Enhancing Accessibility in Post-Secondary Education Institutions
Training for Faculty and Staff Resources
This section contains a variety of examples and resources on the different ways PSE institutions can provide training and development opportunities for faculty and staff so that they are better prepared to assist students with disabilities.
Guides and Publications
The following resources are examples of guides and publications that have been developed for faculty and staff members at PSE institutions to educate and train them on a variety of disability issues.
- The Disability Services Office at Trent University provides a guide on learning disabilities for faculty. http://www.trentu.ca/disabilityservices/justforfaculty_TAguide.php
- The Disability Services Office at Trent also publishes newsletters with tips for students, parents and faculty, in support of the learning environment. http://www.trentu.ca/admin/specialneeds/tips/
- The University of Alberta provides a Guide for Faculty Members on Interpreting Services for Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing students http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/pdfs/Faculty%20Guide%20-%20Interpreting%20Services%20-%2008.doc
- Queen’s University offers the following Faculty Guide on accommodating students with disabilities http://library.queensu.ca/websrs/faculty_guide-Index.html
- The University of Toronto provides information for staff and faculty on test and exam services. http://osm.utoronto.ca/tes/forms/Staff%20and%20Faculty%20Guide.pdf
- York University provides a Faculty Resource Guide and Instructional Manual designed to increase disability awareness among faculty members, teaching assistants and staff at the University. http://www.yorku.ca/facultyawareness/yorkfacultyresourceguide.pdf
- Counselling & Disability Services at York University provide a comprehensive set of material to help faculty and staff recognize behaviour that may signal that a student is in emotional distress and may need help. This resource is available at http://www.yorku.ca/cds/pcs/faculty_staff.html
- Disability Services at the University of Northern British Columbia has an Instructor’s handbook for accommodating student with disabilities http://www.unbc.ca/assets/disabilities/instructors_handbook.pdf
- There is also a supplementary guide for the instructor’s handbook available at http://www.unbc.ca/assets/disabilities/learning_disabilities.pdf
- The University of Northern British Columbia offers a workbook on Universal Instructional Design, which entails anticipating and planning for the diverse needs of students http://www.unbc.ca/assets/disabilities/presentations/faculty_workbook.pdf
- As well, UNBC also has a list of tips on teaching for student with disabilities found online at http://www.unbc.ca/disabilities/teaching.html
- In addition they also provide information on creating accessible PowerPoint Presentations http://www.unbc.ca/assets/disabilities/creating_accessible_powerpoint_presentations_ms_office_2007.pdf
- Wilfrid Laurier University have an online guide for faculty on the accommodation of students with disabilities which is available at http://waterloo.mylaurier.ca/content/documents/fileItemController/Fac%20guide%2020052.doc
- Trent University has developed brochures for faculty; one on Accessibility in the Teaching Environment and another on Creating Alternative Formats and Website Accessibility. http://www.trentu.ca/learninginnovations/toolbox.php
The following are resources and examples of training/information sessions or events that are used to assist PSE faculty and staff better assist students with disabilities and understand their needs.
- Access & Diversity at the University of British Columbia disability-related services to students, staff and faculty http://www.students.ubc.ca/access/disability-services/
- UBC Access and Diversity also offer a variety of specialized and customized workshops and training. For more information visit
Or contact them at:
1874 East Mall, Brock Hall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada
- The University of Alberta provide a variety services for staff and faculty with disabilities including communication support and adaptive technology support. For more information visit http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/servicesforstaff.cfm
- The Access Service at the University of Ottawa offers adaptive technology training and support to professors and staff members. For more information visit http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/access/professors/adaptive_tech_training.php
- Mental Health First Aid http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/EN/Pages/
- LivingWorks is a suicide intervention training company that works across North American to prevent suicides and make safer communities. They have been working in the field for over 25 years designing, developing and delivering programs. Their standardized programs can be tailored to any community. They also train local trainers to conduct the programs.
LivingWorks offers an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program to help prevent immediate suicide risk as well as a SafeTalk program which helps to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Both programs are also available for trainers. Find more at http://www.livingworks.net/.
International Training Programs
- Project DO-IT at the University of Washington is a program that offers professional development, training materials and resources to that can be offered to faculty and administrators of any campus. For more information on the program see their website at http://www.washington.edu/doit/
- In addition, short handouts, videos, and comprehensive train-the-trainer materials were created for use at postsecondary institutions across the USA. All of these materials can be found in The Faculty Room at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/
- Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) National Conference https://www.cacuss.ca/en/conferences/CACUSS2011AnnualConference.htm
- National Education Association for Disabled Students (NEADS) Bi-Annual National Conference http://www.neads.ca/en/about/events/conference2010/
- Learning Disability Association of Canada (LDAC) National Conference (hosted by a provincial chapter) http://www.ldac-acta.ca/
*For individual provincial conferences please check your local organization’s website.
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Annual International Conference http://www.ahead.org/conferences
- International Conference on Higher Education & Disability http://www.trac.uno.edu/conf2010/
- For a list of upcoming conferences, both national and international, visit: http://www.neads.ca/en/about/events/
Below are resources and examples of online training and information resources for faculty and staff members at PSE institutions to educate them on a variety of disability issues.
- The University of Alberta has a website specifically for Faculty which provides information on:
Who is eligible for services http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/nav01.cfm?nav01=60548
- Confidentiality and disclosure http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/nav02.cfm?nav02=60730&nav01=60548
- Services and your course http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/nav02.cfm?nav02=60731&nav01=60548
- Student responsibilities http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/nav02.cfm?nav02=60732&nav01=60548
- The University’s obligation to accommodate http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/nav02.cfm?nav02=61700&nav01=60548
- Words with dignity (use respectful language) http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ssds_dev/wordswithdignity.cfm
- The University of Ottawa Access Service website has a resource section for faculty and staff which includes a guide for professors as well as adaptive measures, instructional strategies and rights and responsibilities. http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/access/professors/
- Trent University has a Faculty Toolbox webpage which includes resources to support instructors in working with and understanding students with disabilities. http://www.trentu.ca/learninginnovations/toolbox.php
Trent also offers information on Universal Instructional Design for faculty. http://www.trentu.ca/learninginnovations/toolsforengagement/uid.php
- The Disability Resource Centre of the University of Calgary has a separate section of the website for Instructors http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/45 , which also includes specific information on:
- mobility impairments http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/62
- visual impairments http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/63
- hearing impairments http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/64
- attention disorders http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/66
- learning disabilities http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/65
- psychiatric disorders http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/67
- sensitivities and allergies http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/68
- epilepsy http://www.ucalgary.ca/drc/node/69
- The Mental Health Disability Services website at York University provides information for faculty and staff specifically regarding mental health disabilities and academic petitions. For more information visit http://www.yorku.ca/cds/mhds/facultyresources/resources_petitions.html
- The University of Waterloo provides a helpful tips section for faculty which includes general information on different disability types, as well as strategies for communication and accommodation. Available here http://www.studentservices.uwaterloo.ca/disabilities/Faculty/helpfultips.html
- The youth2youth website has a section for faculty which provides general accommodation strategies http://www.youth2youth.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=207&Itemid=250&lang=en
The following are examples of unique programs, services and resources that are being utilized to promote awareness and educate faculty and staff members on disability issues within PSE institutions.
- Memorial University created the Blundon Award in 1992, which is presented to an individual who has gone “above and beyond” their normal duties to create a more accessible learning environment for students with disabilities at the university. For more information see http://www.mun.ca/blundon/about/award.php
- In Ontario, all colleges and universities must provide training to faculty and staff on implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s Customer Service Standard.
For more on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, visit http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_05a11_e.htm
For more on the Customer Service Standard visit http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2007/elaws_src_regs_r07429_e.htm
For an example of on-line training conducted by the University of Ottawa visit http://www.hr.uottawa.ca/accessibility/
- Ontario College Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI) acts as an advisory body to Coordinating Committee on Student Services (CCSS) to identify, research and make appropriate recommendations on system-wide issues, policies and practices affecting students with disabilities, and from time to time, undertake specific assignments as directed by or for submission to CCSS. Their website has resources for disability service advisors, learning strategists, assistive technologists, faculty, counsellors, etc. on a full range of disabilities. http://www.disabilityissues.ca/english/links.html