Skip to main content

Accessibility Plan

The Nova Scotia Accessibility Act sets a goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030, and requires post-secondary institutions to develop an accessibility plan.

Guiding principles

  • Dalhousie will use an integrated framework to enable collaborative work across the university to develop, monitor, and continually improve its accessibility plan.

  • The framework will support work to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for persons with disabilities and to monitor progress to address legislated requirements.

  • Dalhousie will continually strive for a barrier-free institution that demonstrates innovation in approaches to accessibility.  

  • Dalhousie will strive to exceed the core requirements set out by provincial legislation. 

Governance structure

  • Dalhousie University Accessibility Advisory Committee (DUAAC) members serve as champions and provide high-level direction, recommendations, and resources for the development of the plan.

  • Dalhousie University Accessibility Steering Committee (DUASC) provides subject matter expertise, functional ownership, and accountability for results.

  • Project Team and Working Groups provide day-to-day leadership for planning and implementation, monitor progress, resolve issues and escalate when required, assess change management needs and develop strategies, implement communication plans, and lead the individual working groups. They also advise the Accessibility Advisory and Steering Committees on progress where decisions are required. 

  • Resource Leads are individuals with subject matter expertise who are brought in (as required) to assist in the development, monitoring, and continuous improvement of the university's accessibility plan. 

Developing the plan

Efforts to develop a Dalhousie Accessibility Plan began in August 2019, building off an accessibility audit, and was followed by the development of the Dalhousie University Accessibility Advisory Committee (DUAAC). Our decision-making teams were mostly comprised of members of the Dalhousie community who live with disability and leaders responsible for accessibility work.

Developing an Accessibility Plan for Dalhousie has been a collaborative effort, stewarded through project leads, the Accessibility Advisory Committee, and six working groups. The collaborators consulted and worked to ensure our plan addresses the six areas of focus through individual sub-plans that were submitted in July 2021. These sub-plans have been reviewed, analyzed, and integrated into a single cohesive roadmap of priorities/initiatives, expected outcomes, and anticipated timelines. This will be accompanied by an implementation plan with accountabilities identified across the university community.  

Critical to developing a comprehensive and inclusive Accessibility Plan was connecting with and listening to members of our community through a variety of initiatives.

  • A series of cross-university consultations between October and December 2020, including focus groups and meetings with individuals and groups.  

  • Working group cross-collaboration intended to ensure the integration of consultations and sub-plan content to avoid duplication and gaps.

  • Intentionality around working group membership – each group includes members who have lived experiences with disabilities, as well as those who are responsible for providing service, education, or research regarding accessibility at the university. 

  • Consultation with people with disabilities, and campus groups and committees representing people with disabilities.

  • A comprehensive Employment Systems Review was conducted in 2021. 

  • Consistent and regular communication across the Dalhousie community was critically important throughout the Plan development process and included:

  • Dedicated web content on Dalhousie’s public site (, connecting to current resources and services for students, faculty, and staff.

  • Regular communications updates to students, faculty, and staff.

  • Feature stories and updates are shared through Dal News (link to Dal News) and Today@Dal. (internal/external audiences)

  • Intentional connection with other projects taking place at Dalhousie that have significant overlap, for example, the employment systems review and development of Dalhousie’s Employment Equity Plan (link to equity plan), 2022-2025. 

  • A February/March 2021 accessibility survey was completed by 2,209 respondents (942 students, 346 faculty members, and 921 staff)

  • The survey featured customized versions for students, staff and faculty, providing valuable data that was used both to improve and address current issues/gaps in accessibility services and inform Dalhousie’s Accessibility Plan for 2022.

  • A survey summary (dashboard) was developed and shared through multiple team and leadership meetings. 

Evaluation: Measuring and reporting on progress

Listening to and acting on feedback across the university community and beyond is a critically important element of Dalhousie’s Accessibility Plan. Recognizing the iterative nature of Dalhousie’s Accessibility Plan, we will continue to review and revise the plan on an annual basis, expanding engagement and consultation strategies across campus and with the broader community, and especially with persons with disabilities. 

Additional evaluation and reporting efforts will include, but are not limited to:

  • working with the Provincial Advisory Committee to develop a reporting framework to track progress across Dalhousie and other provincial post-secondary institutions;

  • an annual review of the plan, incorporating updates;

  • compliance reporting, as required; and

  • opportunities to collect feedback and mechanisms to address.

Accessibility questions, services, and supports

Looking for accessibility services and supports at Dal?

If you have questions regarding the Accessibility Plan or any of the resources that have been identified, please contact

Dalhousie employees with questions should reach out to the Accessible Employment team in Human Resources:

Students can reach out to Dalhousie’s centres of expertise on student access, inclusion, and accommodation support below: