April 27, 2023
The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and UBC Community Engagement announce the recipients of the 2022-23 Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund. A total of $747,270 was awarded to 31 successful projects. Receiving up to $25,000 each, these projects are exceptional examples of community-university partnerships addressing priority issues across the province.
Dr. Andrea Bundon
Delivering adapted exercise equipment to users with disabilities
Community Partner: Eric Molendyk, British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society (BCMOS)
UBC Partner | Faculty member: Dr. Andrea Bundon, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, UBC Vancouver
Members of disability communities have fewer options to engage in exercise and encounter many barriers when trying to use traditional exercise equipment at the gym or in their homes. This project brings together an existing multidisciplinary research team (biomechanics, engineering, kinesiology, occupational therapy) that has already designed 3 pieces of adaptive exercise equipment through a user-driven design process. Their designs modify popular cardio exercise machines (the Concept 2 Rowing and Ski ergometers that are found in many commercial gyms and community centres and rowing machine that can be purchased from Amazon for home use) so that they can be used without transferring from a wheelchair or while seated on a regular chair. The researchers will partner with the Disability Foundation (DF), a group of societies with the shared mission of ‘providing opportunities for people with physical disabilities to enable their individual journeys.’
The partnership has three aims. The first is to explore how the partners might collaborate to manufacture, advertise, sell and distribute the already designed adaptive exercise equipment through the DF’s existing social enterprise that sells adaptive equipment. TETRA (DF society that involves volunteer ‘makers’ who build and modify equipment) will be involved in this initiative. The second aim will explore what other exercise needs community members identify including options for online / at home exercise. This work will be done by BCMOS (DF affiliated society that provides exercise and active recreation programming) and will include the creation of an online course with videos showing community members how to use the adaptive exercise equipment. CONNECTRA (DF affiliated society that connects community to information and resources) will be involved in hosting conversations with community, soliciting feedback, and advertising equipment and programs. The final aim will be for partners to learn more about each other’s priorities and operations with the goal of developing future projects.
Dr. Rosalin Miles
Empowering Indigenous learners: creating a culturally relevant toolkit to enhance parent-teacher dialogue
The UBC Indigenous Health and Physical Activity Program and the Vancouver School Board are partnering to co-create a culturally relevant toolkit to support Indigenous learners in parent-teacher conversations. Parents of Indigenous learners often experience deficit-based exchanges in parent-teacher dialogues. Dialogues between parents and teachers should reflect Indigenous ways of knowing, including ties to Indigenous community values and practices and utilize a strengths-based approach to child development. A strengths-based approach empowers Indigenous peoples, promotes levels of self-determination, and supports culturally-safe and relevant engagement. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, this novel project addresses four Calls to Action to enable and guide the dialogue between educators and parents of Indigenous children. Through co-creation design, Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, scholars, and community leaders will ensure that the toolkit reflects Indigenous ways of knowing and honours sacred traditions and languages. This meaningful and reciprocal collaboration avoids perpetuating negative feelings of shame or stigma surrounding aspirations and aims to improve learner engagement and success rates in learning.
Dr. E. Wayne Ross
Learning while Black: Researching the post-secondary experiences of Black youth
A coalition of Black youth based out of Solid State Community Industries in Surrey, BC is interested in researching the factors that encourage and support Black youth in Metro Vancouver to apply for and succeed at post-secondary institutions, UBC in particular. In collaboration with Education Professor E. Wayne Ross and racial justice advocate and postdoctoral fellow Paula Littlejohn, Solid State youth will investigate and document (primarily via video and social media) the experiences of Black people in British Columbia as they have interacted with post-secondary institutions. We will reach out to a variety of people: high school students, students who were thwarted in their applications to post-secondary, those who were accepted, those who dropped out or changed paths, current post-secondary students, and alumni. The work will happen through a mix of interviews, focus groups, surveys, and public-facing gatherings which will be informed by participatory and activist research methodologies. Research questions for the project include: What barriers do Black people in British Columbia face when pursuing post-secondary education, what types of support and structural change are necessary to remove these barriers, and how can we move towards a more just and equitable educational future? Solid State youth will compile and present the findings in multimedia formats. These audio-visual deliverables will be produced with multiple audiences in mind: Black people interested in pursuing education, post-secondary educators who wish to support Black students and foster diverse and just institutions, as well as community members and advocates who care about these issues. The research will conclude with a community event drawing together Black post-secondary students—current and future—from across the region, as well as other stakeholders to create a space for networking, information and supporting Black youth to meet and learn from fellow students.
To learn more about the full list of funded projects, visit the UBC Community Engagement website.