The University of British Columbia

Santa Ono, President & Vice-Chancellor

Accessibility Leadership

Santa Ono is the 15th President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. He also serves as Chair of the U15 Group of Universities, on the Board of Directors of Universities Canada, and as Past Chair of Research Universities of British Columbia. In 2018, he served as co-chair of the Tri-council advisory committee on equity, diversity and inclusion policy.

Prior to his appointment as President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, Dr. Ono served as the 28th President of the University of Cincinnati and Senior Vice-Provost and Deputy to the Provost at Emory University. A molecular immunologist educated at the University of Chicago and McGill, Dr. Ono has taught at Johns Hopkins, Harvard University and University College London.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from Chiba University and the Vancouver School of Theology and is a recipient of the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, the Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago, a Grand Challenges Hero Award from UCLA and the NAAAP 100 Award from the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

Our Organization

Who We Are

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for teaching, learning and research, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world and recently recognized as North America’s most international university. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

Why We Are Involved

Education is an enabler of social development and mobility, and UBC is intent on advancing the inclusion of all those who have been excluded based on physical ability, gender, race, religion, sexuality, age, and/or economic circumstances. As a public institution, UBC has the responsibility to ensure inclusion across students, faculty, staff and alumni, and through all external interactions. Inclusion is a commitment to access, success and representation of historically underserved, marginalized or excluded populations.

Distinction and Awards

  • 2021: Top Employer in BC, Canada’s Top 100 Employers
  • 2020: Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
  • Top Diversity Employers 2012 – 2017

Accessibility Initiatives

  • Provide leadership on issues of accessibility and disability-related and/or medical accommodations for UBC faculty, staff, and students.
  • An Equipment Accommodation Fund is available to help cover extraordinary costs associated with specialized adaptive supplies and equipment for faculty and staff.
  • Produce accessible print materials in alternate formats, such as large print, audio or e-text, sign language interpreting, oral interpreting, or captioning services.
  • Return to Work Program provides faculty and staff access to information and services for injured and/or ill employees.
  • Facilitated ‘Thrive Week’ campaign since 2009 that encourages dialogue and awareness around mental health challenges.
  • Conducted physical-access audits of campus facilities to address the specific accessibility needs of individuals.
  • Committed to universal design principles for all new buildings and whenever possible in retrofits.
  • Launched an Accessibility Shuttle service to promote accessibility across more than 400 hectares of our UBC’s Point Grey campus.

Accessibility Highlights

  • Committed to advancing knowledge by providing educational programming and understanding around a variety of disability-related topics.
  • Building on our commitments to inclusion as part of UBC’s strategic plan, and the ongoing development of our Inclusion Action Plan.
  • Established the President’s Working Committee on Disability Culture, Art and Equity.
  • Hosted a series of events and workshops that proactively advanced research and community engagement around the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Provide funding to employee-led initiatives that seek to create a more inclusive and accessible environment and community.