Creating Spaces of Belonging in Academia

Event Date & Time

  • January 15, 2020
    2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Event Description

***Please note this session has been cancelled due to unsafe travel conditions.***

Do you belong here? We all need to find a sense of belonging in our places of learning and teaching. For people with disabilities, this can be particularly challenging in environments that are inaccessible and unwelcoming. In this workshop you will have the opportunity to learn about how a sense of belonging develops in higher education contexts and how you can create spaces of greater belonging.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and experience from this workshop and previous experiences to discuss what disability is and appropriate terms to use.
  • Describe what kinds of barriers people disabilities experience
  • Discuss respectful ways to interact with people who have disabilities
  • Identify at least three strategies for making your own places of teaching and learning more welcoming for people with disabilities
  • Describe three ways you can change your behaviour/create impact on an interpersonal level


The TA Institute is open to all undergraduate TAs, graduate students who are interested in teaching, and all graduate student TAs. This session is not open to general undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, or faculty.


Laura Yvonne Bulk (@LYBOT) is a friend, learner, woman, teacher, disabled person, occupational therapist, Christian, artist, scholar, advocate, and activist. Her work focuses on enhancing understanding and promoting human dignity. As a public scholar, Laura aims to benefit the wider community and the academic and clinical communities, making purposeful social contributions and employing innovative forms of collaborative scholarship. She works in the areas of quality of life in palliative care; being blind and belonging in academia; inclusion of disabled people in healthcare professions; and the use of creative methods (including research-based theatre) and cross-sectoral partnerships to do research for the public good.

To be completed – Pre/Post Session Online Module


If you wish to complete this workshop as part of the theme Inclusive, Student-Centered Learning, you must complete the pre-session online module by January 13 at 9 AM and the post-session online module by January 20 at noon to receive the letter of completion.

TA Institute

This year’s TA Institute includes sessions on Inclusive, Student-Centered Learning, Teaching Career Preparations, Teaching Fundamentals, Transformative Growth in Learning, and Interdisciplinary and Experiential Learning. If you are interested in impacting your current or future TAships, or in improving your teaching skills, be sure to join us for one or more of these 2 hour, interactive workshops.

This year, workshops in the TA institute are organized into 5 themes, and if you complete 3 workshops in a theme, and do the related pre- & post-session online modules, you are eligible for a letter of completion that you can include in your Teaching Portfolio and CV. These letters will include a brief description of any themes that you completed, and how the work you did in those themes supports your development as a teacher.

This year’s themes are: