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(L1 -VSS) Mapping out Canadian disability, education, and accessibility policies: Are we ready for UDL?

Presenters: Djenana Jalovcic and Dr. Susan Moisey, Athabasca University

Abstract: The Canadian disability educational, and accessibility policy landscape represents a patchwork of provincial and territorial legislation, regulations and policies. There is no integrated disability policy at the national level. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the overarching rights document in which provincial Human Rights Acts and disability policies are rooted. Similarly, educational policies are provincial and territorial jurisdiction. Accessibility policy and legislation are emerging within provinces and territories.

The proposed presentation uses the disability lens and the scoping review method to map out the Canadian disability, education and accessibility policies. It provides a description of the current policy environment and its potential impact on students with disabilities at institutions of postsecondary education. The presentation of the policy analysis will be a starting point for a discussion about whether Canada is ready for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an approach to achieving full participation of Canadians with disabilities in post-secondary education.  

Audience: Faculty and Tutors, Course and Instructional Designers, Student Services Staff, Policy Administrators, Procurement Staff

Learning Objectives:

  • To improve understanding of the current Canadian disability, education, and accessibility policies and the relationship among them.
  • To introduce the disability policy lens as a tool for analysis of the current policy environment
  • To discuss whether the current policy environment is conducive to implementation of UDL as an approach for ensuring the full participation of students with disabilities in Canadian post-secondary education.


Djenana Jalovcic is a doctoral student in the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University. She is an educator with over 20 years of experience in the disability sector internationally.  Her research interest is online learning for students with disabilities. She teaches disability and community development courses online at Algoma University.

Dr. Susan Moisey is an Associate Professor and the Master of Education Program Director in the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University. In addition to teaching, she advises students, supervises thesis, and conducts research in the areas of instructional design, community building, distance education for students with disabilities, and inclusive education.

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Updated January 13, 2016 by Student & Academic Services