Making Extra-Curricular Activities Inclusive

Student Government

“Currently we have a student with a disability elected to the Students' Association board, playing a role in all planning processes.”
- Campus Programmer
College, British Columbia

Student government is a key aspect of university and college life. It is important to give students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in student government if they wish to.

Some questions you should consider are:

  • Is the student government office fully accessible for all students?
  • Can students with disabilities receive special accommodations to ensure they have an equal opportunity to run for a position on student council?
  • Are accommodations made to ensure that students with disabilities can participate fully in student government meetings and events?

It is good practice to make sure the students’ association office is accessible for all students. It should be spacious enough to allow a wheelchair user to get around easily. Any materials should be available in alternate formats, such as Braille, large print, and electronic versions.

If a student with a disability wishes to run for office in the student government, there should be a procedure to ensure that they are provided with any necessary accommodations. For example, a Deaf/hard of hearing student running for president may require a sign language interpreter to make campaign speeches and communicate in debates.

Students with disabilities may require some accommodations once they are a part of student government as well. For example, a blind student representative might require meeting minutes and agendas in Braille or electronic format. A Deaf student may require a sign language interpreter for meetings.

Practical tips:

  • Ensure that the students’ council office is fully accessible to all students
  • Determine the needs of any students with disabilities running for or currently holding office and work with them to meet those requirements