Accessibility as a Collaborative Practice

Project Description

The overarching goal of the project is to assess and improve accessibility within the university sector in Eastern Canada by generating evidence about current accessibility policy and practice in Maple League Universities. The project involves a review of knowledge, policy and practice, with a focus on accessibility as collaborative practice. As part of this project, we will also conduct interviews and accessibility surveys with various stakeholders on each campus; one survey will be designed to include accessibility experts and/or champions, while another survey will be designed specifically for students. Information from the surveys will identify accessibility practices currently in use on each campus, as well as practices that are being considered. This data will also identify common accessibility needs that are not currently being met, as well as the tools or types of support needed to fill those gaps. The project will also capture perceptions of the potential impact of COVID-19 responses on accessibility. This information will be crucial in supporting knowledge and implementation of accessibility legislation in a new, dynamic and evolving context.

ML Access project logo

Interested in Taking Part?

We are conducting surveys to understand the current state of accessibility on Maple League Universities campuses from the perspective of STUDENTS.

We are conducting surveys to understand the current state of accessibility on Maple League Universities campuses from the perspective of FACULTY & STAFF.

 Visit us on Instagram @collab4access

Team Members

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Katie Aubrecht (St.F.X., Sociology), Dr. Erin Austen (St.F.X., Psychology)
Co-Investigators: Dr. Cynthia Bruce (Acadia, Education), Dr. Mary Ellen Donnan (Bishop’s, Sociology), Dr. Jane Dryden (Mount Alison University, Philosophy)

Maple League Students: Tara Martin, Anola Campbell, Bailey Macdonald-Frizzle, Taylor Merrithew, Julia Anne Connolly, Katherine Waterbury, Seena Katayama.


Dr. Erin Austen

Dr. Cynthia Bruce

Dr. Jane Dryden

Dr. Mary Ellen Donnan

Dr. Christine Kelly

Christine Kelly, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences and a research affiliate with the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba. Informed by feminist and critical disability scholarship, Dr. Kelly uses qualitative methods to explore the politics of care, aging, and Canadian disability movements. She is co-editor of the collection The Aging —Disability Nexus (2020), co-editor of Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada (2016), and author of Disability Politics and Care: The Challenge of Direct Funding (2016)all published by UBC Press. Dr. Kelly is recognized for her expertise on directly-funded home care in Canada and is presently leading a second CIHR-funded study on this topic.

Dian Day

Dian Day has a background in social justice research, health promotion and community development, most recently in the area of healthy and equitable aging. She holds a BA(Hon) from Acadia University (Sociology), an MA from Dalhousie (Sociology) and is a doctoral candidate (ABD) at Queen’s University (Cultural Studies). She is the Regional Coordinator (Antigonish, Pictou and Richmond Counties) for Community Links, a province-wide organization that supports the establishment of age-friendly, inclusive communities, and is also a member of the Pictou West Community Health Board. She is the author of two novels and is currently working on a third, as well as a non-fiction book about food and eating, and a children’s book about food security. Both of Dian’s parents developed dementia at the end of their lives, and she was her father’s primary caregiver for over a decade. 

Janet Kokocki

In my 30 plus year career I have worked in several hospitals and nursing home settings I am presently in my 13th year of employment with the Victorian Order of Nurses as Coordinator of the Adult Day Program Coordinator at Sydney, Nova Scotia. Our Day program offers, not only support to adults with challenges in memory, mobility or social opportunities but also support in the form of respite and education for their caregivers. Over my career, I have assisted in the offering of Caregiver Education Series Presentations as well as the Alzheimer and Related Dementia Care Course in conjunction with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

It has always been an interest of mine to enhance the quality of life for those affected by Dementia and for that reason, I have been thrilled to be invited to be a member of this project.