NSCAD launches Accessibility Advisory Committee

Following a broad appeal for participation, the NSCAD Accessibility Advisory Committee (NAAC) held its first meeting ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.

NSCAD is working with reachAbility, an organization that helps empower people and create diverse and inclusive workspaces, to help the university become fully accessible and meet its obligations under Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act and the federal Accessible Canada Act.

reachAbility’s representatives led the committee through a presentation on its ‘Inclusion in Action’ process and workplan that is based on broad public consultation featuring online and in-person engagement approaches (surveys, Zoom and world cafes, mapping exercises) and, naturally, an art submission element – #ShowUsYourNSCAD.

The collaborative and integrated process will allow NAAC to develop an accessibility action plan informed by stakeholder recommendations and legislated requirements, leading to a roadmap to help the committee advance its mandate and help NSCAD campuses meet the NS Accessibility Act’s requirement to be completely accessible by 2030.

NAAC’s membership represents diverse individuals living with a variety of disabilities, community stakeholders, and NSCAD faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni. Committee members include:

  • NSCAD’s Vice-President (Academic & Research) and Provost Ann-Barbara Graff, PhD, Chief Financial Officer Leanne Dowe, Associate Vice-President of Operations Isabelle Nault, Director of Opportunity and Belonging DeRico Symonds, Recruitment Officer Maria Ortega and Professor Jayne Wark
  • Community members Mara ToombsLucky GreerKaren Keddy, and Laura Caswell
  • reachAbility CEO Tova Sherman and Project and Program Manager Jessica Ward

During its inaugural meeting, NAAC welcomed its new members and engaged in an open discussion on the committee’s role, critical goals and how it will function.

NAAC’s next meeting is schedule for early January 2021 when it will discuss drafts of its vision, terms of reference and results of a review of related NSCAD policies. NAAC meetings are open to the public; for more information on how to participate, please contact provost@nscad.ca or jessica@reachability.org.