Update: CIHR’s Work on Accessibility and Systemic Ableism
Message from the Co-Chairs of the CIHR External Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Systemic Ableism

We are pleased to share a summary of what we learned from virtual discussion sessions hosted with persons with disabilities from across Canada in 2022. Over the course of these sessions, CIHR learned about the many ways of understanding, experiencing, and identifying with disability, and how persons with disabilities interact with CIHR and the health research funding system.

We are grateful for these insights and would like to extend our sincere thanks to all who participated in the virtual discussion sessions. We would also like to thank members of the CIHR External Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Systemic Ableism who co-facilitated the virtual discussion sessions.

Findings from these sessions will inform an in-depth action plan that addresses barriers to accessibility and issues of systemic ableism in CIHR's funding activities. This action plan will define CIHR measures to address the requirements of the Accessible Canada Act (2019) in its programs and services.

We have also put together a glossary of words and definitions we use in our work. The glossary aims to ensure the words we use in our work align with those used in other Government of Canada documents, such as the Accessible Canada Act (2019) and the Guide on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Terminology. The glossary will be updated over time to respond to new and evolving terms.

Next Steps

Activities to support the full participation of persons with disabilities in the health research funding system are still underway, including:

Once completed, all findings will be posted on CIHR’s website- Improving accessibility and eliminating systemic ableism in Canada's health research funding system webpage.

We welcome your feedback

If you would like to reach us with thoughts or comments about our work, we invite you to email us at: edi@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.


Dr. Tammy Clifford
CIHR Vice-President, Research – Learning Health Systems
CIHR Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Champion

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai
CNIB Vice-President, Research & International Affairs
CNIB Chief Accessibility Officer

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