Welcome to the last chapter of this introductory book on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In this chapter, we synthesize concepts and guidelines discussed in previous chapters and introduce the concept of accessibility and invite you to self-explore some topics that were not covered in this book. We will provide you with some additional resources that could help your continuous learning.
By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:
- Explain what accessibility is and how to better accommodate people with accessibility needs;
- Explore some of the barriers to accessibility; and
- Plan ways to continue your EDI learning.
Pushing for social change is a lifelong journey of commitment that requires learning and unlearning about lived experiences that differ from your own. Throughout this material, we covered some fundamental topics on social inequity that included Privilege (Chapter. 1) and Intersectional Oppression (Chapter. 2). We discussed the psychology of conscious and unconscious biases and how to act on them (Chapters 3 and 4). We filled the remainder of this book with actionable practices and guidelines that would allow you to be a better advocate for social and institutional changes, such as how to recognize and avoid common pitfalls in EDI practice (Chapter. 5), the usage of neutral and inclusive language (Chapter 6), effective allyship (Chapter 7), the importance of oppression interruption (Chapter 8) and ways to operationalize your actions (Chapter 9). Here, we synthesize some key EDI principles that you can reflect on in your everyday life. However, this should only be the beginning of your continuous learning.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are key elements of social justice. Equity means recognizing that there are individuals and groups who encounter individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic barriers to full participation. As we saw, systemic inequities, or barriers, may manifest in multiple forms, including unconscious biases, assumptions, perceptions, or stereotypes. These systemic barriers are particularly noticeable in systems, policies, practices, and procedures that impede the full recognition and participation of equity-deserving groups in the full range of activities across society and institutions.
Diversity is the collection of peoples with different identity characteristics, ways of knowing, and ways of being. The diversity of identities is articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code as age, color, ancestry, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity or expression, marital status, race, sex, and sexual orientation, citizenship, creed, and place of origin. However, Diversity also means different ways of knowing, thinking, or learning, legal status, education, or backgrounds. Thus, Diversity is about recognizing the many perspectives and lived experiences that contribute to our society, communities, and institutions.
Finally, Inclusion means that all members of our society are respected, valued, and empowered. The evolving nature of social work requires us to constantly update our vocabularies to be inclusive. Inclusivity is not a means to an end, but a method and a principle of how we handle our daily interaction, what language we use, and how to better accommodate and support others with accessibility needs. As national and provincial legislations starting to update their accessibility standards, issues surrounding accessibility are increasingly recognized as a key aspect of EDI work and of social justice.
Ontario is home to 13 million residents, 200 languages, and has the largest Indigenous population in this country (Ontario Public Service, 2021). Yet, 1 in 7 Ontarians has a disability that limits their full access to physical spaces, products, programs, services and/or employment opportunities. Similarly, people with disabilities, racialized visible minorities, Indigenous and LGBTQ2SIA+ members remain to experience the highest levels of discrimination in their workplace (Ontario Public Service, 2021). To ensure that all Ontarians can fully participate in all aspects of society, the government of Ontario was the first province in Canada to have passed provincial accessibility legislation, known as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This Act, which applies to government, business, non-profits, and public sector organizations, includes accessibility standards that aim to identify, prevent, and remove barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities in areas of daily life.
Accessibility , n, is an umbrella term that describes “the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to be used by all intended audiences” (AODA, 2016).
Barrier, n, broadly describes “anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice” (AODA, 2016).
|Category||Attitudinal||Organizational||Physical or Architectural||Information or Communication||Technological|
Behaviours, perceptions, and assumptions that discriminate against persons with disabilities, often developed from a lack of understanding
Policies, procedures, or practices that unfairly discriminate and can prevent individuals from participating fully in a situation
Elements of buildings or outdoor spaces that create barriers to persons with disabilities
Barriers to both sending and receiving information for people with sensory disabilities, such as hearing, seeing, or learning disabilities
A device or technological platform is not accessible to its intended audience and cannot be used with an assistive device
Assuming that people with a disability are inferior.
Consider your accommodation as a form of a “special favor”
No alternative method to interact with people, to learn, or to access resources
Ambiguous content objectives
While using a Wheelchair you encounter unfriendly sidewalks and doorways
Slippery ramps during the rain
Lack of accessible washrooms
Insufficient color contrast
No video caption or transcriptions
Non-accessible features, such as Alt text
Failed facial recognitions
Unconscious bias training
Being an ally: Call in or Call out
Internal audit and survey
Identify and address on barriers that may affect equity-deserving groups (not an individual level, but at an institutional level)
Prioritize accessibility needs during the winter and harsh weather events
Always provide captions
Provide complementary lectures or meeting notes
Ensure accessible content
Broad compatibility with different devices, operating systems, and software
Watch this short video (2:25) from the Canadian Human Rights Commission – CHRC: Accessibility is a Human Right
Summary and Additional Resources
Commit to a lifelong journey of learning and unlearning about lived experiences different from your own.
Accessibility is a broad topic, and it requires more exploration and learning on your own. Be mindful that there are multiple types of disabilities that can be visible or invisible, chronic or temporary.
Remember that inclusivity is about inviting everyone to the table, regardless of their identity. The work we do in social justice and EDI practice is not about flipping the power or dragging anyone down, it is about lifting up others who are historically and presently undermined, ignored, and unaccounted-for. It is about building a society for all talents not for selective privileges. It is about fostering a sense of belonging, welcoming diverse identities, and perspectives, and supporting each other. It is about creating safe space free of judgement, discrimination, and assaults so everyone can heal, rest, grow, and flourish.
We should constantly challenge our biases and reflect on our behaviors. We should continue our learning on our own without relying on others to teach us. We should make a conscious effort to appreciate different cultures and traditions that are present in our society. We should be sensitive of our language and our actions. We should always be open to being interrupted and capable to call in when seeing unfair treatments. The fabric of our community is only as strong as the individual threads that bind us together.
To help you get started on your learning we created the following resource list and we invite you to initiate your own community of practice to explore some of these topics.
- Batra, N. (2019). Microallyship
- Dismantle Collective. (2019). White Allyship 101: Resources to Get to Work
- Infographics. (n.d.). 10 Things Allies Can Do [PDF]
- Lamont, A. (n.d.) Guide to Allyship
- Saxon, L. (n.d.). Allyship and Accountability Glossary [PDF]
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance
- Council of Ontario Universities. (2017). Accessible Campus: Understanding Barriers to Accessibility
- David C. Onley Initiative for Employment & Enterprise Development. (2020). Employer Guide to Hiring and Working with Professionals with Disabilities
- Dee-Price, B.-J. M., L. Hallahan, D. Nelson Bryen and J. Watson. (2020). “Every voice counts: exploring communication accessible research methods.” Disability & Society, 36(2), 240-264
- Hart, S. M., M. Pascucci, S. Sood and E. M. Barrett. (2020). “Value, vulnerability and voice: An integrative review on research assent.” British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(1), 154-161
- Kidney, C. A., and K. E. McDonald. (2014). “A toolkit for accessible and respectful engagement in research.” [PDF] Disability & Society, 29(7), 1013-1030
- Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2019). A Practical Toolkit to Help Employers Build an Inclusive Workforce.
- The Conference Board of Canada. (2015). Employers’ Toolkit: Making Ontario Workplaces Accessible to People with Disabilities, 2nd Edition. Ottawa
- Access ON. (2014). Policy Guidelines Added for the Design of Public Spaces [PDF]
- Alexander, M. (2008). An Integrated Anti-Oppression Framework for Reviewing and Framework for Reviewing and Developing Policy [PDF]
- Campbell Consulting. (2019). Spectrum: From Non-Racist to Anti-Racist Advocate [PDF]
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2020). Educational resources on racism/anti-black racism [PDF]
- Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). (2019). Campus Tool-Kit for Combatting Racism [PDF]
- Challenging White Supremacy (CWS). (n.d.). Creating an Anti-Racist Agenda
- Crichlow, W. (2015). “Critical race theory: A Strategy for Framing Discussions Around Social Justice and Democratic Education.” [PDF] Paper presented at Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin.
- Ontario Human Rights Commission. (n.d.) Call it out: racism, racial discrimination and human rights [30 minute interactive e-course]
- SAGE Publishing (2020). Antiracist research in the social sciences: We need it now more than ever (includes list of resources).
- The Colours of Resistance. (n.d.). List of Articles
- Urrieta, L., L. Méndez and E. Rodríguez (2014). “‘A moving target’: a critical race analysis of Latina/o faculty experiences, perspectives, and reflections on the tenure and promotion process.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 28(10), 1149-1168.
- Canada Research Chairs. (n.d.). Bias in Peer Review [Interactive online training module]
- Community Relations Services Toolkit for Policing. (n.d.). Understanding Bias: A Resource Guide [PDF]
- Eberhardt, J. (2019). Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do. Penguin Random House. [Publisher’s book profile]
- Martin, M. (2015). Fear of the Black Man: How Racial Bias Could Affect Crime, Labor Rates. NPR
- Moss-Racusin, C. A., et al. (2016). “A ‘Scientific Diversity’ Intervention to Reduce Gender Bias in a Sample of Life Scientists.” CBE Life Sciences Education, 15(3)
- Sehgal, P. (2016). “Racial Microaggressions: The Everyday Assault.” American Psychiatric Association Blogs.
- SHRM, Implicit Bias Resource Guide [Requires sign-up]
- Goyette, B. and A. Scheller. (2014). 15 Charts that Prove We’re Far From Post Racial. Huffington Post
- Madrigal, A.C. (2014). The Racist Housing Policy that Made your Neighborhood. The Atlantic
Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2020). Navigating race in Canadian workplaces: A brief history of race relations in Canada [PDF]
- McRae, M. (2021). The story of Africville. Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion
- Barrows, A. S., M. A. Sukhai and I. R. Coe (2021). “So, you want to host an inclusive and accessible conference?” FACETS, 6(1), 131-138
- Canada Research Chairs. (2017). Guidelines for Assessing the Productivity of Nominees
- Canada Research Coordinating Committee. (2021). Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research.
- Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH). (2019). CPATH Ethical Guidelines
- Gibbs Jr., K. (September 10, 2014). “Diversity in STEM: What It Is and Why It Matters.” Scientific American
- Ginther, D. K., W. T. Schaffer, J. Schnell, B. Masimore, F. Liu, L. L. Haak and R. Kington. (2011). “Race, Ethnicity, and NIH Research Awards.” Science, 333(6045), 1015-1019
- Hewlett, S. A., M. Marshall and L. Sherbin (December 2013). “How Diversity Can Drive Innovation.” Harvard Business Review
- Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2019). A Practical Toolkit to Help Employers Build an Inclusive Workforce [PDF]
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. (2017). Guide for Applicants: Considering equity, diversity and inclusion in your application [PDF]
- Nielsen, M.W., et al. (2017). “Gender diversity leads to better science.” PNAS, 114(8): 1740-42 [PDF]
- NSERC. (2021). Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada
- Smith, M., D. Bérubé and M. L. Boudreau (August 28, 2019). “Diversity is indispensable to excellence in research.” Folio (University of Alberta)
- Universities Canada. (n.d.). Equity, diversity and inclusion
- Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science & Technology (2014). The Business Case for Gender Diversity
Gender-Based Analysis Plus
- Women and Gender Equality Canada. (2021). GBA+: Beyond Sex and Gender [Video]
- Women and Gender Equality Canada. (2021). Gender-based Analysis Plus research guide
- Women and Gender Equality Canada. (2021). Introduction to GBA+
- Women and Gender Equality Canada. (2021). Introduction to GBA+: Glossary
- Women and Gender Equality Canada. (2021). What is Gender-based Analysis Plus
Indigeneity and Decolonization
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2021). Canada Day: Resources for learning and engaging with Indigenous communities [PDF]
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2021). Educational resources on Indigenous inclusion [PDF]
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2021). Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- First Nations Information Governance Centre. (2014). The First Nations Principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP®).
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. (2022). National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR) and NISR Implementation Plan.
- Julie Turkowicz. (2018). For Native Americans, a ‘Historic Moment’ on the Path to Power and …. NY Times [Paywalled article]
- National Aboriginal Health Organization. (2018). Principles of Ethical Métis Research [PDF]
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. (2021). Search results for “Adults & teachers”
- Panel on Research Ethics. (2018). “Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.” Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
- SSHRC. (2018). Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research
- SSHRC. (2019). Indigenous Research Statement of Principles
- SSHRC. (2021). Definition of Indigenous Research
- Wilkinson, M., M. Dumontier, I. Aalbersberg, et al. (2016). “The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship.” Scientific Data, 3(160018)
- Bilge, S. (2009). “Théorisations féministes de l’intersectionnalité.” Diogène, 2009/1 (n° 225), 70-88 (available only in French)
- Bilge, S. (2014). “Intersectionality undone.” Du Bois Review Social Science Research on Race, 10(02), 405-424
- Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. (2006). Intersectional Feminist Frameworks: A Primer
- Corbeil, C., and I. Marchand (2006). “L’approche intersectionnelle : origines, fondements théoriques et apport à l’intervention féministe. Défis et enjeux pour l’intervention auprès des femmes marginalisées,” Acte de colloque, Relais-femmes (available only in French)
- Crenshaw, K. (1989). “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139-167 [PDF]
- Crenshaw, K. (2016). Kimberlé Crenshaw: The urgency of intersectionality. TED
- Delgado, D. (2017). Befriending Becky: On The Imperative Of Intersectional Solidarity. Black Love, Medium.com
- DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (2020). Girls without Barriers: An intersectional feminist analysis of girls and young women with disabilities in Canada [PDF]
- Hankivsky, O. (2014). Intersectionality 101. Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University [PDF]
- Rouhani, S. (2014). Intersectionality-informed Quantitative Research: A Primer. Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, Simon Fraser University [PDF]
- Saroful. (2017). How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101. CrossKnit! Gauge as Rx’ed
- Women’s College Hospital (2020). Intersectionality as a Research Lens—A Pathway to Better Science / Une lentille de recherche intersectionelle – Vers une meilleure science
Power and Privilege
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. (2017). Exploring My Power and Privilege [PDF]
- Kristof, N. (2014, 2016). When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Parts 1-7. Impact America
- McIntosh, P. (1989). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack. The National SEED Project
- Graduate School of Social Work – DU. (2018). Power Privilege and Oppression. YouTube. [Video]
Self-Learning and Unlearning
- Aurora, V. and M. Gardiner. (n.d.) How to Respond to Code of Conduct Reports. [Sign-up required]
- Dastagir, A.E. (2017). A Feminist Glossary Because We Didn’t All Major in Gender Studies. USA Today
- Frame Shift Consulting. (n.d.) Ally Skills Workshop
- National Center on Disability and Journalism. (2021). Disability Language Style Guide. Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
- Ontario Human Rights Commission. (2017). Talking the Pulse: Peoples’ opinions on human rights in Ontario [PDF]
- Resnick, B. (2019). Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong. Vox
- The Anti-Oppression Network. (2014). Terminologies of Oppression
Support and Donate
- Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion | Donate
- Team Crescendo. (2020). Anti-Racist Organizations To Support Right Now in Canada. Crescendo
- Woods, M. (2020). Black Organizations And Anti-Racist Groups Canadians Can Support Now. Huffpost.com
Systemic Barriers in the Research Ecosystem
- Canadian Association of University Teachers. (2018). Underrepresented and Underpaid: Diversity & Equity Among Canada’s Postsecondary Education Teachers. [PDF]
- Council of Canadian Academies (2012). Strengthening Canada’s Research Capacity: The Gender Dimension.
- Henry, F., et al. (2017). The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities. UBC Press. [Publisher’s book profile]
- Witteman, H. O., M. Hendricks, S. Straus and C. Tannenbaum. (2019). “Are gender gaps due to evaluations of the applicant or the science? A natural experiment at a national funding agency.” Lancet, 393: 531-40. [PDF]
Chapter 10 References
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c. 11
Ontario Public Service OPS. (2021). Inclusion & Diversity Blueprint. Retrieved December 2021 from https://www.ontario.ca/page/ops-inclusion-diversity-blueprint
Council of Ontario Universities. (2017). Understanding Barriers to Accessibility. Retrieved December 2021 from https://accessiblecampus.ca/understanding-accessibility/what-are-the-barriers/
Greg. T. (2019). Disability Barrier. Retrieved December 2021 from https://www.aoda.ca/disability-barriers/
Chapter 10 Banner: Open Learning and Educational Support, University of Guelph/graphic
Chapter 10 Divider: Open Learning and Educational Support, University of Guelph/graphic