Accessibility and EDI centres unite for inclusion fair

by | Oct 1, 2019 | Campus News, Life

Su Kuštrić, Senior Reporter

Jeremy Yudin, Editor in Chief

Equity Hub Day at Humber North offered students the opportunity to succeed in their education and prevent every kind of barrier or bias.

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee brought together on Sept. 17 the campus resources and partners working together in creating a more fair-minded, equitable and inclusive environment and community for students.

Through special strategies, education and training, the committee works to cultivate an inclusive environment regarding increasing diversity, equity and inclusive awareness among the Humber community.

Students had an opportunity to learn more about 14 different academic services Humber provides.

Zareena Khan (left) and Sonia Thakur (right) explained to students the importance of building an inclusive environment in the Humber community. (Su Kuštrić)

Zareena Khan, an organizer of Equity Hub Day, said the third pillar of Humber’s Strategic Plan, Healthy and Inclusive Community, calls on Humber to continue building a diverse and inclusive community of exceptional students, faculty and staff.

“The strategy going forward is actionable through the work of an EDI Taskforce, reflective of the Humber community and established in January 2019 and it is working on developing an institutional framework and strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion that addresses the needs of both students and employees,” Khan said.

Sasha Ally, a specialist in the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity, invited students to attend upcoming events and explained how the strategic plan is included in the work of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Taskforce in achieving its goal.

The taskforce is comprised of faculty, community members and students.

“The EDI Committee is working on fostering an inclusive environment, planning and implementing strategies related to increasing diversity, equity and inclusive awareness among the Humber community and providing education and training,” Khan said.

Sonia Thakur, Accessibility Consultant and co-chair of EDI committee, also joined the panel to speak about the power of language and its use in terms of disability related topics, including people living with disabilities and accessibility.

“Language can be one of the possible barriers,” Thakur said.

She said disrespectful language could constitute a feeling of not being part of the community. Using a person’s preferred terms and being more respectful when speaking with them would help them feel more included within the community.

Students needing accommodation should speak with Student Services, Thakur said. As all services are done in a confidential manner, working with faculty to ensure a universal design in the student’s learning.

“The accommodation service is not necessarily required but we are all creating free barriers in terms of studies and academic purposes for all our students,” Thakur said.