Accessibility Commissioner

2019-2020 Accessibility Commissioner: Ashton Forrest (accessibility@sogs.ca)

 

Ashton Forrest is a Master’s candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Western University. Her areas of scholarly focus are moral, legal, and political philosophy. As a person with a disability living with scleroderma she has spent over a decade advocating for and raising awareness about accessibility and disability issues on the local, provincial, and national stage. She has served on the City of London’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, Cheshire London’s Cultural Competency Committee, and has volunteered with many organizations and campus entities that support people with disabilities and chronic illness. As a current member of the Post Secondary Education Standards Committee for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) she is working with other accessibility experts and advocates to create an Accessible Education Standard for the AODA. Ashton’s main goal as a commissioner is to ensure that the voices of students with disabilities are reflected in policy, programming, and the built environment on campus. “Nothing for us with out us!”

Ashton Forrest’s Platform:

  1. Ensure that SOGS policies and events are accessible by ensuring that language used is respectful of people with disabilities, that as many barriers to access are removed, and that SOGS members are encouraged to ask for accommodations when needed
  2. Create and make available resources that equip graduate TAs with the best practices and tools to ensure that their teaching environments are inclusive and accessible to all students
  3. Improve accessible transportation options for SOGS members so that members can participate in both the Western and London community
  4. Ensure that the needs of SOGS members with disabilities and those facing accessibility challenges are reflected in the development of policy and the built environment on campus. The following areas are where SOGS members with disabilities and accessibility challenges are needed:
      • Library Renovations
      • Upgrades in campus eating areas
      • Accessible Education/Services for Students with Disabilities Review
  5. Ensure that Western SOGS voice is represented in the creation of the Education Standard for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  6. Commit to use of a variety of accessible forums and feedback loops to ensure the community has opportunities to voice their concerns and learn of developments on projects under the Accessibility Commissioner portfolio
  7. Follow up on the graduate course outlines project to ensure they mention accessibility services and accommodations
Past Accessibility Commissioners/Initiatives