About Our transformational change

Discrimination in the learning and work environment can be mitigated only through a formal change management process that leads to change that is institutionally transformational.

The change of the office name is the beginning of a formal change management process with the ultimate goal: a faculty that is free of racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. The focus of our unit - equity, access and participation - is on people not concepts that don’t work for us. 

Equity is fairness and provides resources that focus on the specific needs of communities and the individuals within them. At the same time, equity strives to identify and eliminate systemic barriers that marginalized groups have historically and currently face.

Access to resources is a fundamental principle of social justice that ensures all students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of the opportunities the Faculty has to offer.

Participation to uphold social justice requires that individuals have the opportunity and platform to participate in making the policies that affect their well-being.

This includes disrupting the invisible belief that Whiteness is the normal against all which is compared. The goals of the Office of Equity, Access and Participation are to center humanity, justice, and dismantling systems of racism, inequity and oppression in all forms with a focus on decentering “Whiteness” in our approach.

Equity, access and participation reflects our goals:

  • To redistribute power to enhance the well-being of individuals through equity, access and participation.
  • Equity concerns focus more on changing the structures and systems that create the inequities in the first place.

We know there is significant underrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples, Black and racially marginalized persons, persons with a disability in our faculty and staff. This is a signal that these systemically excluded groups continue to face barriers to equity, access and participation.

We need to actively dismantle these systems of oppression in our faculty. This will demand approaches that are bold, transformational, adaptive, and systemic.

Participation aims to center underrepresented voices and experiences, recognize the historical underpinnings of the systemic barriers in medicine, and explicitly address and dismantle these in all functional areas of Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

To view the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences' policy on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, please visit the policy page


Our commitment to reconciliation

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences acknowledges its location on Treaty 1 Territory and obligation to provide service to diverse Indigenous communities. We are committed to implementing the Calls to Action, and pledge to further the Principles of Reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

These efforts are detailed in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Reconciliation Action Plan, led by Ongomiizwin, the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing.

Equity, Access and Participation Committee

The Equity, Access and Participation Committee acts as the main discussion and advisory body of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences in relation to issues of equity, access and participation.

Terms of reference


1.1 Purpose/Mandate: The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (“Committee”) of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences (“RFHS”) is established to act as the main discussion and advisory body of the RFHS in relation to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion (i.e., its “Mandate”). Equity, diversity and inclusion are concepts explained by actions intended to ensure that the University community (including its students, staff, faculty and leadership) is reflective of society served, including with regard to women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of racialized communities, as well as other historically under-represented groups such as 2SLGBTQIA+, refugee and immigrant groups as well as others.

NOTE: “2SLGBTQIA+” is an acronym describing sexual and gender minority communities namely the two-spirit, transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning community. The “+” recognizes the diversity of identities and represents many more sexual orientations and gender identities not captured within the acronym.

1.2 Rationale for Committee Formation: The RFHS seeks to maintain and further incorporate concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion into its learning and working environments so as to better reflect society served, thereby improving upon health care education and service.

1.3 Clarification of Jurisdiction: This Committee is intended to complement other University resources and efforts aimed at addressing matters related to equity, diversity and inclusion and to foster collaboration on equity, diversity and inclusion within the RFHS. This Committee is not intended to act as a substitute, duplicate or alternate forum to address issues over which other areas of the University have specific jurisdiction and mandates. For example, issues coming within the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy are intended to be addressed by the University’s Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management.

1.4 Statements Regarding the Special Status Held by Indigenous Peoples: This Committee respects the special status held by Indigenous peoples. This Committee respects the RFHS Reconciliation Action Plan.


2.1 Accountability: The Committee is advisory to and accountable to the RFHS Dean (“Dean”) and Vice-Provost

(Health Sciences) (“Vice-Provost”).

2.2 Reporting: The Committee, through the Chair, shall provide a written report to the Dean and Vice-Provost once per calendar year.


2.3 Chair: The Committee Chair or Co-Chairs (i.e., the “Chair”) shall be appointed by the Dean and Vice-Provost.

The Chair is responsible for the following at Committee meetings:

a) Calling the meeting to order;

b) Establishing an agenda and ensuring agenda items are addressed;

c) Ensuring the minutes from prior meeting(s) are reviewed and approved by the Committee (with or without modification);

d) Facilitating discussion to reach consensus on matters under consideration in a professional manner. If consensus cannot be reached, the varying recommendations for resolution will be presented by the Chair to the Dean and Vice-Provost;

e) Adjourning meetings after business is concluded; and f) Acting as the main representative of the Committee.

3.2 Membership: The Committee membership may consist of up to twenty-seven (27) members, including the

Chair, comprised of the following:

a) Up to four (4) representatives from each of the RFHS Colleges, as confirmed by the RFHS Dean & Vice- Provost, for a total maximum of twenty (20) members, ensuring that each RFHS College appoints a minimum of one Faculty member, one administrative support staff member, and one student/learner;

b) Up to two (2) representatives from Ongomiizwin (Clearing a path for generations to come), Institute of

Health and Healing. Such member(s) will be appointed by the RFHS Vice-Dean, Indigenous Health;

c) One (1) representative from the RFHS WISDOM (Women In Science, Development, Outreach and Mentorship) Committee, as determined by the RFHS WISDOM Committee; and

d) Up to five (5) representatives from the University service community, as appointed by the Dean and Vice- Provost. Such members may include representatives from the offices of Indigenous Achievement, Human Resources (e.g., Diversity and Inclusion), Human Rights and Conflict Management, Legal Counsel, and Health Sciences Libraries.

3.3 Diversity of Membership: The RFHS strives to achieve diverse membership on its committees that is reflective of its commitment to diversity and inclusion and this should be considered in the appointment of Committee members.

3.4 Liaisons: Committee members shall serve as liaison persons with others in the areas from which they are appointed.

3.5 Consultation: In carrying out its role, the Committee may call upon various resources as it deems required, including, consultation with University legal counsel and the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner.


3.1 The term of office of each Committee member shall be until the first of the following occurs:

a) the individual no longer holds the position noted in 3.2;

b) the term of the appointment ends;

c) the appointment is rescinded by the appointer; or d) the individual resigns from the Committee.


4.1 As part of its Mandate, the Committee will determine issues of priority and make recommendations to the Dean and Vice-Provost. The Committee may refer work requiring review, collaboration and analysis to Committee Working Groups (as detailed below).


5.1 Number of Meetings: The Committee shall meet three (3) times per academic year, or subject to the call of the Chair.

5.2 Notice of Meetings: Notice of a Committee meeting and the item(s) for discussion must be provided to Committee members, at five (5) business days in advance of the meeting, unless waived by the Committee members at the meeting.

5.3 Agenda: Agenda items should be sent to the Committee Chair at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

The agenda should be prepared and distributed to the members of the Committee prior to the meeting.

5.4 Quorum: As the Committee is mainly a discussion and advisory group, a quorum is not required to hold a meeting.

5.5 Decision-Making: The preferred model for decision-making is consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, the varying recommendations for resolution will be presented by the Chair to the Dean and Vice-Provost for decision.

5.6 Committee Meeting Guests: All Committee meetings will be limited to members only unless the Chair otherwise grants approval for certain individuals to attend all or a portion of the meeting.

5.7 Telephone Meetings and Email Discussion: The Chair may consult with Committee members by email or arrange telephone meetings, instead of in-person meetings, as the circumstances may require.

5.8 Confidentiality: All Committee members, resource persons, consultants, guests, and administrative support persons who may be in attendance at a Committee meeting or privy to Committee information, are required to protect and keep confidential any protected information (e.g., classified or privileged information) received through participation on the Committee, unless such information is otherwise approved for public information.

5.9 Minutes & Confidentiality: Minutes are to be taken of business occurring during Committee meetings.

However, the Committee may move “in camera” to deal with certain items if the subject matter being considered relates to personal and confidential matters that are exempt from disclosure under applicable access and privacy laws and University policies. Once approved by the Committee, meeting minutes shall be publicly available, in accordance with applicable access and privacy laws and University policies.


6.1 The Committee Chair shall receive administrative support from the RFHS. The administrative support shall be provided through an individual whose duties shall include:

a) Assisting the Chair with preparation of Committee meeting agendas and distributing notification of meetings;

b) Ensuring follow-up of Committee action items;

c) Information gathering;

d) Preparation and distribution of meeting material;

e) Minute-taking; and

f) Maintaining Committee records.


7.1 Referral to Working Groups: The Committee may refer equity, diversity and inclusion issues of priority, requiring review, collaboration and analysis, to one or more Working Groups, which may be College specific, as the circumstances require (e.g., review of College policies to meet accreditation requirements for equity, diversity and inclusion).

7.2 Working Group Leads: Each Working Group shall have one or more leads (“Leads”), as appointed by the Committee Chair, in consultation with the Committee. The Lead need not necessarily be a Committee member.

7.3 Lead Consultation with Committee Chair: Leads shall consult with the Committee Chair in clarifying the parameters and timelines associated with assigned work. The Committee Chair will consult with the Committee as may be required in order to clarify parameters and timelines with the Leads.

7.4 Working Group Reporting: The Leads shall provide the Committee Chair with periodic updates of the Working Group work and progress and shall provide a final report to the Committee Chair at the completion of the Working Group’s work. The Committee Chair will consult with the Committee and report to the Dean and Vice-Provost on Working Group work.

7.5 Working Group Membership: The Lead of each Working Group shall recruit the membership they deem necessary to carry out the assigned work. The Lead shall bear in mind the RFHS commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion when recruiting Working Group members.

7.6 Working Group Terms of Reference: In addition to the above provisions on Working Groups:

a) The terms of office for each Working Group member shall be for the duration of the assigned work unless the member resigns or the term is earlier rescinded by the appointing Lead.

b) The Lead shall assume the same responsibilities as the Chair for the Working Group (i.e., in terms of leading meetings, facilitating discussion, ensuring assigned work is completed as required);

c) The above provisions dealing with Committee Meetings shall apply to Working Group meetings, except that the number of meetings shall be as determined by the Lead.


8.1 Amendments to these Terms of Reference may be proposed by the Committee to the RFHS Deans’ Council for approval.


9.1 Date approved: April 28, 2020

9.2 Review: Formal review of these terms will be conducted every ten (10) years. In the interim these terms may be revised or rescinded if the Dean and Vice-Provost deems necessary

9.3 Supersedes: RFHS Dean’s Council – Tuesday, May 1, 2018; RFHS Deans’ Council - Tuesday, February 6, 2018

9.4 Committee Administrative Support: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Co-Ordinator

9.5 Effect on Previous Statements: These terms shall supersede all previous Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and its Colleges terms on the subject matter herein.

Commitment letter

The commitment letter is available in an alternate format upon request to RadyEquity@umanitoba.ca.

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) Community of Practice

UM faculty, staff and students are invited to join a community of practice around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) on campus.

A social justice approach is required to achieve justice and fairness, so that everyone can fully participate in our community. To this end, UM faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in our community of practice around equity, diversity and inclusion.

This consists of monthly, 90 minute discussions where we will:

  • Explore EDI best practices
  • Hear from guest speakers for specific topics of interest
  • Engage in group discussion around difficult issues
  • Provide training and experience to help you increase your skills and confidence in advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Empower you to be an information source for your departments and communities about upcoming equity, diversity and inclusion events and campus and community resources,
  • Provide an opportunity to have a voice in future development of equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus

Join us

For more information or to join the Community of Practice, email RadyEquity@umanitoba.ca.

Event planning


Accessibility does not only help one specific group of people; it creates a more seamless and engaging interaction for everyone. With this in mind, the following considerations outlined here will improve presentation quality for any event. 

Event committee

An events committee may be formed to ensure that the objective of the event is achieved and its planning and implementation goes smoothly.

The terms of reference of the committee must be clearly defined at the outset as this will serve to guide the chairperson and members.

The event committee should also be as diverse as possible to ensure the inclusion of fresh, new ideas while ensuring that the objectives of the committee are met.

In other words, the purpose of the committee must be clearly spelled out and the choice of chairperson must be as a result of their demonstrated leadership skills and expertise who will allow members to speak freely.

A detailed agenda and inclusive debate are important to ensure important issues are tabled and discussed and as such is critical to the successful result of the event committee.

Some event committees may be entrusted with more detailed objectives than others. Some organisations, agencies or departments may have specialists to deal with events in which case there will be less details for event committees to handle.

Either way, it is important to ensure that the following areas are adequately discussed, action plans developed, and roles assigned to the specific persons responsible for all the tasks identified and listed.


Choosing a speaker

Speakers should be experienced in the field of diversity and inclusion. They should be comfortable with the topic and be passionate about what diversity represents.

The type of event will determine the number and calibre of speakers. There should be at least one key speaker and a coordinator to deal with summarizing comments and question/answers.

Your purpose for the event may be to raise awareness or initiate a change. Are they suited for the role? Are they known to be a great speaker? Will they be available?

It takes time and effort to secure diverse speakers outside of the event owners’ network and this task should commence early.

Advantages of diversity

The advantages to having diverse speakers/collaborators are two-fold.

  • Avoids  getting speakers with the same speaking points
  • Participants will be challenged to think differently about the issue/ topic at hand.

Speaking fees

There will most likely be a financial cost and this must be included in the budget for the event.

Prepare the speaker

Proposed speakers must be told of all expectations prior to their engagement.

Provide presenters with a checklist requesting that they:

  • speakers should avoid acronyms, jargon, complex graphs and charts
  • speakers should be prepared to send all documents to participants a few days prior to the event (Especially important  if you are using accessibility services, such as captioning or sign language interpretation, to help them prepare for the event.)
  • verbally describe visual materials (e.g., slides, charts, etc.)
  • all images should have an alternative text
  • ensure all videos have captions
  • ensure that all documents are accessible or have an accessible alternate format
  • prepare to have printed copies available in larger font on site
  • choose font size on presentations that can be seen from a distance

Use of Pronouns

Ensure that guests, speakers, and attendees are addressed using their pronouns. Please refer to the RFHS Gender Pronouns Guide for more information MyPronouns-RFHSResourceGuide.pdf (umanitoba.ca)

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences (RFHS) Land Acknowledgment

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is located on Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Metis Nation, acknowledges its obligation to provide service to diverse Indigenous communities and is committed to implementing the Calls to Action, and it pledges to work with Ongomiizwin to further the Principles of Reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. These are further detailed in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Reconciliation Action Plan, led by Ongomiizwin, the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing.

Participant input

Too often in event planning, accessibility is an afterthought, and barriers are inadvertently created. These can be physical, informational, technological, communication-based, systemic, attitudinal, and behavioural. They are often unintentional or invisible.

As a critical first step, simply ask participants in advance about their needs, ensuring that you provide sufficient information well in advance so that participants can plan their participation.

Active offer

Create an “active offer,” asking attendees to contact the department if they require any support to attend the meeting, including any unusual or dietary requirements. The active offer can be added to a calendar invite or other invitation to the event. The active offer may also be accompanied by an accessibility checklist.

Accessibility checklist

The active offer may also be accompanied by an accessibility checklist. For example:

  • Advance copy of slides to be projected
  • Assistive listening device
  • Captioning
  • Diet restrictions
  • Gender neutral bathroom
  • Lactation room
  • Large print
  • Reserved front row seat
  • Scent-free room
  • Wheelchair access
  • Wheelchair access to working tables throughout room
  • Other: __________________

Make sure to follow up on requests received. If it appears you will be unable to meet a specific request, follow up with the individual who made the request to determine whether an alternative arrangement can be made.

Advertise the event specifying the available accessibility provisions with contact details for those with additional concerns.  Keep in mind people have had enough experience with inaccessible venues claiming to be accessible that they may have doubts.  Consider offering this checklist as proof of what we have committed to. 

Event management

If your event is taking place in person, help ensure a smooth event by having someone onsite who helps to ensure follow-through on all the points listed below.

  • Prior to your event, test all accessible technology equipment and services.
  • At the event, presenters or audience members may express confidence that they are loud enough and do not need a microphone. Regardless, ask them to speak into one.
  • Activate captions on any video used in the presentation
  • Encourage hourly breaks
  • Some people are unable to take notes at a fast enough pace and pay attention to the discussion at the same time. Consider having somebody to take notes or even transcribe the event and make these notes accessible after the event.
  • During Q&A, make sure to repeat questions posted by audience before responding, especially if there is not a roving microphone available.
  • Organize breakout group activities to maximize distance between groups (e.g. each group going to a corner of the room or side rooms).
  • Presenters should also repeat questions back for the audience to make a question accessible by converting technical jargon or overly complex phrasing into plain language, or to compensate for heavily accented speech.
  • Work with participants and service providers to alleviate any potential barriers or hiccups that may occur.

In-person events

An in-person event is one where all attendees are in a physical location at the time of the event. The main advantage is human interaction. In some fields, networking with peers and interacting with experts is appreciated. Many also consider in-person events a welcome option due to the lack of distractions.

Accessibility should be carefully considered in the site selection process. Considerations should include:


  • Barrier-free pathways, including doorways and aisles
  • Bathrooms that are accessible and gender inclusive
  • Catering facilities
  • Clear signage indicating locations and directions
  • Dignified entrances
  • Ensure that requested hearing and visual aids are available
  • Ensure the venue is a safe place for people with chemical and light allergies and/or sensitivities
  • Projection screens visible from all seating
  • Ramp and/or elevator access
  • Space for nursing (facility information for the UM Bannatyne campus)
  • Well-lit meeting space and adjacent areas
  • Wheelchair accessible activity tables with room for snacks, medications, and session materials


  • Availability of assistive listening devices
  • Limit unnecessary background music
  • Public address (PA) system
  • Roving microphone
  • Seating available near presenter for lip reading
  • Well-lit space for an interpreter


  • Accessible parking near venue
  • Adequate transport between venues
  • Have a list of accessible transportation options namely bus, taxis, subways, Local non-emergency ambulance companies (businesses that offer wheelchair accessible transportation)
  • Overnight lodging for conferences (ensure when you are holding rooms that there are accessible options)
  • Proximity to bus stop


  • Accessible seating should be part of the room set up
  • Chairs with high backs for people with balance issues
  • Do not separate accessible seating from the group
  • Everyone can see the front of the room necessitating a spacious room

Meals and refreshments

  • Clearly indicate allergens and gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or other options


  • Electrical outlets in accessible seating areas to accommodate devices, laptops, etc.
  • Extra space or work surface
  • No loose cables across walking areas

Service animals

  • Comfortable space for service animals to rest during event
  • Accessible toileting and watering facilities nearby


  • Ensure accessible safety plans are in place

Online and hybrid events

COVID-19 has made virtual events and webinar workshops more popular.

The formats have attracted many users because they are more flexible, interactive, can deliver planned content easily and are cost effective as money is saved on travel, transportation, food and hotel costs.

It is also cost effective from the organizer’s perspective for example the avoidance of the venue cost for a special event.


If you plan to host your event online, research the features of the platform you are intending to use to ensure that it meets accessibility guidelines and aligns with participants' needs and their available resources.

Having secured the right hosting platform, a virtual event can be extended for longer durations unlike an in-person event which has a specific time timeframe.

Zoom provides accessibility options, please visit their website for assistance in making this option more accessible.

Hybrid events

Hybrid events combine virtual events and in person events. Hybrid events have some persons attending in person and others attending online.

There could be some benefit to hybrid events, however event planners will have to evaluate the options to ascertain the best fit for their needs and complete a comparative cost impact of the alternatives.


To make your event accessible by design, it is important to consult people with special needs to ask questions, observe and learn more about how to overcome their specific barriers, the resultant effect will be to build your awareness and capacity to plan inclusive and accessible virtual events which can be viewed remotely by participants all over the world.

This collaboration will ensure the platform is easy to use, complies with the EDI Policy and is universally available.


Statistics and data obtained for an event can be used and built upon for subsequent events. From discussions, it has been noted that data capture is easier and  questionnaires/feedback more likely to be completed during a virtual event especially if they are strategically placed.


When planning your event, consider committee costs, venue costs, rentals of specialized equipment and staff. Services such as real-time captioning and sign language interpretation can incur people, power and technological costs. Ensure that your budget allows for these services.


For additional information, see the links below:

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Days of significance

To enhance our knowledge and create a shared understanding of our community the following calendar contains cultural, religious, national, and international Days of Significance. This is a living calendar; some dates will change from year to year according to various religious and/or cultural calendars.

Contact us

Equity, access and participation
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
469 Chown Building, 753 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne Campus)
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0W3