Concordia University Accessibility and Inclusivity Action Plan


Montreal, QC

Universities are places that harbour opportunity, curiosity, and growth. It is vital that everyone can access and experience them fully.

Concordia University is committed to reducing barriers and increasing access and inclusion for all those who study, work or visit its campuses. hcma worked with Concordia University on an accessibility and inclusivity audit of its facilities on two campuses, and a five-year action plan that reflects this commitment: to build an accessible university that all Concordians can benefit from and is a vital step towards a shared vision for the future.

First, the team determined the general condition of 15 pre-selected buildings through an accessible design lens, creating a framework for improvement based on best practice accessibility standards. Over four days, our team toured the two campuses with a focus on the pre-selected buildings, observing real-life interactions and experiences of people on campus. The documented findings set the foundation for a survey and subsequent workshops and consultations with students, staff, and faculty conducted by our team. The engagement provided an essential understanding of challenges and areas for improvement in areas such as learning, teaching, and workspaces, washrooms, entrances, and more. Through workshops, we heard directly from students, specifically sharing their needs and concerns for accessible spaces on campus.


Areas of impact

“The floor layout of different classrooms, namely auditoriums, are inherently inaccessible for those who aren’t able-bodied. I am isolated in the big lecture halls and any classroom that has steps to get up to the seating. I can’t participate in group work or discussion. It’s alienating.” said one student.

The input gathered from the survey, in conjunction with the audit and workshops, informed the development of a 5-year action plan to create accessible and inclusive spaces on the campuses. The plan outlines a university-wide strategy for improving the physical environment by identifying, preventing, and removing barriers to accessibility and inclusion, and outlines steps for Concordia to take in making progress toward its vision for accessible and inclusive facilities.

Other Projects