Rehabilitation Science and Technology is FOR EVERYONE
SHRS' Inclusion Initiatives play an important role in the University of Pittsburgh's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion campus-wide. It is an effective means of reaching diverse students to let them know that their decision to pursue their studies in one of our health care options is a fantastic way of providing high quality, comprehensive care to others and that the door is open for everyone.
It is our pleasure to partner with SHRS programs in recruiting, welcoming, retaining and graduating talented diverse health care professionals for the good of our country's health.
Statement on Anti-Asian, Pacific Islander Violence:
The Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) strongly condemns the recent acts of racism and violence that have been occurring against the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. These acts driven by hatred and racism and perpetuated through misinformation will not be tolerated. The RST Department pledges support to the communities that are experiencing violent acts and aims to make the academic environment safer and equitable for all faculty, staff and students, regardless of their background and race.
A statement of anti-racism is not enough. At RST, the Equity, Justice and Inclusion (EJI) Committee is driving diversity and inclusion efforts to mitigate elements of unconscious bias and foster equity and racial justice. If you witness an unconscious bias or racism incident in the department, and wish to speak confidentially with the EJI team, please let us know using our EJI tip line. More importantly, if you are in a life-threatening situation in the Pitt Community and in need of immediate emergency services, please contact Pitt Police at 412-624-2121.
The mission of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology’s (RST) Equity, Justice and Inclusion Initiative is to promote diversity, maintain accountability and amplify the voices of disenfranchised persons. Through our efforts, we guarantee all department personnel the opportunity to succeed academically and professionally regardless of their background.
Rehabilitation Science and Technology is a broad field that includes aspects of health care, engineering and other sciences. Recognizing systemic, historical inequities in these areas, RST has developed the following priorities and actionable initiatives to meet our goal of guaranteed success and justice.
RST EJI Quick Links:
AccelerATe Scholarship - The goal of the AccelerATe scholarship is to expand the assistive technology field’s workforce more globally and inclusively. As the need for AT grows, so does the need for diverse, visionary scholars who have demonstrated leadership in areas typically under-represented in STEM and health care.
1. Promote Diversity
RST is dedicated to hiring, enrolling and collaborating with diverse groups of peers. To do this, we have developed need-based scholarships to reduce financial barriers to education, dedicated resources to promoting our program in different regions and among various populations and reviewed our practices to guarantee that we are not susceptible to unconscious biases in hiring and enrollment.
2. Maintain Accountability
The most important step in making long-lasting change is to look internally and improve oneself. To lead by example, RST has set up various "checks" to hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of justice and equity. We have reviewed both our physical and virtual spaces to ensure that they are accessible, and periodically administer a department survey to collect feedback on the inclusion climate within RST. Our EJI committee considers this feedback when deciding where to allocate resources to best promote the goals of the initiative.
3. Amplify Voices
When fighting for justice and inclusion, the views and voices that are most important are often the first to be suppressed. To combat this, RST strives to create an environment where such perspectives are valued and given a platform to be heard. We facilitate open discussion and ensure that our thinking is not limited only to the domains, perspectives and solutions that we have accepted in the past.
The RST EJI Initiative aligns with:
- The University's goal and strategies to promote Diversity and Inclusion
- The mission of our Office of Health Sciences Diversity (OHSD)
- The values that define the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS)