KPU developing an Accessibility Committee for students

The committee is in response to the updated Accessible British Columbia Act

KPU is developing an Accessibility Committee to start next September. (Keet Kailey)

KPU is developing an Accessibility Committee to start next September. (Keet Kailey)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is developing an Accessibility Committee to create a more accessible campus. 

The provincial government enacted the Accessible British Columbia Act (ABCA) last year, which gives over 750 organizations one year to develop an accessibility plan to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to accessibility and inclusion. 

Examples of categories of barriers include attitude, physical, information and communication, systemic, technology and sensory. 

Post-secondary institutions are included on the list of organizations to have a plan in place next year. According to the ABCA, organizations must comply with specific provisions from part three of the ABCA starting Sept. 1, 2023. One of these provisions is to establish an accessibility committee. 

Laurie Clancy, vice president of human resources at KPU, is leading the development of the Accessibility Committee. 

“The Accessibility Committee will be comprised of a broad and representative forum for the university to engage with as it works to meet provisions within the act that come into effect in September 2023,” Clancy wrote in an email to The Runner.  

KPU emailed students registered with Accessibility Services last month about the creation of the Accessibility Committee, and are looking for students to be members.

In part three of the Act, a committee must have at least half of the members be people who support or are from organizations that support, or people with a disability. At least one member must be an Indigenous person, in accordance with the Act. 

“The Accessibility Committee will have at least two student representatives who are persons with disabilities,” Clancy wrote. 

While creating and changing the plan, the Act lists inclusion, adaptability, diversity, collaboration, self-determination and universal design as principles to keep in mind. 

Establishing a process to receive public feedback is another requirement in the plan.

“The committee will be considering how it would like to gain input from the wider university community, including students. There will also be an opportunity for public feedback,” Clancy wrote. 

“Information regarding consultation and feedback sessions will be shared once the committee has a chance to consider how they will approach this work.”