Special Projects

A Special Project may start because you have reached out to DAC for assistance in making your space accessible, or because DAC has reached out to you because of a number of issues that may have been raised which could be a risk to your department and the University. Throughout the project, you will work with Steve Johnston, the Policy, Complaint, and Special Project Manager in DAC. Our office will provide scheduling, administrative support for the project, and assist with keeping track of progress.

Either way, the project starts with a meeting to discuss what issues are known, what the project might cover, and what specific areas could be looked at due to the uniqueness of your department. Then a Project Charter will be drafted to set out the scope of the project, usually sponsored by Ella Callow, Chief Accessibility Officer, and a director or senior leader from your department. Most projects last for 18 months to two years.

For the first month or two, there will be a meeting every two weeks to discuss the areas that will be covered and set a base expectation, and identify the people who will be responsible for certain parts of the project, then dropping to a meeting every four weeks.

The topics covered follow the self-evaluation workplan topics which include but are not limited to: Publications and Written Materials; Telephone Communication; Information Technology; Inclusive Hiring and Employment; Discrimination, Non-Discrimination and the Grievance Process; Communication Accommodations (ASL & VRIS, CART & Captioning, ALDs); Evacuation and Safety Plans; Community Disability Resources off and on Campus; and Miscellaneous Services, Programs and Activities.

Early in the process, there will usually be a walk-through of your space with the DAC Architectural Manager who can provide information about barriers identified in the University Transition Plan and general architectural barriers. There is no requirement to "fix" everything immediately and the project follows a step-by-step process so that there are reasonable expectations and timelines to remediate any issues.

Throughout the project, Steve will provide feedback, presentations, and resources as required to help educate department leadership and staff towards becoming accessible.

At the end of the project, Steve will draft a report to document all the work completed aligned to the initial project charter, other steps that could or should be taken, and the sponsors and key stakeholders will sign-off to conclude the project.

Special Project Lifecycle

  1. Decision to Initiate Project (by department or DAC)
  2. Initial Outreach and department lead identified
  3. Sponsors Identified (to give authority for department lead’s time)
  4. Project Charter (setting out the project scope and objectives) drafted by DAC and agreed with the department lead. Introduction to project documents
  5. Project Charter agreed with sponsors
  6. Meet every couple of weeks to discuss set-up and goals, and run through areas of potential improvement
  7. Work through project Smartsheet to identify areas where assistance required
  8. Meetings reduced to every four weeks after a couple of months
  9. Meet every four weeks and discuss progress, tick off completed tasks, DAC provide support and/or resources as required
  10. DAC attend team meetings, give presentations or training
  11. Project usually completed after 18-24 months
  12. Ongoing support as required