1

Every student in Nova Scotia has the right to equitable access to education. The students you encounter may face systemic inequities and multiple forms of discrimination. Some of these barriers may be obvious to you, and some may not. Understanding your students’ lived experiences as persons with disabilities is a first step in responding to their individual needs as learners. It is part of our responsibility as educators.

Any student accepted to our institution has met academic entrance requirements. We must make education accessible while respecting the academic integrity of each course and program. This is a matter of .

What is the law when it comes to accessibility in Nova Scotia?

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act

[1]

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act is the law in Nova Scotia that defines discrimination and is administered by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. It prohibits discrimination against a range of individuals, including persons with disabilities.

The Act Respecting Accessibility in Nova Scotia

[2]

In 2017, Nova Scotia passed the Act Respecting Accessibility in Nova Scotia. The aim of the Act is to make Nova Scotia accessible by 2030. It recognizes accessibility as a human right, and includes six accessibility standards that are currently under development. It also requires universities and NSCC to develop and implement accessibility plans and have accessibility advisory committees. Nova Scotia is the third province to enact accessibility legislation, after Ontario in 2005 and Manitoba in 2013. More recently, the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador have also passed accessibility legislation.

The Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework

Equitable practices are the foundation for academic excellence in Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions. Nova Scotia’s Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework was developed by the Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group and published in 2020 by the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP) and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). The purpose of the Framework is to establish a shared vision and commitments for accessibility in Nova Scotia’s post-secondary sector, and to inform the development of institutional accessibility plans.[3]

Access to education is a human right, and Nova Scotia’s post-secondary sector is committed to ensuring access for persons with disabilities and others who experience barriers to accessibility, such as those who identify as , or . Accessibility is a collaborative practice, requiring participation from all stakeholders – departments, faculty, staff, students, and partners. It requires understanding the barriers persons with disabilities face accessing education and committing to prevent and remove them through the proactive design and revision of programs, policies, practices, services, and infrastructure.

[…]

Nova Scotia’s Accessibility Act recognizes accessibility as a human right and has a goal of an accessible province by 2030. Under the Act, Nova Scotia’s universities and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) were prescribed as public sector bodies, effective April 1, 2020. This means they must develop multi-year accessibility plans, establish accessibility advisory committees, and comply with accessibility standards when they are developed. The aim is to remove barriers for persons with disabilities in accessing post-secondary education in Nova Scotia and working at our post-secondary institutions.[4]

 


  1. Province of Nova Scotia. (2020). Recommendations to the Government of Nova Scotia on accessibility standards in education: Phase 1. https://novascotia.ca/accessibility/education-committee/Recommendations-Education-Accessibility-Standards-phase-1.PDF
  2. Province of Nova Scotia. (2018). Accessibility Act. https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/accessibility.pdf
  3. Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents and Nova Scotia Community College. (2020). Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework. https://www.nscc.ca/docs/about-nscc/nova-scotia-post-secondary-accessibility-framework.pdf
  4. Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents and Nova Scotia Community College. (2020). Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework (p.4). https://www.nscc.ca/docs/about-nscc/nova-scotia-post-secondary-accessibility-framework.pdf

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Accessible Teaching and Learning by Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book