Equity & Human Rights Services (EHRS) is pleased to provide workshops on human rights, accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion. Workshops are available “on request” to Western departments/units, as well as student, staff and faculty groups. Please contact Equity & Human Rights Services at for more information.

Our Core Workshops

Accessibility: We All Have a Role to Play

In our interactions with members of the campus community, each of us has a role to play in fulfilling our responsibilities as outlined in the Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarian with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the four General Principles of Accessibility
  • Understand the regulatory frameworks (AODA – IASR, as well as the OHRC)
  • Apply an accessibility lens to the following six areas identified under the AODA:
    • customer service
    • information & communications
    • employment
    • transportation
    • design of public spaces
    • education
  • Adopt best practices when interacting with persons with disabilities
  • Know what supports are available at Western and how to provide appropriate information/referrals

Anti-Oppression: Creating an Inclusive Campus

Western is a community that embraces, nurtures and celebrates the diversity of its members. This workshop is an interactive introduction to anti-oppression/anti-racism principles and practices.

Learning Objectives

  • Strengthen our dialogue about the social construction of privilege and oppression affecting various groups
  • Increase our awareness of the intersecting impacts of oppression, stereotypes, othering, unconscious bias, microaggressions, and “mythical norms”
  • Explore the ways we can work in allyship to challenge “isms” and systems of oppression

Discrimination and Harassment: Understanding Western's Policies and Procedures

Every member of Western has the right to a learning and working environment that's free of harassment and discrimination. This interactive workshop will provide you with information, tools and an understanding of Western's Policies and procedures.

This workshop will be tailored for student and employee audiences.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the regulatory framework on these issues (OHRC, OHSA, Canada Criminal Code)
  • Know what may constitute harassment and/or discrimination
  • Identify human-rights related matters
  • Respond to concerns, as well as provide appropriate information and referrals
  • Know Western's policies and what supports are available on campus

Duty to Accommodate: Learning the Accommodation Process

The University is committed to ensuring that each individual has genuine access to services, employment and academic opportunities free from systemic or other barriers. Western respects the duty to accommodate and recognizes that true equality means respect for people's individual needs.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Identify when the duty to accommodate may apply
  • Learn the role of the parties in the accommodation process
  • Recognize what considerations apply (i.e. principles of accommodation & undue hardship)
  • Know how to provide appropriate information/referrals and what supports are available at Western

Employment Equity: EDI-related Best Practices in Recruitment

Western values equity of access and opportunity for members of underrepresented and equity-seeking groups. An equitable employment system is a system that is fair for all, operates on merit and is free of systemic barriers that might have an adverse effect on the hiring, retention or promotion of a group of people. We all share in the responsibility of creating an equitable and diverse campus community.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand employment equity, including Western's related policies and collective agreement articles
  • Explore the various equity-based considerations for all phases of the recruitment process
  • Consider Western's workforce equity data and representation rates
  • Know what supports, resources and tools are available at Western

Indigenous Rights History: The KAIROS Blanket Exercise

At Western, we recognize our role and responsibility in responding to the calls to action from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an experiential teaching tool based on participatory popular education methodology that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada
  • Review historical events from pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization to present day in accordance with Calls to Action #57 and #93 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Develop a deeper understanding of historical roles of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
  • Raise awareness of continuing injustices and impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities

From time to time, EHRS will coordinate and/or partner with other units to deliver workshops on topics such as sexual violence, empathy, conflict resolution.

Custom Workshops

EHRS also offers customized workshops. We will help you prepare a workshop that will meet your departmental or group needs. Topics may include racial, sexual, general harassment and discrimination. We can also customize a workshop that explores an aspect of Western's diversity. Please let us know your interests and we will work with you to develop an educational and interactive program for your department, unit or group.

Lunch and Learn Sessions

Join us for “lunch and learn” style sessions throughout the year on various equity-related topics. To receive notice about these learning sessions, please contact (to be added to our email distribution list) and/or follow Equity & Human Rights Services on Facebook.