The University of Manitoba is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible community for all faculty, students and staff, and a welcoming environment for visitors to our campuses. Over the years, we have developed some accessible programming to ensure that everyone can enjoy our campuses and what the university has to offer.
The University has a history of improving accessibility and awareness through Student Accessibility Services, the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management, and initiatives such as Access Awareness Day. Recently, the U of M has made significant strides in accessibility, including revision of the Accessibility Policy in January 2015 and the Bona Fide Academic Requirements initiative, which is currently underway.
We fully support the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA), which became law in December 2013.
Under this legislation, the Government of Manitoba is developing a set of mandatory standards to address barriers to accessibility, with respect to five areas: Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communication, Transportation, and Built Environment.
Implementing the AMA at the U of M will help remove barriers to education and lead to a more encouraging and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, and all members of the community. We want to promote inclusion and diversity and achieve higher levels of accessibility.
On November 1, 2015 the Customer Service standard came into effect. The University is currently working on a plan with identified stakeholders to address this standard, which includes broad-based education and training to the community. The University will have until November 1, 2017 to become compliant with the standard.
While the AMA requires the Accessibility Plan be updated every two years, the University of Manitoba is committed to updating the Accessibility Plan on an annual basis to consistently address, identify, prevent, and remove all barriers to accessibility.
Part of the process has been seeking continual feedback and input from the University community. The University will consider all suggestions and is continuously identifying ways to improve our organization, building upon our goals as identified in the U of M’s strategic plan of providing accessibility and reasonable accommodation.