Education and Training

Community of Practice 

The greatest challenges to accessibility are still the negative attitudes, stigma, lack of understanding and expertise. The purpose of the Education and Training Community of Practice (CoP) is to increase awareness of, and expand access to, the skills, knowledge and opportunities that have become increasingly vital to so many Canadians.

The Role of Community of Practice Members, Meetings and Time Commitment

Anyone that is a member of CAN Collaborator Organization, or an approved CAN Collaborator Individual, can join this CoP if they have an interest in learning more about, and/or meeting with other experts in the field.  Members are involved in enacting the business of the Network, as it relates to the priorities of the working group (as noted above).

CoP meetings happen bi-monthly (approximately 6 times per year) for up to 1.5 hours at each meeting – see current meeting schedule.


Download Meeting Schedule DOCX


Download Meeting Schedule PDF

In addition to these meetings, members who volunteer to get involved in an approved project can anticipate that there will be an additional two to three hours a month (approx.) commitment that is outside of required meeting times that is dedicated to contributing towards the work the project they are supporting, depending on their agreed upon role with the project. This time is dependant on the agreed upon work plan for the operating year and may fluctuate.


Please see Terms of Reference for the Education and Training Community of Practice for more information on the governance of this Committee.


Download Terms of Reference DOCX


Download Terms of Reference PDF

Community of Practice Leadership

The Education and Training CoP operates under the direction of two co-Leads. They provide leadership to the Education and Training CoP by: 


  • Planning, facilitating and supporting the CoP meetings 
  • Collating ideas and proposing strategic priorities to be considered by the Governing Council as they relate to accessibility in education and training
  • Ensuring the successful completion of approved projects for the CoP
  • Providing updates of CoP activities to the Governing Council at designated times of the operating year
Meet the Co-Leads for the Education and Training Community of Practice
Maureen Wideman

Education & Training Co-Lead

Maureen Wideman

Maureen has just completed her term as Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning at the University of the Fraser Valley. She has been at UFV for nine years leading the university from a traditional face-to-face learning environment to one that embraces the use of effective digital pedagogy, resources and technology-enhanced learning spaces. She used to be an AODA Coordinator and Manager of Disability Studies at her previous institution in Ontario. She has just begun a year-long sabbatical, during which she will be conducting an audit and writing a report about accessibility at UFV. 

Pina D’Intino

Education & Training Co-Lead

Pina D’Intino

Pina is a sought-out consultant and speaker that actively promotes accessibility and inclusion from both an executive and grassroots perspective. She has more than 29 years of experience in a large global financial institution, and for the last 15 years has pioneered and founded a cross-institutional hub for accessibility and inclusion. Pina also has extensive experience in developing and facilitating education and training opportunities. In 2013, Pina received the QE2 Diamond Jubilee medal by Canada’s Lt. Governor the Honourable David Onley for her work in accessible employment. Pina completed the Inclusive Design Program at OCADU and developed a course for Mohawk College on accessible organizational frameworks.

Current Priorities for the Education and Training Community of Practice

The CoP is currently working on two key projects:

Guide for Engaging Persons with Disabilities

It is essential that when developing policies, practices, tools, etc. that consultation be conducted with those with disabilities. For example, the new BC Accessibility Legislation requires consultation with, and participation of, persons with disabilities in the development of accessibility committees, plans and feedback mechanisms. Organizations are often not aware with how to engage persons with disabilities in the processes, how to determine the time involved, the remuneration required, how best to conduct user testing, etc. Often organizations return to the same dedicated people which can put extraordinary pressure or burdens on those participating.


The Guide will assist organizations to deepen their understanding of inclusion barriers through the development of guidelines, checklists, criteria, etc. for engaging those with disabilities. This will provide a resource to organizations to ensure they effectively:


  • Include disability resource groups to help set priorities for implementation of plans, programs and services through an accessibility and inclusivity lens
  • Recognize the perceived barriers and bottlenecks to delivering an inclusion first user experience for customers, employees, and job applicants, and their associated impacts on the organization
  • Develop consultation approaches that can help capture quantitative and qualitative data that inform program development on how best to provide inclusion-first environments, tools, and effective communication for a diverse range needs
  • Participate in identifying and evaluating potential solution alternatives prior to management prioritization and funding decisions
  • Participate in authentic inclusive testing – beyond accessibility testing – to validate customer and employee experiences

A Guide for Recognizing Ableism 

There is a need for greater awareness of ableism – a rarely discussed system of oppression and discrimination in Canada. This project will draw on definitions of ableism to address the importance of making ableism more understandable and visible to the public and of dismantling ableism as an essential part of working towards accessibility.


This project, therefore, aims to address three priority areas:


  • To foster greater understanding of ableism, its meaning, manifestations, pervasiveness, and associated harms;
  • To cultivate greater understanding of how ableism is entangled with, and frequently underpins, accessibility frameworks in Canada; and
  • To foster greater capacity to recognize and dismantle ableism in policies and practices.

Through the development of a brief guide, CAN can assist users in how to recognize ableist elements in their workplaces and communities and make recommendations on how to begin to undo the language, policy and processes to develop accessible and inclusive practices.


This project aims to fill a knowledge gap by providing introductory resources to those who are beginning to work in education and employment-related accessibility and to add ableism-related information to the already available resources that accessibility professionals can utilize.


If you would like to get involved with one or more of these projects, we invite you to connect with us at [email protected] and we will introduce you to the Project Leads. 

Now Recruiting Volunteers!

The Education and Training Community of Practice is always open to recruiting new members who are passionate about advancing accessibility and who feel that their background and expertise could support the work of the Education and Training CoP.


If you are interested, please contact [email protected] and we will coordinate a time to speak with you about becoming a member of the CoP.