This resource has been developed to Focus on Learning and Eliminate (historical and ongoing) eXclusion.
McMaster’s Commitment to Inclusion: An Introduction From President Patrick Deane
In this film clip, President Patrick Deane articulates McMaster’s commitment to addressing exclusion through Accessible Education, and why this FLEX Forward resource has been developed.
Further background context is offered in writing below.
Responding to Students, Staff, and Faculty
This resource aligns with McMaster’s third strategic goal and commitment “to build an inclusive community with a shared purpose” (McMaster University, 2002, p. 5) and eliminate exclusion 
Furthering this commitment are:
- McMaster students with and without disabilities who have advocated for instructors and teaching assistants to have access to learning opportunities related to disability inclusion and accessibility in the classroom (Farran & Shammas, 2015; McMaster Students Union, n.d.); as well as
- McMaster staff and faculty who have been researching promising practices for encouraging accessibility in teaching and learning and the development of inclusive educators at McMaster and beyond for several years (Marquis et al., 2012, 2016a, 2016b; Vajocski & Watt, 2013; Vander Kloet, 2015; Watt et al., 2014).
This resource is intended to respond to this student feedback and staff and faculty scholarship and further these commitments to equity and inclusion.
Aligning with Legislative Requirements
Furthermore, McMaster is committed to providing support for faculty and instructional staff on accessible pedagogy, in keeping with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005. The goal of the AODA is to create an accessible Ontario by 2025 through the development and implementation of accessibility standards. This legislation requires McMaster to provide training on accessible teaching to all of our educators and to keep a record of training completion.
This FLEX Forward guide is intended to meet the University’s compliance obligations while providing instructors with a comprehensive and practical suite of resources on accessibility in teaching and learning. It is our institutional goal at McMaster to move beyond a compliance or checklist approach to accessibility, and to think more broadly than accessible materials. Instead, we want to support the development of an Accessible Education lens that attends to accessibility in all of our practices.
There are many ways we can all participate in making Accessible Education a part of the way we do teaching and learning at McMaster, and not simply an “add-on” to our current teaching practices. We’re excited to have you join us in this work!
- This commitment was solidified in McMaster’s 2002 strategic plan Refining Directions, and amplified in the Forward With Integrity (FWI) principles set out by President Patrick Deane in 2011. Most recently, this commitment has been reiterated in 2015’s Forward With Integrity: The Next Phase, with McMaster’s prioritizing of “promoting equity and fairness, and celebrating our rich diversity” (Deane, 2015, p. 5). ↵