Accessibility Committee

Accessibility Committee Members

Hannah Tench, Student
Lucas Middleton, Student
Dayana Terlesky, Student
Jelena Vidovic, Student
Alana LaMalice, Student
Annelise Dowd, Faculty
Dr. Kealin McCabe, Faculty
Clarence Hofsink, Faculty
Dr. Rheanna Robinson, Faculty
Shannon MacKay, Staff
Kristi Boon, Staff
Jean Bowen, Staff
Mindy Gobbi (Co-chair), Staff
AVP, PEI (Co-chair), Staff

Cynthia Williams, Staff - recorder 

UNBC Accessibility Committee Terms of Reference

The mandate of the Committee is to: 

  • assist the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Executive in identifying barriers to individuals studying at, working for, or interacting with the university;
  • advise the UNBC Executive on how to remove and prevent barriers to individuals studying at, working for, or interacting with the university; 
  • advise the UNBC Executive on the development and implementation of the UNBC Accessibility Plan in accordance with section 11 of the Accessible British Columbia Act;
  • advise the UNBC Executive on the processes it establishes for receiving comments from the public in accordance with section 12 of the Accessible British Columbia Act; 
  • provide input to the UNBC Executive on accessibility priorities; and 
  • provide constructive feedback to the UNBC Executive on the impact and effectiveness of university accessibility initiatives.

The Committee will have 16 members who are, to the extent possible, selected in accordance with the following goals: 

  1. The members are from the UNBC community (student, faculty, and staff) representing UNBC’s campuses;
  2. At least half of the members are persons with disabilities or individuals who support, or are from UNBC organizations that support, persons with disabilities;
  3. The members described in (2) reflect the diversity of persons with disabilities in British Columbia;
  4. At least one of the members is an Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) person;
  5. The committee reflects the diversity of persons residing in British Columbia. 

The Committee will be co-chaired by two Committee members. One of the co-chairs will be appointed from the Office of Equity Affairs. The other co-chair will be the Associate Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

It is important to have specific members of the Committee from faculty and/or staff in units that are responsible for understanding and enhancing disability inclusion and justice issues and/or supporting persons with disabilities. Some community members may be appointed to ensure areas of the university are represented. 

All appointed members who are in positions serving persons with disabilities will hold a two-year term and may be renewed for additional two-year terms. All appointed members who do not hold a position serving persons with disabilities will hold a one-year term and may be renewed for up to two additional one-year terms. 

Members are selected by the Office of Equity and Inclusion from among nominees received through an open call to the university community. 

An open call will be circulated to the UNBC community inviting students, faculty, and staff to submit an online expression of interest that includes an opportunity to share relevant academic, professional, community, and/or lived experiences. The Executive will select nominees with an aim to meet the five required compositional diversity goals outlined above, while also selecting at least two students, two CUPE 3799 staff, and two faculty members. 

To create an inclusive committee and have expansive engagement we have two groups of membership, Committee Member and Community Member. Each group is defined as the following:

  • Committee Member: This member has been appointed to the committee, meets the composition criteria for the committee, and participates in the decision-making of the committee actions.
  • Community Member: This member is welcome to attend committee meetings and provide feedback during and after meetings.

All appointees, nominees, and candidates expressing interest in membership will be invited to complete a voluntary self-identification questionnaire. Anonymized results (no names attached) of this questionnaire will be made available to the AVP, EDI and the UNBC Executive for the purpose of ensuring the diversity of the Committee as required under Section 9(2) of the Accessible British Columbia Act.

In recognition of the time and energy committed by Committee Members not employed by UNBC, the UNBC Executive will issue letters of thanks, communicate with supervisors, and provide a small financial stipend as appropriate for Committee Members not employed by the University. 

  • Students 
  • Staff/Faculty
  • External to UNBC

From time to time, the Committee may assemble working groups or special subcommittees to receive feedback from communities, conduct research into a specific topic, undertake a particular piece of work, or provide specific guidance or expertise in decision-making. 

The Committee will develop appropriate terms of reference and other documentation to frame the composition, scope of work, timelines, and roles and responsibilities of these working groups and subcommittees.

Committee meetings shall occur 3 – 4 times annually, with a duration of approximately 1-2 hours. Meetings will be held in a hybrid format (inperson and virtual). The co-chairs will develop the agenda for the meeting in consultation with Committee members. Requests from members to place an item on the agenda may be submitted to the co-chairs, ideally at least 1 week ahead of the meeting. 

Meeting minutes will be prepared by the co-chairs with support from the administrative resource, circulated to the Committee members via email, and approved at a subsequent meeting. 

Quorum has been defined as 50% of appointed Committee Members for a meeting to occur. 

Consensus and/or decision-making will require 100% of those Committee Members in attendance at a meeting.

Guests and UNBC members may be invited to the Committee meetings and/or working groups, with the permission of the co-chairs.

The Committee, through the co-chairs, reports to the UNBC Executive and to the community.

The Committee is convened by the UNBC Executive, and these Terms of Reference are issued by the UNBC Executive. These Terms of Reference will be reviewed at the conclusion of the inaugural year of operation and at least once every 3 years. The function of the Committee should be adapted to reflect evolving needs and circumstances.

These terms of reference are as of September 2023.