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Pervasive ableism in structures and behaviours that shape accessible education

An overarching ableist culture and the stigma associated with having a disability negatively impact post-secondary students in terms of their courses, placements, and future careers. 

Action Area #1: Improve awareness and education within HEI 

Example tactics: 

  • Mandate training where appropriate 
  • Share/enhance existing resources 
  • Create new training programs 
  • Develop continuing education courses 

Action Area #2: Implement policies that promote inclusion within placement sites 

  • Change hiring processes to allow for greater representation of students and healthcare workers with disabilities 

Action Area #3: Improve anti-ableism in the public realm 

  • Shift idea of people with disabilities as deserving of rights towards recognizing their unique value 
  • Combat the idea of people with disabilities as a liability 

Example tactics: 

  • Develop social media campaign ex. Nurses in wheelchairs 

Action Area #4: Address ableism in regulatory bodies ex. College of Nurses 

  • Amend current standards of practice 

Action Area #5: Change the physical environment of placement sites 

  • Provide space to keep scooters, walkers, and other mobility devices 
  • Ensure accessible entrances, elevators, and washrooms 
  • Offer kitchen space to heat food and socialize 
  • Designate certain spaces for mental health, meditation, and rest 
  • Offer students the flexibility to work from home