About Us

The Inter-University Disability Issues Association (IDIA) provides a forum for professionals working in the accessibility offices of Ontario universities to share ideas and problem-solve together. Our goal is to make the educational environment at our respective institutions accessible to all students.

As of the 2022 Annual General Meeting, the current executive is:

  • Michael Nicholson - University of Toronto (Chair)
  • Maureen Barnes - York University (Past-Chair)
  • Kate Dykstra - Trent University (Projects Coordinator)
  • Barry Praamsma-Townshend - University of Guelph (Secretary Treasurer)

Our mandate was originally developed in 1988 with a focus on the following themes, which have largely remained our focus:

  • Setting standards for service provision and delivery
  • Sharing ideas and information
  • Professional development
  • Liaising with our college counterparts, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and the Council of Ontario Universities
  • Lobbying for improved service delivery and in particular funding for accessibility offices

Our original name was the Inter-University Association for Special Needs, which was changed to our current name on May 11, 1992. At the Annual General Meeting in 2010, the bylaws were amended to clarify that a university must be a member or associate member of the Council of Ontario Universities in order to qualify for full/voting membership in IDIA.