Dec. 2, 2022

Dec. 3 marks annual observance of International Day for Persons with Disabilities

UCalgary focus on collaborative efforts to combat ableism, expand accessibility and enhance accommodation for students, faculty, and staff
International Day for Persons with Disabilities

Since it was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities has focused on promoting the human rights, dignity, and well-being of persons with disabilities worldwide. 

Under the 2022 theme of Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World, institutions and communities across the world will highlight the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in three interrelated sub-themes: innovations for disability-inclusive developments in employment (SDG 8); innovations for disability-inclusive development in reducing inequality (SDG 10), and innovations for disability-inclusive development: sport as an exemplar case of innovation, employment, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

UCalgary, like other higher education institutions, will also focus on collaborative efforts to combat ableism, expand accessibility and enhance accommodation for students, faculty, and staff across the higher education sector and in the wider community.

"At the UCalgary, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities is an opportunity for us to deepen our knowledge and understanding and take action to combat ableism and harmful prejudices, stigma and discrimination rooted in disabling assumptions about normality and impairment," says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion). 

"More, it is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to focus on enabling innovations that expand opportunities in social life, education and employment, and that enable persons with diverse abilities to chart more accessible and inclusive futures in all spheres of life."

National Dialogues and Actions

National Dialogues and Action Virtual Forum Series – Friday, Dec. 2

Leading up to the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3, the second virtual National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities is being hosted by the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) on Dec. 2. As with the first dialogue, we encourage UCalgary students, faculty, and staff to participate. Registration is free for this virtual forum.

The National Dialogues and Actions is a series of forums focused on addressing equity and inclusion in Canadian post-secondary education and the wider communities in which they are located.

This year’s focus is Addressing Ableism, Disability, and Accessibility in Canadian Higher Education. Forum participants will explore barriers to learning and working in the post-secondary education sector for persons with disabilities and facilitate the co-creation of solutions. The aim is to find shared solutions that provide an equitable and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff to fully access and participate in the life of their institutions, to thrive, and to feel a meaningful sense of belonging.

The first National Dialogues and Actions, which included the participation of a number of UCalgary leaders, was held in 2020 and focused on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in Canadian higher education. A year later, UCalgary and nearly 50 post-secondary institutions across the country signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion, formed the Inter-Institutional Forum on the Scarborough Charter to promote inclusive excellence, Black flourishing and accountability at our institutions and in the wider community, and held the first joint meeting and community forum on Black flourishing hosted by UBC and SFU. This past August, a new Academic Director (EDI in Research and Black Futures Strategy) was appointed in the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to support the UCalgary’s commitments to the Scarborough Charter and inclusive higher education and communities. 

Learn more about UCalgary's ongoing efforts to empower Black futures since the Charter was signed in November 2021.

The University of Calgary is committed to an equitable, diverse and inclusive university. It recognizes that diverse faculty, staff, students and alumni benefit and enrich the work, teaching, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and broader community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been, and continue to be, encountered by equity-seeking groups, particularly women, Indigenous peoples, visible/racialized minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+.  For more information, visit the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.