About SCS

At the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS), we celebrate the continuous journey towards knowledge, expansion, and new understandings. We’re here to help you step up and take ownership of your future, again and again. 

We are committed to ensuring an equitable, respectful, accessible, and inclusive environment for all of our staff, instructors, lifelong learners, and community partners/stakeholders.  Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is a core value of our division and we strive to build our culture around these principles and collaborate with those who value the same.  Our purpose is to strengthen human potential one individual, one organization, and one community at a time. 

We are focused on embedding EDI and Accessibility principles in all we do. SCS aligns its EDI commitments with those of the University, as expressed in their statement on Equity, Diversity and Excellence.  This includes being intentional about fostering learning and work environments that address barriers, are free from discrimination and harassment, and foster a sense of inclusion and belonging.

The SCS EDI Office’s priority is that all can learn, work, and research in environments free from discrimination or harassment based on age, ancestry, citizenship, colour, creed, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, place of origin, race, record of offences, sex and/or sexual orientation.  Our EDI work is focused on being a catalyst for positive change through programming, strategic and institutional initiatives, educational/learning opportunities, communication and accountability, issues resolution and restoration, and accessibility and universal design. 

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we learn, interact and engage in important dialogue with inclusivity and respect, creating space for all individuals and their unique lived experiences.  EDI work and lifelong learning are aligned in that both are ongoing and evolving, and SCS is a leader in supporting your journey. 

At the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), we are committed to ensuring an equitable, respectful, accessible, and inclusive environment for all of our staff, instructors, lifelong learners, and community partners/stakeholders.  

Our EDI work is focused on being a catalyst for positive change through programming, strategic and institutional initiatives, educational/learning opportunities, communication and accountability, issues resolution and restoration, and accessibility and universal design.

We work closely with key partners across the tri-campus, including the Institutional Equity Office (IEO) and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII).

Land Acknowledgement  

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and learn on this land. 

We have a longstanding commitment to providing support to our learners with disabilities or diverse learning needs to ensure a positive learning experience in all of our courses and programs. We are dedicated to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the University of Toronto’s commitment to promote inclusion and minimize barriers within the educational sector. SCS is focused on being a leader in lifelong learning pathways that are barrier-free and incorporating AODA standards and regulations within our best practices.  Designing for inclusivity improves the learning experience for everyone.  SCS also works closely with the University’s AODA Office.

Confidentiality and You

SCS respects your right to privacy. Any information and documentation shared with us will be securely stored in an encrypted database and used only for developing a suitable accommodation plan.  No information will be shared beyond the Accessibility Services Team without your written consent. At all times this information will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter please visit www.fippa.utoronto.ca

Self-advocacy

SCS encourages learners to advocate for their own needs and supports within their course(s). If for any reason you are not comfortable in doing so, please contact the SCS Accessibility Team, and with your permission, we can communicate with your instructor(s) on your behalf as needed. 

SCS works closely with the University of Toronto Accessibility Services to assess individual needs and coordinate the provision of necessary services.  Some of the services provided include but are not limited to: 

  • Test and exam supports
  • Note-taking services 
  • Accessible classrooms 
  • Sign language interpreters 
  • Adaptive technology and devices 
  • Alternative formats for course materials 

If you are interested in learning more about Accessibility Services available to you as an SCS learner, please visit:  Accessibility – The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture (utoronto.ca)

The University of Toronto’s Institutional Equity Office (IEO) works collaboratively across the University of Toronto’s three campuses to build capacity, support communities, and provide leadership in Indigenous, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism efforts that lead to a greater sense of belonging for all community members. The University is transparent about the EDI work that is happening and shares its progress publicly through their commitments dashboard. https://commitments.utoronto.ca/  

For further information, including the University’s EDI Calendar of Events, please visit these links:  Inclusion – The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture (utoronto.ca) and Events Calendar – The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture (utoronto.ca).

EDI Definitions

Our definitions of E. D. I *per the Ontario Human Rights Commission Glossary of Human Rights Terms 

Equity: fairness, impartiality, even-handedness. A distinct process of recognizing differences within groups of individuals and using this understanding to achieve substantive equality in all aspects of a person’s life. 

Diversity: the presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within an individual, group or organization. Diversity includes such factors as age, sex, race, ethnicity, physical and intellectual ability, religion, sexual orientation, educational background and expertise. 

Inclusion: appreciating and using our unique differences in a way that shows respect for the individual and ultimately creates a dynamic multi-dimensional organization. 

Accessibility: A general term for the degree of ease that something can be accessed, used and enjoyed by persons with disabilities. The term implies conscious planning, design and/or effort to make sure something is barrier-free to persons with disabilities. Accessibility also benefits the general population, by making things more usable and practical for everyone. 

Access: A critical priority at SCS, ensuring access to our programs and services by those individuals or groups who are typically under-represented and who are equity-deserving. 

Belonging:  Taking EDI work further and creating a culture of belonging; where all those who interact with, work or learn at SCS feel a sense of belonging and that they can be their authentic selves. 

Universal Design: Ensuring universal design principles are incorporated in everything we do, to ensure accessibility for all individuals (e.g. building, products, environments, workplaces). 

Intersectionality: People’s lives and experiences are complex and cannot be understood by any one identity category. Our personal experiences are impacted by multiple social identities (e.g., ethnicity, gender, education). The way these identities interact with social structures (e.g., policies, laws, systems, norms) may lead to different experiences for different people or different groups of people (e.g., experiences of opportunity or discrimination). Intersectionality helps us recognize how our gender, ethnicity, ‘race’, culture, language, age, ability, education, income, geography, citizenship status, marital status, religion, sexuality, gender expression, gender identity, family, and other statuses intersect with social roles and structures to influence experiences of advantage and disadvantage. *this definition is from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) EDI Glossary of Terms.  

intersectionality venn diagram
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