Dr. Ruth Warick, a leader in the voluntary sector and an experienced manager, joins Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility as Director of Programs & Services. Dr. Warick has experience with strategic planning, program development and management, client needs assessment, program evaluation, and research. She is dedicated to the inclusion and accessibility of persons with disabilities, particularly those who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing.
Dr. Warick was employed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for more than 25 years and as a Senior Accessibility Advisor, she had responsibility for facilitating reasonable accommodations for students, staff, and faculty with disabilities; in particular, she coordinated the provision of American sign language (ASL)interpreting and captioning services. Her work was based on a framework of recognizing the intersectionality of people’s lives, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and identity as Indigenous people.
She served as Co-chair of the Adult Special Education –Services, Articulation Committee for the post-secondary sector in BC from 2004 – 2007 and Chair of the Diversity Initiative Project of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) for her profession, from 2008 to 2011.
She has prior experience as Director, Staff Development/ Management Development for the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission; Director, Women’s Services Branch for Saskatchewan Advanced Education and Manpower, as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Professional Programs for the University of Regina’s Extension unit. Her first career was as a newspaper reporter.
Working as part of a team of university researchers, she was editor of the first evaluation report of the Medical Interpreting Services in 2000 and was author of the section on ASL interpreting and captioning.
Dr. Warick’s innovations include being a founder of a services agency for Deaf and hard of hearing persons in Saskatchewan, being a founding member of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, and establishing an award-winning Seniors’ Education Centre at the University of Regina. She established the first development projects on education, employment, and healthcare of hard of hearing people for the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People of which she is currently President.
She also serves the international cross-disability movement as the First Vice-President of the International Disability Alliance, which interfaces with the United Nations on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has been involved in leadership positions in IDA since 2006.
Dr. Warick, who has a severe hearing loss, has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of British Columbia. She was awarded a Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1999/2000, for her thesis research on the post-secondary experiences of hard of hearing students. She received a Service excellence award from the Disability Resource Network of BC in 2009, and a UBC President’s Award of Excellence in Diversity in 2012.