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Barriers identified

Through Equity Action Plan consultations, we identified several barriers specific to accessibility. For example:

Equity-centred culture. Many decision makers have not experienced systemic oppression or inequity. They may lack the skills and knowledge to consider how their decisions impact systemically and historically marginalized groups.

Recruitment and retention. Employment practices do not adequately consider retention of faculty, librarians and/or staff from systemically and historically marginalized groups.

Access and support. Academic accommodations for students with disabilities (including visible and invisible) are inconsistent and not specific to individual needs. As well, the availability of and access to support services for students participating in experiential learning (i.e., co-ops, field schools or placements) is inconsistent.

Additionally, the Accessibility Committee identified barriers related to:

UVic’s built environment. Obstacles such as non-automatic doors, steps and uneven floors make access difficult or impossible for people with physical disabilities. Wayfinding on campus can also be challenging.

Digital accessibility. UVic has websites, documents and databases that are not accessible for people with disabilities. For example, screen readers cannot read improperly formatted PDFs, or describe charts or graphics lacking descriptive text.

Lack of understanding. Many people simply do not know all the potential barriers to access. For example, sensory factors such as lighting, sounds and smells may prevent participation.

Terminology. There is an inconsistency with language across campus. For example, not everyone understands the difference between accommodation and accessibility. 

Take action

Our three-year plan outlines how we are leading change and dismantling barriers.

You can also take action. Reviewing our definitions is a good place to start.

Share your progress

If you or your unit have made progress towards addressing these barriers, please let us know.

We celebrate accessibility champions and recent successes.