Equity and Access

In our ongoing pursuit of educational excellence, we are dedicated to fostering an environment that champions equity, diversity, and accessibility in every aspect of teaching and learning. Join us in exploring the foundations of our work, our commitment to inclusive practices, and the steps we take to promote access and fairness within our educational community.

Accessibility & Accommodations at the TATP

At the TATP, we are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible online experience for all users, including individuals with disabilities. We recognize the importance of ensuring that our website and our programming is usable and accessible to everyone, and we are continuously working to improve the accessibility of our program.

In compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and other applicable Canadian accessibility legislation, we have taken several measures to make our website more accessible. These efforts include:

  • Website Structure and Navigation: We have organized our website content to be logical and consistent, making it easier for all users to navigate.
  • Alternative Text for Images: We provide alternative text descriptions for all images on our website, making visual content accessible to individuals using screen readers or other assistive technologies.
  • Font Size and Contrast: Our website features a responsive design that allows users to adjust text size and contrast according to their preferences, ensuring readability.
  • Keyboard Accessibility: We have implemented keyboard navigation features to enable users who rely on keyboards to access all interactive elements on our website without the need for a mouse.
  • Video Subtitles and Transcripts: Whenever possible, we provide closed captions and transcripts for video content, allowing individuals with hearing impairments to access the information.
  • Accessible Forms: Online forms on our website are designed to be accessible, with clear labels and instructions, to facilitate the submission of inquiries, registrations, or requests.
  • Feedback and Reporting: We encourage feedback from our website users. If you encounter any accessibility barriers or have suggestions for improvement, please contact the TATP.

Requesting Accommodations for Programming and Materials:

At the TATP, we understand that individuals may require specific accommodations for our programming and materials. We are committed to providing these accommodations to ensure equitable access to our educational resources and opportunities. Here is the process for requesting accommodations:

  1. Contact our Programs Coordinator: If you require accommodations for our programming or materials, please contact our Programs Coordinator, Alli Diskin.
  2. Discuss Your Needs: Engage in a confidential discussion with our Programs Coordinator to discuss your specific needs and requirements.
  3. Accommodation Plan: We will work with you to develop an plan tailored to your needs. This plan may include modifications to materials, alternative formats, or other adjustments to our programming.
  4. Implementation of Accommodations: We will implement the agreed-upon accommodations in a timely manner to ensure your full participation in our programming and access to materials.
  5. Feedback and Follow-Up: We value your feedback on the effectiveness of the accommodations provided. We will also schedule follow-up discussions to ensure that your accommodation plan remains suitable and effective.

Your feedback and collaboration are invaluable to us as we work together to create an inclusive learning environment at the TATP. We appreciate your understanding and support as we strive to meet the unique needs of all our participants.

TATP EDIA Framework


Here, we present our core values, guiding principles, and commitments, which are integral to the Teaching Assistant Training Program (TATP) at the University of Toronto. Our aim is to embed an understanding of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) into our programming and culture. This framework is a living document that invites collaboration and shared understanding to best serve the University of Toronto community. For the full version of the TATP’s Framework….go HERE (PDF Link)

Values: Definitions and Applications

The TATP’s approach to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA) is guided by an anti-oppressive and intersectional framework that acknowledges the impact of systems of power and oppression. We recognize the influence of colonialism, white supremacy, racism, anti-Black racism, heterosexism, and ableism in shaping policies and practices that marginalize learners, and their work aims to challenge and transform these systems through anti-racist and decolonial principles.

At the TATP, we are unwavering in our commitment to principles of anti-oppression and intersectionality within Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (EDIA). We recognize that historical systems of power and oppression have created structural inequalities for specific social groups. In the context of our work at the University of Toronto, we acknowledge the influence of colonialism, settler-colonialism, white supremacy, racism, particularly anti-Black racism, heterosexism, and ableism on policies, practices, and languages that marginalize many learners. Our approach draws from anti-racist and decolonial principles as we strive to challenge systemic inequalities by redistributing power through equitable actions.

For the TATP, equity represents the fair treatment of all individuals, considering their diverse needs, to enable equal participation and fulfillment of potential. We understand that systemic barriers pervade post-secondary teaching and learning spaces, contributing to various forms of discrimination. Our mission is to raise awareness of these issues, reduce disparities, and challenge the obstacles hindering inclusion and educational success, advocating for genuine transformation.

Diversity refers to the demographic mix of our community and how everyone possesses a variety of unique qualities, characteristics, and perspectives. Racial identity, ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, age, political and national affiliation, immigration and citizenship status, family and relationship status, and physical, emotional, and neurological capability are just some of the many factors that make up individual or group diversity in our teaching and learning spaces. To ensure diversity is celebrated and not erased, an intersectional awareness of and engagement with such complexities is required.

Inclusion is the dynamic, purposeful process of cultivating cultures and learning environments that foster a sense of belonging. It aligns closely with equity and respects and celebrates diversity, valuing the distinct qualities and perspectives every individual brings to our educational spaces. Our work amplifies professional expertise and lived experiences from a range of backgrounds to create more inclusive teaching and learning environments

Accessibility within higher education concerns the deliberate design of physical and virtual environments, communication, service delivery, and teaching methods to reduce or eliminate barriers for individuals with disabilities. Our approach is evidence-based and innovative, combining institutional partnerships, community engagement, and intersectional awareness to address the needs of individuals with disabilities

Decolonization is a profound process that involves identifying, challenging, and ultimately dismantling the colonial structures and power dynamics within universities. It requires reevaluation of knowledge production, institutional practices, and relationships, free from colonial, imperial, and white supremacist ideologies. Our efforts encompass education and training to decolonize curricula and classrooms, with a focus on respecting the land’s history.

Inclusion is the dynamic, purposeful process of cultivating cultures and learning environments that foster a sense of belonging. It aligns closely with equity and respects and celebrates diversity, valuing the distinct qualities and perspectives every individual brings to our educational spaces. Our work amplifies professional expertise and lived experiences from a range of backgrounds to create more inclusive teaching and learning environments.

Reconciliation refers to a societal process of acknowledging historical injustices, fostering healing, and reimagining new, equitable social relations between Canadians and Indigenous peoples. It is a crucial part of our work, given that we operate on Indigenous lands. We must grapple with uncomfortable truths about the complicity of Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, in systemic marginalization of Indigenous knowledge, culture, and languages. Our role is to build capacity and promote equity and social justice while respecting Indigenous perspectives and leadership in reconciliation efforts.

Guiding Principles: How We Engage in EDIA Work

The TATP recognizes its interconnectedness within the university community, including teaching offices, faculties, departments, administrative staff, and students, as well as the Indigenous territories on which the university resides. We strive to cultivate reciprocal relationships by consulting and collaborating with partners, respecting their autonomy and avoiding extractive practices, while fostering a culture of consent, accountability, integrity, trust, and constructive dialogue.

Relationality & Reciprocity: We recognize that the TATP is situated within a web of relationships. We engage in our work with a commitment to developing enduring and reciprocal relationships, both within the university community and with external partners. We prioritize collaboration, respect, and accountability, aiming to break the extractive and exploitative tendencies often present in university relationships.

Community of Practice: We foster a community of practice that centers EDIA in teaching and learning. Our community includes the TATP team, graduate students, and partners across the university. We share knowledge, expertise, and resources through various platforms, including workshops, discussions, and engagement opportunities. We value critical engagement, feedback, and continuous learning from our community members.

Culture of Accountability: We embrace institutional reflexivity, criticality, and transparency to drive accountability. We take concrete actions and establish mechanisms that ensure transparency, while remaining open to scrutiny and change. Our practices are research-based, and we subject them to self-critique and peer review. We publish an annual accountability report to remain transparent about our practices, values, and commitments


The TATP is dedicated to actively advancing EDIA in teaching and learning. Our commitments reflect our determination to challenge systemic barriers, engage in decolonization and reconciliation, embrace diversity, and foster reciprocal relationships while promoting accountability. Together, we strive for an educational community that values and celebrates the diverse experiences and perspectives of all its members.

Building Capacity: We aim to understand and challenge systemic barriers through EDIA-focused programming, hands-on training, mentoring, and resource development. We strive to increase awareness of key university reports, engage in university-wide EDIA initiatives, and actively promote equity, justice, and liberation.

Decolonization, Indigenization, and Reconciliation: We educate ourselves and the wider community about the histories of the lands we work on and the importance of decolonization. We support Indigenous-led initiatives, provide resources and training, and prioritize respectful relationships and cultural understanding.

Embracing Diversity and Promoting Equity and Inclusion: We celebrate diversity, engage with diverse voices, and create opportunities for dialogue, knowledge exchange, and experiential learning. We encourage critical reading and learning from authors of diverse backgrounds. We actively seek partnerships and pathways to advance EDIA.

Building Reciprocal Relationships and Fostering Accountability: We develop meaningful partnerships that foster reciprocity and offer identifiable benefits to our collaborators. We solicit feedback, embrace humility, and confront our limitations and mistakes. We commit to transparency, self-reflection, and accountability in our practices, values, and commitments.


The discrimination, prejudice, and systemic exclusion faced by individuals with disabilities, based on assumptions about their abilities and value to society.

he design of environments, communication, and teaching and learning approaches that reduce or eliminate barriers, ensuring they are usable by individuals who experience disabilities. It encompasses physical and virtual spaces, service delivery, and inclusive educational technologies

The responsibility and answerability of individuals and organizations for their actions, decisions, and impact, including transparency, integrity, and mechanisms for ensuring compliance with stated values and commitments.

The practice of individuals from privileged or non-marginalized groups actively supporting and advocating for members of marginalized or oppressed communities, with a commitment to challenging and dismantling systems of discrimination and oppression

An approach that recognizes and challenges systems of power and oppression to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. It acknowledges the impact of historical and ongoing inequalities and aims to dismantle oppressive structures.

A transformative process that involves identifying, disrupting, and dismantling colonial structures and relations of power within institutions, with the goal of promoting Indigenous knowledge systems, cultures, and languages and challenging dominant Eurocentric perspectives.

The recognition and celebration of the demographic mix of a community, encompassing various factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, age, political affiliation, and abilities.

An acronym representing a commitment to addressing systemic barriers, fostering diverse and inclusive environments, promoting equitable opportunities, and ensuring accessibility for all members of a community.

The fair treatment of all individuals according to their diverse needs, enabling everyone to participate and reach their fullest potential. It addresses the inequalities arising from different backgrounds, access to resources, and differential treatment.

The intentional and continuous process of creating environments and cultures that foster a sense of belonging for all individuals. It involves valuing and respecting diverse perspectives, abilities, identities, and experiences to promote meaningful engagement and participation.

The intentional and ongoing process of reshaping educational curricula, campus cultures, and spaces to reflect the value of Indigenous ways of knowing, thinking, being, and doing. It centers Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, cultural protocols, and practices within teaching and learning.

The recognition that individuals possess multiple, interconnected social identities and that systems of oppression and privilege are interconnected. It highlights the importance of understanding how various forms of discrimination intersect to shape individuals’ experiences.

A principle that emphasizes mutual exchange, respect, and benefit within relationships and collaborations. It involves giving and receiving in a balanced and reciprocal manner, acknowledging the contributions and perspectives of all participants.

Recognizing and acknowledging the interconnectedness and interdependence of individuals, communities, and institutions. It emphasizes the importance of building and sustaining meaningful relationships and networks, fostering reciprocal engagement, and valuing diverse perspectives and expertise.

The process of acknowledging, addressing, and healing from historical injustices and harm inflicted on Indigenous peoples. It involves building respectful relationships and creating pathways for transformative change and shared understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

The practice of openness, visibility, and clarity in actions, decisions, and processes. It involves sharing information, intentions, and outcomes to ensure accountability, trust, and informed engagement.

TATP Response to Institutional Reports


Higher education institutions in Canada and around the world have been grappling with pressing issues such as decolonization, anti-oppression, and trauma-informed frameworks. These discussions have shed light on systemic barriers, historical injustices, and the need for institutional responses. In response, universities often form committees, task forces, and working groups to examine these issues and provide recommendations for change.

This report focuses on four significant university reports that have shaped discussions and initiatives at the University of Toronto. These reports include:

  1. The University of Toronto’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force’s Report (2020)
  2. Answering the Call – Wecheehetowin: The Final Report of the Steering Committee for the U of T Response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2018)
  3. The Government of Ontario’s Development of Proposed Postsecondary Education Standards – 2021 Initial Recommendations Report
  4. The University of Toronto’s Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health – Final Report & Recommendations (2019)

These reports provide valuable insights and recommendations for addressing crucial issues within the university community. The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) at the University of Toronto recognizes the significance of these reports and has sought to explore their relevance and importance to its work. The TATP aims to identify key recommendations that can be adapted and implemented to enhance its programs and initiatives.

This report presents a summary of the recommendations made in the four university reports, focusing on their implications for the TATP. By engaging with these recommendations, the TATP aims to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable educational environment for students and educators at the University of Toronto. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the recommendations and offers a set of actionable recommendations specific to the TATP’s role.

Through the implementation of these recommendations, the TATP seeks to support the university’s commitment to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and to foster an environment that promotes educational justice and student well-being. By leveraging the insights gained from these institutional reports, the TATP aims to create a positive impact on teaching and learning experiences for all members of the university community.

University of Toronto's Anti-Black Racism Task Force's Report

The University of Toronto established the Anti-Black Racism (ABR) Taskforce in response to the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism in Canada and global social justice movements. The task force aims to address anti-Black racism and promote Black inclusion and excellence at the university. The task force’s report provides systemic recommendations and specific area recommendations, all of which were accepted by the University of Toronto, highlighting the university’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and the recognition of the damaging effects of racism on society. The report also emphasizes the significance of intersectionality in addressing anti-Black racism

TATP’s Recommendations in Response to the University of Toronto’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force’s Report​

  1. Develop an ‘intentional outreach’ plan to ensure diverse candidates are reached for TATP job opportunities.
  2. Provide unconscious bias training, including anti-Black racism, as part of onboarding for new staff and team members.
  3. Educate the TATP team annually about the Anti-Black Racism report and the steps being taken to address its recommendations.
  4. Infuse anti-racism and equity principles throughout TATP’s external programming.
  5. Prioritize anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching strategies in workshop and resource development proposals.
  6. Provide hands-on and theoretically informed training in anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and inclusive pedagogies.
  7. Develop a hub of accessible resources to support graduate students’ engagement with anti-racist and decolonial work.
  8. Create online, accessible learning modules dedicated to anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching practices.
  9. Offer consultation opportunities for graduate students on incorporating anti-racist and inclusive practices into their teaching.
  10. Actively contribute to university-wide anti-racism initiatives and strategies.
  11. Foster relationship-building and collaboration with the principle of reciprocity.
  12. Create a communications strategy to increase awareness of anti-racist trainings and initiatives.
  13. Implement an accountability strategy to ensure commitments are met

‘Answering the Call - Wecheehetowin’: The Final Report of the Steering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada

The Steering Committee for the University of Toronto’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established to address the university’s complicity in educational injustices, particularly regarding Indigenous peoples and the legacy of residential schools. The committee’s final report presents ‘Calls to Action’ aligned with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, emphasizing the importance of truth, reconciliation, and being in ‘right relationship’ with Indigenous Peoples. The report highlights the need for systemic change, moving away from deficit approaches and addressing the systemic barriers faced by Indigenous students, ultimately working towards a more inclusive university institution.

TATP’s Recommendations in Response to the University of Toronto’s Response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada

  1. Create a hub of online resources supporting Indigenizing efforts, including guides for smudging protocols, inviting Indigenous speakers, and personalizing Land Acknowledgments.
  2. Incorporate Land acknowledgments in TATP programming initiatives and provide workshops to ensure understanding and historical context among members delivering them.
  3. Increase inclusion of team members with expertise in TRC work and Indigenous pedagogies, and ensure diverse recruitment strategies reaching Indigenous candidates.
  4. Circulate existing resources and initiatives supporting Indigenizing and decolonizing teaching and curriculum.
  5. Build capacity among graduate students through events, resources, and partnerships with Indigenous curriculum developers.
  6. Offer workshops on power, equity, anti-oppressive practices, historical awareness, and cultural understanding.
  7. Foster reciprocal relationships with Indigenous partners, communities, faculty, and students, reflecting on the concept of reciprocity.
  8. Take initiative and responsibility for implementing TRC Calls to Action, consulting Indigenous leadership while ensuring accountability.
  9. Conduct annual reviews, set goals, and track outcomes for implementing Calls to Action, with accountability as part of the EDI coordinator role.

The Government of Ontario's 2021 Initial Recommendations Report

This report aims to improve access and inclusion in Ontario’s post-secondary education sector, requiring a cultural shift within institutions to remove existing barriers and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. The proposed recommendations emphasize proactive accessibility efforts, recognition of disability as part of diversity, addressing barriers throughout the academic journey, transparency in navigating the system, and shared responsibility for accessibility. The TATP Working Group has proposed recommendations within the barrier areas of attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, and assumptions; awareness and training; assessment, curriculum, and instruction; and digit Develop commitments and strategies for improving access and inclusion of persons with disabilities, demonstrating their importance within the broader commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

TATP’s Recommendations in Response to the Government's Initial Recommendations Report

  1. Recognize and reward efforts that actively remove barriers to access and inclusion.
  2. Foster dialogue and reflection on “intentional inclusion” and the collective responsibility of graduate education developers.
  3. Create opportunities to address and break down barriers related to ableism through dialogue and reflection.
  4. Seek feedback on accessibility experiences and improve accessibility efforts.
  5. Incorporate a critique of deficit-thinking in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approaches.
  6. Offer trainings and resources aligned with priority areas from the Government of Ontario’s 2021 Initial Recommendations Report.
  7. Integrate UDL and inclusive teaching practices throughout TATP programming and assess progress.
  8. Evaluate existing resources and develop a hub of accessible online resources for inclusive and universal design practices.
  9. Provide additional modules on accessible and inclusive teaching and promote mental health literacy.
  10. Create a list of priority areas aligning with EDI and accessibility commitments.
  11. Review feedback forms to assess the incorporation of UDL practices and enhance accessibility in physical spaces.
  12. Encourage feedback on ongoing accessibility needs and experiences.
  13. Explore strategies for hybrid sessions to enhance accessibility in both online and in-person settings.

University of Toronto's Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health - Final Report

The University of Toronto established the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health in 2019 to address worsening mental health indicators and the need for a caring and safe campus environment. The task force conducted extensive research and consultations, leading to twenty-one recommendations aimed at immediate, short-term, and long-term improvements in student mental health support. A cultural shift is required to embrace the diversity of students’ experiences and prioritize non-academic factors impacting mental well-being, with the report emphasizing the importance of a shared responsibility within the university community.

TATP’s Recommendations in Response to the Government's Initial Recommendations Report

  1. Develop TATP’s strategy to engage in the collective responsibility of student mental health, including dialogue with departmental mental health sub-committees, counsellors, and liaisons.
  2. Expand TA and CI awareness of and access to mental health resources across the three campuses by providing links to resources on the TATP website and incorporating campus resources into TATP workshops.
  3. Contribute to enhancing mental health literacy among Graduate TAs and CIs through First Contract Training, dialoguing with Health Promotions, promoting an intersectional perspective on mental health, and raising awareness of the importance of mental health in teaching.
  4. Foster a culture of caring on all three campuses by offering workshops/trainings on trauma-informed pedagogy, emotional intelligence/mindfulness in teaching, care, and kindness.


By embracing the recommendations from these institutional reports, the University of Toronto demonstrates its commitment to fostering educational justice and inclusivity. The TATP’s targeted recommendations, tailored to each report, serve as practical steps towards creating an inclusive learning environment. Through training, awareness-building, and collaborative efforts, the TATP aims to cultivate a culture of care, dismantle systemic barriers, and prioritize student well-being.

TATP's EDIA Priorities, Commitments and Accountabilities Annual Report 2022/23

In 2021/2022, the TATP established an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator position and formed EDIA working groups. These groups defined TATP’s Values and Commitments related to EDIA, aligning them with key institutional reports, including:

  1. The University of Toronto’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force’s Report (2020)
  2. Answering the Call – Wecheehetowin: The Final Report of the Steering Committee for the U of T Response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2018)
  3. The Government of Ontario’s Development of Proposed Postsecondary Education Standards – 2021 Initial Recommendations Report
  4. The University of Toronto’s Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health – Final Report & Recommendations (2019)

This report critically evaluates TATP’s progress in meeting these commitments. It answers key questions:

  1. What steps has the TATP taken over the 2022/2023 academic year to meet the recommendations outlined in the Working Towards Educational Justice at the University of Toronto (2022) report?
  2. What recommendations have been met, partially met, and still need to be addressed?
  3. How can we ensure we are remaining accountable to our commitments moving forward?
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