nano Centre, Science Teaching Centre fire alarm testing, Wednesday, May 29, 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., fire alarm will sound, building evacuation not required.
  • School of Architecture fire alarm testing, Friday, May 31, 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., fire alarm will sound, building evacuation not required.
  • E7 Bicycle Shelter snow guard installation, Friday, May 31, areas around and under the E7 shelter will be blocked off for vehicle and personnel access.
  • Mathematics & Computer Building electrical shutdown, Saturday, June 1, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., power will be disrupted to several areas in the building.