Here at Gradifying we are focusing on accessibility this month. Last week Sharday wrote an excellent post about accessibility and universal design. This week I will give you a peek at a neat new resource offered here at Queen’s – the Accessibility Hub. Taken right from the official website “the Accessibility Hub is the central online resource for accessibility at Queen’s. It will serve to elevate inclusion and improve access for everyone on our campus. The Accessibility Hub will not only provide support and feedback concerning accessibility initiatives, it will also serve as an online community for those seeking information on disability and accessibility issues on campus, and assist the university in meeting its obligations under the AODA.
I spent quite a while exploring this online resource and it is excellent! There is information not only for students but also Staff, Faculty and even visitors! For students there is information for those with disabilities (and even a specific section for grad students with disabilities), and also information for students living both in residence and off-campus as well as information about support and services, education, training and awareness.
I contacted Andrew Ashby, the Accessibility Hub Coordinator, to get a little more information about this excellent resource including the short and long term goals of the Hub as well as what it offers to us grad students specifically. Andrew said that the short term goals for the accessibility hub will be to “elevate inclusion and improve access” for everyone at Queen’s. It will offer support and feedback for accessibility initiatives and will be an online community for those seeking information about accessibility at Queen’s and assisting the University in meeting its obligations under the AODA.
One of the longer term goals of the Hub is to help educators (Faculty, TAs, Grad Students) in producing educational materials that are accessible – which is the law under the AODA. The Hub currently provides how-to-dos and while Andrew himself can offer some guidance and expertise, the long term goal would be to create “an actual physical space where educators can drop off documents, videos, access to websites and we can make them accessible”. Whether this is a paid service or not, Andrew isn’t certain but either way this would be an amazing resource for everyone here at Queen’s including grad students!
The Hub also has many other helpful resources for grad students specifically including information for grad students with disabilities, and accessibility information for those both living in residence and off campus as well as various supports and services and even information about transitioning to the workplace.
Thanks again to Andrew Ashby for answering my questions about the Hub and many congrats to him and his colleagues for a job well done with this awesome resource. For those of you who want to find out more be sure to check out the hub here. You can even follow the Accessibility Hub on Twitter @AccessHubQU and join the accessibility conversation using the hashtags #AccessibilityHub,#QueensAccessibility or#QueensA11y.