Trinity-INC's #InclusiveTrinity Symposium 2023, "Cultivating Trinity’s Community of Inclusive Practices"
Trinity-INC was delighted to host our inaugural #InclusiveTrinity Symposium, “Cultivating Trinity’s Communities of Inclusive Practices” on 1st September 2023. We had a welcome by the Provost Linda Doyle, and short speeches from Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Professor Lorraine Leeson as well as from Dr Joanne Banks on Trinity's involvement in the National Charter for Universal Design for Tertiary Education. Attendees engaged with posters and presentations by Trinity staff and students, and took part in a facilitated reflexive workshop, reflecting on their own inclusive practices, as well as developing their own inclusive statement. Thank you to the Trinity Library - one of the Project's valued partners - for providing the venue. It was a stimulating morning, and the passion in the room demonstrated the commitment and enthusiasm across the College community to ensure Trinity as a place of belonging where everyone feels seen and heard.
Trinity-INC Student Partner Reflections on the Symposium
"Trinity-INC’s #InclusiveTrinity Symposium was a fantastic event for participants celebrating the work in Trinity College Dublin regarding inclusion. The symposium also looked towards the future work still to be done to foster an inclusive community in Trinity.
The morning speeches and presentations were a great opportunity to learn of different inclusive practices from a number of College staff and students from across faculties and services. As part of the opening speeches, it was encouraging to hear Provost Linda Doyle emphasise Trinity College Dublin’s commitment to inclusion. As well as this it was promising to hear this commitment extend to influencing national policy through Trinity-INC’s work with the National UD Charter. The Symposium enabled several of us Trinity-INC Student Partners to connect with staff via our own 5-minute presentations. I had the chance to provide my perspective on existing inclusive teaching practices within Medicine and highlight potential actions to improve inclusivity in the course. I am hoping next year students get even further opportunity to advocate and provide student recommendations to staff.
Following the morning presentations, the workshop in the afternoon enabled staff to reflect on what inclusive practices they were already utilising and which inclusive measures they could implement themselves for the coming academic year. It was a brilliant workshop which required participants to critically evaluate themselves in the context of inclusion, not just acknowledging their personal strengths but areas for development also. The Universal Design for Learning “plus one” approach is something which I hope all staff across campus will adopt, it is a simple but fantastic tool which looks towards one small change you can implement which would improve inclusivity in your environment. There is no better moment to do this then the start of the academic year.
Overall, the Symposium was a brilliant showcase of the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in Trinity. I hope the Symposium continues to grow every year and not only creates a space for staff to reflect but also for students to connect with staff in the context of inclusion."
"The 2023 #InclusiveTrinity Symposium strongly demonstrated the University’s commitment towards creating a more equitable and inclusive environment for staff and students alike. The well-attended event blended the voices of all Trinity stakeholders, with presentation topics ranging from the centrality of creating accessible slide material to novel proposals for inclusive initiatives.
One of the event’s highlights was the lively participation and suggestions proposed in the workshop. Staff shared personal insights and experiences of how they personally have increased inclusivity in their teaching and other practices. In particular, staff identified the necessity of flexibility, as the needs of one student often fail to correlate with the needs of another. There was also acknowledgment of the necessity of acknowledging one’s own background and limited personal insight when discussing a group or community which the speaker is not a part of. At the heart of the workshop was the conclusion that the University must be proactive and realistic when striving to improve inclusivity and accessibility.
For future Inclusive Curriculum events, it would be beneficial for additional departments to participate. For the project to succeed, there ought to be unanimous buy-in throughout the University. Inclusivity requires unity. To obtain participation of more Schools and College areas, and to raise further awareness, the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project should engage in additional promotion, and encourage those attending events to bring a ‘plus-one’ – a strategy suggested by one of the attendees on the day."
"The #InclusiveTrinity Symposium on Friday was a wonderful event, with an electric energy through the entire morning! The audience comprised multiple stakeholders from across the College, with faculty, administrators, staff and students from all departments involved. As the audience bonded over coffee and pastries, speakers such as Provost Linda Doyle, Prof. Lorraine Leeson, and Dr. Rachel Hoare shared their ideas on what an inclusive Trinity can look like. Presenters from the Trinity Careers and Library services, along with students from the Schools of Engineering, Religion, Nursing and Midwifery, spoke about inclusive measures that were being taken and needed to be taken into consideration.
It is important to ensure that every student, no matter how long they are at Trinity, feels that they are in an inclusive and accessible environment. This applies especially to postgraduate students of the University, most of whom are here for just one academic year. This sentiment was recognized at the Symposium, where issues facing current and potential postgraduate students in the form of expectations of syllabi content and barriers to entry were discussed. The workshop that followed encouraged participants to think critically about ways to be inclusive and work on ways to incorporate them in their work at the College.
Organising more events like this, where equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives are openly discussed and deliberated on is definitely part of the future of making Trinity an open space for all. Having future events targeted at students could also be constructive, as it would motivate them to understand the challenges we face, and come up with creative solutions which could be integrated into the campus."
Trinity-INC #InclusiveSymposium 2023 Agenda
Venue: Trinity Library North Training Room
8.30-9.00 - Breakfast and Poster viewing
9.00-9.30 - Welcome by Dr Rachel Hoare and Address by Provost Linda Doyle
9.30-10.45 - Presentations from Trinity staff and students, introducing inclusive practices in Trinity Schools and Units.
- Eva Cunningham - Trinity-INC Inclusive Initiative: "Inclusive Teaching in Engineering" (Academic lead: Dr Kevin Kelly)
- Gabriel Byczynski and Hana Rae Quinn - Trinity-INC Inclusive Initiative: "Undergraduate Students’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Concerns Regarding Postgraduate Study in Psychology" (Academic Lead: Dr Lorraine Swords)
- Jacqueline Whelan - Trinity-INC School Champion, School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Jaishree Malik - Trinity-INC Student Partner Initiative: "Geographical community, ethnicity and culture representation in MPhil courses in Trinity"
- Joel McKeever - Trinity Careers
- Dr Kathleen McTiernan - Trinity-INC Accessibility Champion. Director of Teaching and Learning, School of Linguistics Speech and Communication Sciences
- Mac Sizeland - Trinity-INC Student Partner
- Martina Smith - Trinity-INC Student Partner
- Shifana Niyas Mohamed - Trinity-INC Inclusive Initiative: "Inclusive Reading Lists in School of Religion" (Academic Lead: Dr Jude Lal Fernando)
- Siobhán Dunne - Trinity Library
10:45-11:00 - Break
11:00-12.30 - Reflexive Workshop on Inclusive Practices
12.30-13:00 - Lunch