Dec. 7, 2021

On Dec. 10, explore themes in ableism, disability justice and accessible futures in post-secondary education

Registration for Human Rights Day speaker event now open
All Human All Equal Human Rights Day
United Nations

To mark Human Rights Day 2021 at the University of Calgary, two internationally renowned disability studies scholars will take part in the final Courageous Conversations event of 2021, Ableism, Disability Justice and Accessible Futures in Post-Secondary Education.

Dr. Laverne Jacobs, PhD, of the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Law, will present the talk Meaningful Access to Post-Secondary Education – Beyond Legal Perspectives. Access to post-secondary education is guaranteed through domestic law and through the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Yet, there is a significant way to go to before post-secondary education is truly accessible for students with disabilities. This discussion will look at legal and other concepts and tools to address this disparity.

Also, Dr. Jay Dolmage, PhD, a professor with the University of Waterloo, author of several books on disability issues and founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, will speak on the topic Academic Ableism, Accommodation, Access. This discussion will address the ableist attitudes, policies and practices that are built into higher education. It will also explore the minimal and temporary means we have been given to address inequities, and the cost such an approach has for disabled students, staff and faculty. Dolmage will explore our own ableist biases, apologies and defenses in an effort to build tools for a much more accessible future.

The virtual event is hosted by Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion).

Sign up for the webinar, which runs Dec. 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. If you cannot make the event, register at the link provided and a recording of the event will be provided to you afterward.

Since Dec. 10, 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), the international community has marked the day as Human Rights Day. This year, the theme is Equality: Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights, which draws on Article 1 of the UNDHR: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

The theme also builds on the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development, and centres global attention on reducing inequalities for women and girls, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, people of African descent, and LGBTQ2S+ communities. Learn more.

The University of Calgary is committed to an equitable, diverse and inclusive university. It recognizes that diverse students, faculty, staff, 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 on upcoming and past events from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, visit its web page.