Cultural Competency and Diversity Policy

January 11, 2018
Last Updated
May 13, 2021


Cultural competence refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures.

Cultural competence comprises four components:

Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview,

Attitude towards cultural differences,

Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and

Cross-cultural skills.

Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures.


The goal of this Cultural Competency and Diversity Policy is to raise the consciousness of the organization, increase our cultural competence, and create a process where diversity is recognized as an important value that will be given ongoing attention. We believe it is important that there is open dialogue, information available and input from all staff, volunteers and service recipients in order to maintain a positive program and work environment, which is free from discrimination and which is culturally aware and sensitive. This will guarantee that the people we serve and all staff, contractors, and volunteers are treated with dignity and respect.


The division demonstrates its commitment to cultural competency and diversity by adopting the following statement:

The division acknowledges and respects the value of a diverse community. This recognition includes culture, gender, age, cross-disabilities, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, socio-economic status and language. Our mandate is to maintain an environment that is supportive of these elements by promoting inclusion within the organization and the communities we serve.

We commit to:

  • Providing programs and services that are respectful of the individuals served.

  • Promoting awareness of the value of a diverse community.

  • Creating an environment that is respectful of individual differences.

  • Reflecting the diversity of our community, specifically of the people that we serve, throughout the organization. This includes staff, volunteers and members of the Board of Directors.


The division also adopts the following practices which strive to promote cultural competence and diversity:

  • The division’s Cultural Competency and Diversity Policy is Shared with stakeholders during staff and volunteer orientations and on the division’s website

  • The Cultural Competency and Diversity Policy is reviewed and revised (as necessary) on an annual basis by the Executive Director and Division Board of Directors.

  • Program Policies and Best Practices are reviewed and updated (as necessary) annually to ensure they reflect principles of non-discrimination.

  • Demographics of staff, volunteers, and service recipients are reviewed to inform our decision making of where to focus improvements with regards to diversity.

  • Feedback from individuals served, volunteers and staff, through surveys and the complaint process, is viewed through a cultural competency and diversity lens.

  • The Executive Director and program leadership support ongoing and open discussions regarding cultural differences and diversity during program activities.

  • Students in the Blind People in Charge Program, with the assistance of the Program and Student Affairs Coordinator or their designate, develop individual goals and activities that reflect their cultural origins and interests, while respecting the cultural diversity of the program community as a whole.

  • As the division expands its programs and services, it will continue to develop its cultural competence and diversity by seeking the assistance of individuals from a culturally diverse group and/or recognized professionals who have cultural expertise.