The new plan follows BUILD 2026, NIC’s strategic plan, which identified accessibility and inclusion as a key priority. It also aligns with the requirements of the Accessible British Columbia Act. Access at the College—both in terms of educational opportunities and physical access to college facilities—was also identified as a priority by community members during NIC’s recent community engagement work.
“Access has always been a key pillar of NIC’s work,” said Craig Whitton, Co-Chair, NIC Accessibility Advisory Committee. “This plan and the new committee provide a renewed focus and a clear action plan for steps we can take to ensure North Island College is an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.”
The plan was developed following feedback from students, North Island Students’ Union, employees and community members about what barriers to inclusion they find at NIC and suggestions on how the College can improve.
From the feedback received, several themes became evident. Together, they provide the framework for NIC’s three-year action plan. Some of the Year 1 goals include identifying barriers to accessibility across the institution, reviewing and improving medical accommodation processes for employees, increasing awareness of resources for students and employees, and providing a mechanism for community members to submit feedback on barriers to accessibility.
While the action plan is set for 2023-2026, it will be a living document that will be updated as the plan is implemented. The new Accessibility Advisory Committee—made up of students and employees with lived and learned experience of accessibility— participated in the development to the action plan and will be an ongoing resource for all NIC community members looking for support on how to make events, operations, facilities and program areas more accessible. The committee is also a resource to help employees and students gain a better understanding of diverse abilities and foster a culture of equity and inclusion.
“One piece of feedback we heard very clearly was that people who had concerns or questions didn’t know where to go, or who to ask,” said Whitton. “I’m so grateful to the committee members for their involvement and willingness to be a resource for this important work.”
More information on Accessibility at NIC can be found at: www.nic.bc.ca/accessibility.