Making Extra-Curricular Activities Inclusive
Frequently Asked Questions
What barriers do students with disabilities face that prevent them from participating?
Students with disabilities often face a variety of barriers that prevent them from participating in extra-curricular activities. Some of these barriers include lack of transportation to/from the event, lack of accessible material formats, and inaccessibility to the location. As well, sometimes the mode of advertising the event does not consider the needs of students with disabilities, so that they are often unaware of many of the activities on campus.
Where can we get funding to accommodate students with disabilities?
Funding for accommodations for students with disabilities in non-academic activities should come from the student association or the group that is putting on the event. One way that some institutions (including University of Calgary, McGill University, and Carleton University) have addressed the funding issue is to introduce a levy for all students that goes towards paying for accommodations for students with disabilities for extra-curricular activities and/or modifications to make on-campus space accessible.
For example, Dalhousie Student Union has instituted a levy of $1.75 for full-time students and $1.00 for part-time students. The fund is operated under its own board, the Student Accessibility Fund, which provides financial support to ensure that the student union operations, events, and facilities are accessible to all students. This can range from renovating washrooms in buildings to providing sign language interpreters at meetings and events, to printing materials in Braille.
How can I promote my event using non-print media?
Events can be promoted using a variety of accessible venues. Websites, if designed properly, can allow all users access to information regarding events. Announcements in class, accompanied by a visual aid, are also useful. Radio and television stations can be utilized effectively as well.
How can we encourage students with disabilities to participate in planning activities?
Students with disabilities can be encouraged to help plan activities if they are aware that there is an effort being made to make it accessible, and if they are given accommodations to ensure that they can assist to their full capacity.
Do students consider our events and our campus to be accessible?
The best way to determine if students consider events and locations to be accessible is to ask them. They can inform you if there are any issues that arise that may be improved upon, as well as what was done well at an event from an inclusion perspective.