AccessAbility Services strives to be an intentional, innovative and evolving leader in providing disability services, ensuring equitable access to education from pre-admission to graduation at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We aspire to create meaningful access to education in a welcoming and inclusive environment which celebrates disability.
AccessAbility Services is committed to inclusion, equity, diversity and excellence. We value diverse abilities as a strength and source of knowledge and are committed to promoting a culture of inclusion.
We strive to provide individualized accommodations and enhanced support services that empower students with temporary and permanent disabilities with intersecting identities to maximize their academic potential and receive equitable access to education seamlessly and transparently. We also aim to collaborate with our campus community to identify and remove barriers in all facets of University life.
The service also aspires to provide opportunities for those with lived experience with disability to shape our vision, mission and values.
Integrity: We are committed to ensuring that students are treated with dignity and respect. We provide the highest professional and ethical practices pertaining to disability and social justice, student privacy, and academic integrity. Our programs and services are carefully designed to ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness.
Inclusion: We embrace a culture of inclusion grounded in the principles of social justice and focus on promoting acceptance, equity, dignity, and diversity. We aim to embed these principles across the university community, so our students experience high dignity, autonomy, and support levels.
Student-Focused: We work collaboratively with the entire UTSC community to ensure that our programs not only support but exceed the needs and aspirations of students. Our programs are holistic in nature, as they focus on academics, extracurriculars, and personal well-being. They are also directly informed by the student voice, which enables us to continually adapt to meet diverse needs and promote a culture of belongingness and support.
Professional Excellence: We continually assess existing programs and services to ensure that we meet the changing needs of our diverse student population. We focus on evolving and strengthening existing processes to ensure our programs are flexible, innovative and empowering. We are also committed to the accountable stewardship of our resources, ensuring that they serve our internal and external communities.
Community: We are committed to working collaboratively with the internal and external university community to support students with disabilities successfully. Partnerships with departments across the university are grounded in the principles of shared ownership, responsibility and success to benefit our students. Further, we strive to be a role model of inclusion, equity, diversity and excellence to our internal and external stakeholders.
Independence: We place a high value on self-determination and strive to empower students to actively shape their university experience to meet their needs and aspirations. Accordingly, our programs and services are intentionally designed to facilitate student goal-setting, decision-making and choice.
- Combines disability models including the social justice, functional and interactionist model of disability. We recognize a social justice model in education is a strong foundation for the work we do.
- Promotes the removal of systemic barriers while also recognizing that individualized accommodations for persons with disabilities may still be required.
- Recognizes coalition forming between the fields of disability studies and disability services can disrupt systems and create positive social change.
In doing the work of disability services:
- We value the voices of people with disabilities and their lived experience.
- Each student is a unique and whole person and must be treated as such. We provide student-centered service delivery, which is informed by the OHRC's three principles of accommodation: respect for dignity, individualization, as well as integration and full participation.
- We recognize the systems and environment in which we learn and work can be disabling, and we work to remove these barriers.
- We affirm and treat disability as an aspect of diversity.
- Student's lives involve multiple interrelated identities, and marginalization and exclusion may exist because of how these identities intersect. We recognize that the compounded disadvantage that arises from multiple identities has a direct impact on how the students we serve interact, experience, and view the world around them.
- We advocate and uphold an anti-racist and anti-oppression framework of practice.
- We benefit from and value collaboration with campus partners.
- We support and uphold the principles of academic integrity
Inspiring Inclusive Excellence
We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. Statement of Acknowledgement of Traditional Land.