EDI Action Network: Building a culture of accessibility


Join the next gathering of the EDI Action Network to explore how you can build a culture of accessibility in your unit. Members of the UBC Accessibility Committee and Disability Affinity Group will share their perspectives on promising accessibility initiatives and practices at UBC and the complex intersectionality between disability and other forms of identity, including, but not limited to, gender, race and sexual orientation. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss, identify and address (in)accessible workplace practices in their own units.


Dr. Silvia D'Addario (she/her) has a Doctoral degree in Urban Geography, specializing in equity, diversity and inclusion, transnational migration and Canadian immigration, and geographies of home and work. Her professional training includes Executive Coaching and various Health & Wellness-related coaching certifications.

Dr. D'Addario most recently held the role of Director of Global Citizenship and Equity Education at Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. She has over ten years of progressive experience in leadership roles in the post-secondary sector, holding roles focused on advancing equity, diversity, global citizenship education and community inclusion. She has over fifteen years of experience leading professional learning in multi-faceted organizations across diverse sectors on topics related to inclusive leadership and equitable organizational practices, human rights in the workplace, coaching and mentoring, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and accessibility.

Dr. Rachael Sullivan (she/her) lives, learns and works as a white cisgender queer settler on the shared unceded/stolen lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), colonially known as East Vancouver. Rachael joined the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office in 2014 and currently works to develop inclusive educational workshops, helps to facilitate campus-wide engagements, including the Inclusive Washroom Project, Conflict Theatre, and most recently led the development of the Positive Space: Foundations online course. As a long standing member of the Equity & Inclusion Office, Rachael continues to work collaboratively to unsettle oppressive systems and create meaningful change that supports inclusion and belonging for all who work, live and learn at UBC.

Dr. Arig al Shaibah (she/her) has amassed nearly 15 years of experience working as a senior administrator in three Canadian research-intensive universities advancing accessibility, employment equity, and inclusive excellence goals. She served as McMaster University’s inaugural Associate Vice-President Equity & Inclusion, as Dalhousie University’s Vice-Provost Student Affairs and Interim Executive Director for the Human Rights & Equity Services, and as Queen’s University’s Assistant Dean Student Life and Learning as well as Assistant Dean Residence Life, Diversity, and Community Development.

As a member of the President’s and Provosts’ leadership teams, the AVPEI has a broad mandate to champion inclusive excellence and lead pan-institutional efforts to action UBC’s commitments to equity and antiracism priorities, as well as to promote and support university-wide capacity building for sustained systems change across both Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

Nicole Gareau-Wilson (she/her) is a Human Rights Advisor with UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office. She advises UBC Vancouver and Okanagan students, staff, and faculty who raise concerns related to discrimination on the basis of one or more of the 15 grounds protected by the BC Human Rights Code, as defined by UBC’s policy SC7: Discrimination.

Nicole is also Co-chair of UBC’s inaugural Accessibility Committee, which assists the UBC Executive in identifying, removing, and preventing barriers to individuals studying at, working for, or interacting with the university. The Accessibility Committee also advises the UBC Executive on the development and implementation of the UBC Accessibility Plan in accordance with the Accessible British Columbia Act.

Dr. Jennifer M. Gagnon (she/they) (PhD, Political Science, University of Minnesota, BA, University of British Columbia) is a Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at UBC. She has taught in a wide range of programs including Political Science, Classics, Academic Writing, International Education, Equity and Inclusion, and more. Her research is interdisciplinary and embraces topics in Disability Studies, political theory, classics, qualitative methods, healthcare, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), feminism, and gender. Her main area of research is in Disability Studies, especially as concerns gender, inclusion and exclusion, violence, and visible and invisible disabilities.

As an advocate, she is involved in efforts and workshop facilitation on Disability Justice, accessibility, a culture of consent, and LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusion both on and off campus. She is the creator and President of UBC’s Disability Affinity Group which works towards the goals of community care and Disability Justice. She is a recipient of the 2021 Killam Teaching Prize which recognizes excellence in teaching innovation. Dr. Gagnon identifies as a bisexual settler and Disabled woman, and strives to bring her whole self to her teaching and research.

Dr. Ziggy Stardust (he/they) –Wag the Dog Service Dogs

Ziggy is an in-training service dog who works side by side with Dr. Jennifer Gagnon as her supportive collaborator. Ziggy is a three years old Portuguese Water Dog, and is very excited to start his journey working at UBC. Ziggy’s favorite things are doing Agility, swimming, off-leash trails, learning new tasks and tricks for treatos, and hanging out with his Mom every single moment.  You can follow Ziggy’s adventures on Instagram @DrZiggyDog

Kathryn Douglas-Campbell (she/her) is a chronically ill/disabled woman originally from Treaty 7 territory/Calgary, Alberta who currently resides in the beautiful syilx/Okanagan Nation territory/Vernon, BC. She holds a BSc in General Biology with a focus on cell physiology, and a MSc, Neuroscience both from UBC. She joined the Faculty of Health and Social Development at the University of British Columbia in 2019, initially providing administrative support to graduate programs, and she is now the Manager, Strategic and Academic Initiatives for the Faculty.

Kathryn joined the UBC Disability Affinity Group in 2020, and was appointed into the role of Director of Communications in the Spring of 2022. She has been a member of the UBC Accessibility Committee since early 2023. She is passionate about advocating for accessibility and is keen to make positive and lasting change that benefits everyone. She is mindful of the privilege she has in this work as a white, cis woman and is determined to use that privilege to centre racialized, Indigenous, Black, and 2SLGBTQIA+ disabled folks.

Aliyah Ayorinde (any pronouns) is a UBC Okanagan alumni and former staff member, as well as a community connector and de-colonial scholar. During their time as an undergraduate student, Aliyah served on the School of Engineering EDI Student Advisory committee and held a Board Member position at the Pride Resource Centre. In 2022, Aliyah's dedication to promoting EDI at UBC and their efforts in establishing a study network for students with ADHD were recognized, earning them the title of APSC Rising Star.

As a staff member, Aliyah took the lead in developing access-based orientation programs for Jump Start at the Okanagan campus. They also played an active role in creating various EDI initiatives, such as the inaugural Black Community Wellness Lunch and the Pride Flag Unveil. Aliyah's work in the field of EDI is guided by their interconnected identities and falls under the broader scope of decolonization. They approach their work with empathy and a trauma-informed mindset, striving to advocate for disability justice for individuals who are often overlooked by the system.

Kelly McIntosh is the Director of Workplace Health Services, which includes the Centre for Workplace Accessibility, Stay at Work/Return to Work Program, Ergonomics Program, Occupational & Preventive Health, and WorkSafeBC Claims administration. She is a UBC alum and has been employed by UBC in various roles for the past 18 years. Her current focus is on supporting UBC’s vision of inclusive excellence and ensuring Workplace Health Services delivers programs and services that meet the needs of a diverse workforce.

Corin Parsons (he/him) is a doctoral candidate in geography and President of the Disabled Grad Students Association, Director of Student Relations with the Disability Affinity Group, and a Member at Large of the UBC Accessibility Committee.

What to expect

  • Hear from Dr. Arig al Shaibah on the relationship between the Strategic Equity and Anti-racism Framework and accessibility at UBC
  • Explore the intersections between accessibility and human rights with Nicole Gareau-Wilson
  • Join members from the Disability Affinity Group and Accessibility Committee, Dr. Jennifer Gagnon, Kathryne Douglas-Campbell, Kelly McIntosh and Aliyah Ayorinde in a panel discussion on promising accessibility initiatives and practices at UBC
  • Discuss and workshop how to leverage accessibility tools, resources and practices to strengthen and activate existing EDI work.
  • Connect with colleagues leading EDI initiatives across UBC through facilitated breakout rooms.

Who can join

This network is open to all who fit the participation criteria:

  • Working to advance an EDI initiative at UBC. The initiative may be within your immediate unit or connected to a broader effort such as a cross-portfolio working group or identity-based affinity group.
  • Engaged in the continuous process of deepening your learning about EDI.


We are committed to hosting an inclusive, accessible event that enables all individuals to engage fully. If you require an accessibility-related measure please indicate in the registration form or contact the program lead below.

Program lead

Silvia D’Addario
She, her, hers
Director, Strategic Partnerships and Capacity Building