Equity Services

Equity Services
Equity Services

Steve Cutway Accessibility Award

2018 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award Llynwen Osborne.
Llynwen Osborne (Physical Plant Services) speaks after receiving the 2018 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award, while Sue Lethbridge signs her comments. | Photo Credit: Queen's University 2019

Established in 2008, the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award formally recognizes the outstanding contributions of faculty, staff and students towards advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities at Queen's University.

The Queen's Accessibility Committee in partnership with Accessibility Queen's named the Award in honour of Steve Cutway, a long-serving employee of Queen's University. Over a span of nearly 36 years, Steve gave generously of his time and commitment in advancing accessibility for students and employees with disabilities.

The Award servers to acknowledge the efforts of faculty, staff and students who demonstrate creativity, enthusiasm, innovation and commitment to creating a learning and work environment in which persons with disabilities enjoy full participation.

Examples of efforts in advancing accessibility include:

  • developing and delivering interesting and effective awareness training about disability and accessibility issues
  • demonstrating flexibility, respectfulness and creativity in responding to requests for accommodations in the classroom or in the workplace
  • conveying a welcoming and inclusive attitude towards students and employees with disabilities in one's department
  • utilizing elements of universal instructional design in one's curriculum that at the same time enhance accessibility
  • paying particular attention to accessibility when planning projects or events at the University
  • The principal presents the award during Accessibility Awareness Week, held in March every year.

Nominations

Any member of the Queen's community including students, staff, faculty or alumni as well as members of the general Kingston community who have an interest in Queen's University may submit nominations.

The Award

Steve Cutway Accessibility Award Statue | Photo Credit: Human Rights & Equity Office
Llynwen Osborne (Physical Plant Services) speaks after receiving the 2019 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award, while Sue Lethbridge signs her comments. | Photo Credit: Queen's University 2019

The award consists of two metal spindles, both spiralling upwards, out of a square, singular piece of cherry wood. One of the spindles represents a person or persons with disabilities and the other represents the individual department at Queen's who is advancing accessibility.

In the lower part of the piece, several rivets pierce the spindles. These rivets represent barriers or obstacles to participation. Below the rivets, the spindles are separated from each other in comparison to the upper portion of the piece. This symbolizes the distance and separateness that exists between people when barriers exist. It illustrates the lack of interchange of ideas, information and other types of sharing that make a community a community.

As the spindles spiral upward passed the rivets, the distance narrows between them and they start to intertwine. Barriers fall away, accessibility is improving and people are coming closer together. Sharing is easier with the divide gone. As the spindles continue upwards, they get closer and closer together. This resembles some of the fundamental relationships upon which a community is founded and strives – friendships, colleagueships, and partnerships. Only with accessibility, can these relationships develop and proceed successfully.

At no point in time do the spindles ever touch. This represents interdependence and effectively refutes the myth that to have a disability is to be dependent. For all members of this community, interdependence is an important feature of our daily lives. People who have yet to acquire a disability are no different in this regard from persons with disabilities. Interdependence is critical to our success both professionally and personally.

Finally, the spindles reach the top, each of the same height. This symbolizes that persons with disabilities and other members of our community are equal partners in this process of advancing accessibility. This refutes the myth that persons who advance accessibility are "helping" those people with disabilities. Instead, we are partners. Contributions by everyone are critical if we are to realize a truly accessible community, a truly accessible Queen's University.

 

 

Past Winners

2018 - Llynwen Osborne

Llyn has shown a commitment to accessibility by initiating a program within Physical Plant Services to educate colleagues and employees on Deaf culture. This new level of interaction creates a more positive, inclusive and enriched working experience, especially for the deaf community within PPS.

2019 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Llynwen Osborne.
2019 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Llynwen Osborne. | Photo Credit: Queen's University 2019
2017 - Ian Casson, Em Osborne and Charlotte Johnston

The first recipient of the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was Ian Casson. Over the past five years, Dr. Casson has been the driving force in developing, promoting and distributing tools to promote the innovative Health Check Program.

The second recipients were Em Osborne and Charlotte Johnston for the Access Art Project. As part of the Isabel Centre Human Rights Art Festival, Johnston and Osborne were instrumental in organizing the widely successful Access Art project which examined intersecting facets of identity through artistic mediums.

2017 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Ian Casson
2017 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Ian Casson | Photo Credit Queen's University
2017 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Em Osborne and Charlotte Johnston for the Access Art Project.
2017 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Em Osborne and Charlotte Johnston for the Access Art Project. | Photo Credit Queen's University
2016 - Katie Charboneau

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was presented to Katie Charboneau, a true example of an advocate and ambassador on issues related to accessibility and inclusion. While a student at Queen’s, Katie demonstrated an ongoing commitment to making the campus more accessible for students with disabilities. She spearheaded the creation of a Queen’s Accessibility Awareness Month and a specialized lending library, all of which raised awareness and educated the Queen’s community on the topic of accessibility.

2016 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Katie Charboneau.
2016 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Katie Charboneau | Photo Credit Queen's University
2015 - James McNutt

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was presented to James McNutt, a graduate student who, while currently working on his third degree at Queen’s and fourth overall, has created a video taking a closer look at accessibility at the university. The “Video Accessibility Audit Project” aims to heighten awareness of inclusivity and accessibility on campus.

2016 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient James McNutt.
2015 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient James McNutt | Photo Credit Queen's University
2014 - Access Champions

Access Champions accepted the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award for its efforts to provide accessibility assistance to anyone or any event on campus. Founded by Ellen Flanagan (OT’14), Access Champions started as a one-off meant to ensure access and inclusivity for alumni and other visitors during Homecoming 2013. Under Ms. Flanagan’s tutelage, the program expanded to include Orientation Week 2014. Since then Sam Wade (OT’15) and Nicole Krasko (OT’15) have taken up the Access Champions baton with more than 16 OT students willing and able to provide accessibility assistance.

2016 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Access Champions.
2015 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Access Champions | Photo Credit Queen's University
2013 - Andrew Ashby

Andrew received the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award for for his passion to create an environment where persons with disabilities are able to access a full, enriching and transformative Queen's experience. Over the past 10 years, Mr. Ashby's work for students, staff and faculty living with disabilities has been of the highest quality. As a person living with a disability himself, he fully appreciates the significance of being able to work and learn at Queen's in a way that takes into account dignity, independence, integration, and equality of opportunity.

Mr. Ashby was recognized for his work in coordinating the university's first "Accessibility Hub," a central, online resource for accessibility at Queen's. This resource ensures that staff, students, faculty and visitors (with or without disabilities) are informed of all policies, practices and procedures concerning accessibility initiatives.

2013 receipient Andrew Ashby accepts the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award from Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend.
2013 recipient Andrew Ashby accepts the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award from Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend. | Photo Credit Queen's University
2012 - Kathy Jackson

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was awarded to Kathy Jackson, Undergraduate Coordinator, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

Kathy received the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award for her dedication to raising awareness of the physical and recreational needs of individuals with disabilities. A well-known educator and devoted volunteer, Ms Jackson has been chair of the Queen?s Accessibility Committee, a board member for Revved Up Kingston, a consultant for the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability, a volunteer for the Special Olympics held in Kingston, and a staff advisor for the Queen?s-led event, the Winter Adapted Games.

Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend and 2012 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Kathy Jackson
Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend and 2012 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipient Kathy Jackson | Photo Credit Queen's University
2011- Julie Harmgardt, Leela Viswanathan, and Jeanette Parsons

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was awarded to Julie Harmgardt, Chair of Queen's InvisAbilities, Leela Viswanathan, Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning and Jeanette Parsons, Director, Office of the AVP and Dean of Graduate Studies

Jeannette is passionate about accessibility and had a stellar track record in advancing accessibility concerns at Queen's as the past Accessibility Coordinator. Although Jeanette has left this role she continues to be a passionate advocate for accessibility on campus, and in broader society, and continues to be involved with disability research at Queen's. Jeanette's subsequent commitment to the field even after she has moved on to another position at Queen's shows that she was not only a competent professional but someone who cares deeply about this subject on a personal level.

Julie, recognizing a void in the realm of disability, founded and continues to Chair Queen's InvisAbilities, a club she started in 2009 that focuses on breaking down the barriers of misconceptions and stereotypes around hidden or non-visible disabilities.

Leela was nominated by several of her students. It is apparent that her efforts at creating an accessible learning environment has not gone unnoticed. One student writes, "Leela shows genuine and sincere interest in not just the academic well-being of her students, but also their mental state. A simple, "Tell me how you are doing today", and meaning it, can go a long way in relieving students with disabilities, anxieties, and feelings of isolation in their academic communities."

Steve Cutway and 2011 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Julie Harmgardt, Leela Viswanathan, and Jeanette Parsons
Steve Cutway and 2011 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Julie Harmgardt, Leela Viswanathan, and Jeanette Parsons | Photo Credit Queen's University
2010 - Michele Chittenden and Helen Connop

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was awarded to Michele Chittenden, Coordinator, Adaptive Technology Centre and Library Services for Students with Disabilities and Helen Connop, Manager of Education and Equity Services, Faculty of Law.

Helen provides critically important support to individual students and is an invaluable and trusted resource for members of faculty seeking guidance on a broad range of disability and equity-related matters. The Faculty's Equity Program has flourished under Helen's leadership and she manages this with professionalism, good judgement, integrity and warmth. Faculty, staff and students genuinely enjoy working with her and many students over the years have candidly remarked that they would not have been able to finish law school without Helen's support.

Julie, recognizing a void in the realm of disability, founded and continues to Chair Queen's InvisAbilities, a club she started in 2009 that focuses on breaking down the barriers of misconceptions and stereotypes around hidden or non-visible disabilities.

Leela was nominated by several of her students. It is apparent that her efforts at creating an accessible learning environment has not gone unnoticed. One student writes, "Leela shows genuine and sincere interest in not just the academic well-being of her students, but also their mental state. A simple, "Tell me how you are doing today", and meaning it, can go a long way in relieving students with disabilities, anxieties, and feelings of isolation in their academic communities."

Steve Cutway and 2010 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Michele Chittenden and Helen Connop
Steve Cutway and 2010 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Michele Chittenden and Helen Connop | Photo Credit Queen's University
2009 - Christine Fader

The Steve Cutway Accessibility Award was awarded to Christine Fader, a Career Counsellor in Career Services.

Christine was nominated for the valuable role she plays in supporting Queen's students with disabilities as they progress through their university education and prepare for transitioning to the labour market. Principal Williams spoke about initiatives that Christine has been involved in over the years, in particular Employability Day. This annual event brings together students with disabilities and employers from across the province to discuss and hopefully overcome some of the common misconceptions that persons with disabilities and employers often have about each other.

Tom Williams and 2009 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Christine Fader
Tom Williams and 2009 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Christine Fader | Photo Credit Queen's University
2008 - Steve Cutway

Dr. Andrew Pipe, Member of the Board of Trustees (and a former Queen's classmate of Steve's) presented Mr. Cutway with the newly-established Steve Cutway Accessibility Award on June 10, 2008.

Dr. Andrew Pipe and 2009 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Steve Cutway
Dr. Andrew Pipe and 2009 Steve Cutway Accessibility Award recipients Steve Cutway | Photo Credit Queen's University
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