UBC announces membership of inaugural Accessibility Committee

On February 22, 2023, students, faculty and staff were invited to apply to serve on UBC’s inaugural Accessibility Committee. The Committee will provide on-going guidance and advice to the university on the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to accessibility to help fulfill UBC’s legislative obligations and commitments to disability equity priorities. 

The response to the call was very strong resulting in 117 applications for nine seats. The applicant pool included a broad diversity of persons living with disabilities across an intersection of identities and representing lived experiences from a full range of historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized communities. 15 per cent of applicants were faculty members, 26 per cent were staff members, 17 per cent were graduate students, and 42 per cent were undergraduate students.  

We are now pleased to announce the membership of the committee and thank all who applied for their interest in this initiative. The Committee will be considering ways to further engage disabled students, faculty and staff in their work. At this time, UBC community members can share feedback on accessibility planning and disability equity issues at UBC with the Committee using the following email address: accessibility.committee@ubc.ca.  

The following UBC community members have been selected to sit on the Committee.

At-large members 

  • Halimat Alabi, faculty member, UBC Vancouver (UBCV)
  • Aliyah Ayorinde, staff member, UBCV
  • Mihai Covaser, undergraduate student, UBC Okanagan (UBCO)
  • Kathryn Douglas-Campbell, staff member, UBCO 
  • Jennifer Gagnon, faculty member, UBCV 
  • Rachelle Hole, faculty member, UBCO
  • Eva Pang, staff member, UBCV
  • Corin Parsons, graduate student, UBCV
  • Stefan Sunandan Honisch, faculty member, UBCV

Ex-officio members 

  • Nicole Gareau-Wilson, Equity & Inclusion Office, System-wide
  • Sarah Knitter, Centre for Accessibility, UBCV
  • Kelly McIntosh, Centre for Workplace Accessibility, System-wide  
  • Nick Potovsky, Facilities, Infrastructure Development, System-wide 
  • Earllene Roberts, Disability Resource Centre, UBCO
  • Rachel Fortin, Student Advocate, Student’s Union Okanagan, UBCO
  • Jeff Miller, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology, UBCV
  • Samantha Graham, Graduate Student Society, UBCV
  • Kamil Kanji, Alma Mater Society, UBCV
  • Rachel Andreychuk, Interim Associate Director, Indigenous Programs & Services, UBCO

Selection process

The nine at-large members were selected according to the terms of reference and the following criteria: 

  • self-identity as a disabled person (a requirement for at-large membership);
  • experience/involvement (via study, scholarship, professional practice, or community engagement) in advancing disability equity;
  • a stated consciousness and reference to a critical disability justice/equity lens;
  • UBCO representation;
  • contribution to intersectional demographic diversity;
  • representation of a range of disability lived/living experience, and;
  • range of disciplines/departments.

Next steps

The Equity & Inclusion Office will support the convening of the first Committee meeting, and co-chairs will be selected shortly thereafter.  

In addition to establishing an accessibility committee and feedback mechanism, public sector organizations in British Columbia are required by the Accessible British Columbia Act to develop an accessibility plan. Work to develop and implement an accessibility plan will connect into UBC’s Strategic Equity and Anti-racism (StEAR) Framework and Roadmap for Change.  

More information about the work of the Committee will be shared in the coming months and will be available on the Accessibility Committee web page.

Executive Sponsors, 

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources 

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students 

Frank Laezza
Vice-President, Finance & Operations