Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




accessibility, information and communication technology (ICT), distance education, AODA, social model of disability


Post-secondary institutions are facing increased pressure by accessibility legislation, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), to ensure students with disabilities have equitable access to the academic environment (Flaherty & Roussy, 2014). This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) examines the situation regarding the Student Accessibility Office (SAO) in a large Ontario university. Traditionally, student service-based offices like the SAO require an in-person visit to access tools, services and resources. The growth of information and communication technology (ICT) into post- secondary education is increasing accessibility of academic programs (Yamamoto & Yamaguchi, 2019), but not student services. The research Problem of Practice (PoP) for this OIP determines how post-secondary institutions can make student service-based departments more accessible through the implementation of ICT. Using transformational (Bass 1996; Burns, 1978) and distributed leadership (Spillane, 2004) models while viewing the PoP through the social model of disability lens (Oliver, 2013) informs the leadership approach to change. An integrated change model (Cawsey et al., 2016; Beckhard & Harris, 1987) leads the change process. The zone of proximal agency determines that developing an online course for the SAO is the best solution to increase the accessibility of tools, services and resources. The course will be developed in consultation with university stakeholders and adhere to the AODA’s accessibility standards (Flaherty & Roussy, 2014). Future considerations of this OIP are to develop a framework to support the implementation of ICT university wide.

Keywords: accessibility, information and communication technology, distance education, AODA, social model of disability