Thirty years ago, the United Nations proclaimed December 3rd as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) “to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The theme of this year’s IDPD is Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.

At the University of Waterloo, our commitment to advancing an accessible and equitable world is a core part of our vision that guides our Strategic Plan. The Waterloo community is demonstrating this commitment through a variety of initiatives.

For example, to increase inclusivity in our professional communications, University Relations has developed an Inclusive Communications Guide. To improve the accessibility of our built environment, the University of Waterloo has participated Rick Hansen Foundation accessibility ratings of 9 buildings, 7 of which have received accessibility certification. At the W Store, clear window masks are available for purchase to facilitate communication while masking.

This year, Waterloo Athletics and Recreation is honouring the International Day of Persons with Disability with a sitting volleyball event. Staff, students, and faculty are invited to watch a sitting volleyball exhibition game and try out this sport alongside Jim Rush, vice-president academic and provost and other members of the University leadership team. To register for this event, visit Sitting Volleyball Registration.

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Accessibility at Waterloo

Several support units have developed accessibility resources for employees, including:

Accessibility at Waterloo’s Guides and Resources lists additional accessibility resources.

These are a few of the many ways the University of Waterloo seeks to improve accessibility and inclusivity for disabled people. Waterloo commits to seeking feedback and consulting with disabled people on campus-wide initiatives that impact the disability community.

The Accessibility Advisory Panel is a resource for the University on issues related to accessibility. While invitations are open to all active Waterloo students, staff and faculty, recruitment for panelists will focus on individuals with lived experience of disabililty. 

Learn more about the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Waterloo and about events taking place in our region and beyond.

If you have questions about accessibility, please contact

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