Chinese group visits University to study accessibility at Brock

The Campaign for a Bold New Brock

Chinese group visits University to study accessibility at Brock

Aug. 12, 2009

Earlier today, a high-level delegation of university and municipal officials from Chonqing, China, visited Brock University as part of a Canadian tour funded by the Canadian International Development Agency to review accessibility/disability issues in various environments.

The purpose of the tour was to review policy development initiatives within Canada related to the provision of assistive devices and technologies to persons with disabilities.

While at Brock the group learned more about adaptive technologies provided to students with disabilities and the development of the accessible version of the University’s website.

“We are pleased to provide the delegation with a high-level overview of our accessibility initiatives benefitting persons with disabilities studying, working or visiting Brock,” says Margaret Sanderson, University Accessibility (AODA) Coordinator. “We are especially happy to showcase the accessibility of our website, which is the front door to the University for many of our students and guests.”

Brock is the only university on the delegation’s tour of Canada, which includes representatives from the Chongqing Civil Affairs Bureau, Chongqing City Disabled Persons’ Federation, Chongqing Normal University and the Legal Affairs Office of Chongqing People’s Government.

“Guests from Chongqing learned about and received a ‘hands-on’ demonstration of the various assistive technologies the University has to offer,” says David Standish, Assistive Technologist, Student Development Centre (Services for Students with disABILITIES). “These tools, which are available to Brock students with disabilities, are just one of the many learning supports provided by the University.”

The overarching goal of the group’s Canadian tour is to guide and influence the development of welfare policy in Chongqing in order to provide independence through enhancing access to education, employment and housing.

Chongqing is the only municipality in western China and it exerts great influence on the social, economic, scientific and technological development in the area. In 2001, Chongqing had a population of 30.98 million people. The municipality has 1.694 million people with disabilities, representing 6.05 per cent of its total population.

Currently, persons with disabilities face many barriers and challenges in getting the assistive devices that can provide independence. Through targeted research and the development of welfare policy recommendations, this project strives to enhance access to assistive devices and technologies for persons with disabilities in Chongqing.