The BCIT Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office has been awarded $50,000 by Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) to address systemic barriers. This $50,000, investment combined with BCIT’s commitment of $12,500, will be used to assist BCIT with responding to the Accessible British Columbia Act (ABCA) and will provide for the ability to hire an EDI consultant to lead the development of an accessibility plan. The plan will identify barriers to accessibility and inclusion, including: attitudinal, information, communication, technological, physical, and architectural. Employing a multi-pronged participatory action research approach, the consultant will co-create via consultation with the community to assess current knowledge of accessibility, obtain feedback on barriers to accessibility and inclusion in learning and work environments, and identify gaps and needs to support barrier-free campuses.
“BCIT is known for the quality of its applied researchers, and this project is critical to ensuring that we are able to continue to attract and retain a diverse cadre of world-class researchers, and reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian post-secondary institutions,” says Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research and Centre for Applied Research and Innovation, BCIT.
“Upon completion of the project, BCIT will be able to move forward with identifying and planning to remove existing barriers and integrate recommendations into strategic planning activities to ensure alignment to our organizational values of championing diversity and inclusion, engaging with respect, and pursuing collaboration for future growth,” adds Jackie Gruber, Director, Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion.
The Government of Canada and the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) are committed to excellence in research and research training for the benefit of Canadians. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is also essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and to respond to global challenges. These funds are being provided to help institutions address the systemic barriers in their policies, processes and structures, such as unconscious bias and discrimination, that have led to the historic and persistent underrepresentation of women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and racialized minorities in the allocation of chairholders of the CRCP.
For more information contact:
Antoinette Jackson, Project Leader, Applied Research Liaison Office (ARLO)
About BCIT Applied Research
Innovative solutions to real-life problems
Applied research at BCIT is exciting. It creates practical learning opportunities for BCIT’s students, provides innovative solutions to industry challenges, and produces new, commercially relevant technology products and applications.
Envisioning change, advancing technology
BCIT researchers and research groups have been working with industry clients for over 30 years, helping companies and organizations develop new technologies, products and services. The practical solutions range from process improvements for small SMEs to changing provincial building codes for the construction industry to a collaborative research network involving students, researchers, companies and government organizations from across Canada.