The Wearable Biomechatronics Laboratory develops the next generation of mechatronic systems for rehabilitation. Dr. Ana Luisa Trejos leads an innovative research program aimed at developing nonintrusive, patient-centred, wearable mechatronic devices for rehabilitation of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). In her laboratory, cutting-edge technologies are merged to develop strategies for identifying and providing ideal treatment for each patient.

Mechatronic devices have already been shown to be beneficial as a complement to existing rehabilitation programs. Further benefit can be obtained from devices that are worn by patients during daily living in order to constantly track musculoskeletal performance. Our purpose consists of  developing novel design solutions that minimize weight and size, improve sensing ability, implement appropriate decision-making control systems and enhance human–device communication.

EDID Code of Conduct

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) Statement

The WearME Lab at Western University aims to be an accessible, equitable, safe, inclusive, and respectful space for everyone, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, beliefs, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, level of education, socioeconomic status, physical appearance or disability (physical or mental).

The WearME Lab team values respect, openness, communication, and integrity. These values guide our day-to-day behaviour while we celebrate our unique differences. The WearME Lab acknowledges that a diverse team is an absolute requirement to achieving excellence.

The goal of this EDID Code of Conduct is to outline the expectations and responsibilities expected from all members of the team in order to reinforce the values, and in order to provide us with clear actions to address issues when they arise.


We expect all members of the WearME lab to work to apply this code of conduct to their daily lives. Specifically, the code of conduct applies in the workplace and in any interaction between members of the team. This includes any physical, verbal, or written interaction, communications through online spaces (Slack, email, Teams), social media, and academic or social events hosted by Western that take place outside of the organization.

Expected behaviours

Every member of the WearME lab is expected to be considerate of other members, and contribute to a collaborative, positive, and healthy environment in which we can all succeed and feel welcome. For example, the following behaviours are expected:

  • Be supportive of your colleagues, both proactively and responsively. Offer to help if you see someone struggling or otherwise in need of assistance (taking care not to be patronizing or disrespectful). If someone approaches you looking for help (in person or via email), be generous with your time and do not ignore them; if you are under a deadline, let them know when you will be able to help or direct them to someone else who may be of assistance.
  • Be cooperative. Involve your colleagues in your day-to-day activities and acknowledge the contributions of others. Understand the implications of impostor syndrome (believing that you don’t deserve to be here) or the blowhard syndrome (believing you can do no wrong). Understand that everyone has an important role within the lab, and be respectful of others regardless of their position.
  • Be generous in both giving and accepting feedback. Feedback is a natural and important part of our culture. Good feedback is kind, respectful, clear, and constructive, and focused on goals, values, and outcomes rather than personal preferences. You are expected to give and receive feedback with gratitude and a growth mindset.
  • Be humane. Treat everyone with dignity. Be polite and friendly in all forms of communication, especially remote communication, where opportunities for misunderstanding are greater. Avoid sarcasm. Tone is hard to decipher online. Face-to-face discussions benefit from all kinds of social cues that may go missing in other forms of communication and are preferred. Online video meetings are a reasonable alternative (especially for one-on-one or small group discussions).
  • Be a positive role model. Strive to be a role model in matters concerning equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Speak up when you see unacceptable behaviour to show others how to reject violent or discriminatory behaviour. Point out discriminatory jargon that has become part of our culture, and become an agent of change within your team.
  • Recognize your unconscious and implicit biases. Educate yourself on the topic of unconscious bias to identify your tendency to make snap judgements about people’s abilities or talents, which are often based on race and gender. Learn about discrimination and stereotyping and try to recognize how your unconscious and implicit biases affect your actions. In order to consciously change behaviour, challenge reflexive judgements and consciously replace them with more thought-out responses.
  • Educate yourself on non-discriminatory interaction within our community. Make an effort to educate yourself by searching for resources and attending training sessions when they are offered. For example, learn about Canada’s history and the effects of colonialism, critically examine the damaging effects it has had on Indigenous peoples, and learn how to become an ally to help combat racism. Recognize that marginalized people are asked repeatedly to educate others in their culture or experience and should not be the first resource that you seek out.

Unacceptable behaviours

The WearME lab is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for all. Discrimination and harassment are expressly prohibited. Furthermore, any behaviour or language that is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also unacceptable. Additionally, there are a host of behaviours and language common in engineering environments that are worth noting as specifically unwelcome:

  • Avoid microaggressions. Exclusionary behaviour most often takes the form of microaggressions—subtle put-downs that may be unconsciously delivered. Regardless of intent, microaggressions can have a significant negative impact on victims and have no place on our team.
  • Avoid tone policing. This involves responding negatively to the emotion behind a person’s message while ignoring its content (telling someone who is discussing an issue that makes them upset to “calm down” instead of responding to their concerns is an example of tone policing). Similarly, you should not expect politeness and acceptance when a person is faced with violence and discrimination.
  • Avoid unwelcome language. There are a host of behaviours and language common on engineering teams that are worth noting as specifically unwelcome: Avoid “well, actually”—pedantic corrections that are often insulting and unproductive. Make an effort not to interrupt your colleagues while they are speaking. Give everyone credit for their good ideas and avoid only accepting that they are good once they have been repeated by someone else; similarly, do not take credit for someone else’s work or ideas.
  • Do not use exclusionary language. Be careful in the words that you choose, even if it is as small as choosing “hey, everyone” over “hey, guys.” Do not call women “girls” or “young woman” if they have graduated high school. Use the pronoun “they” instead of “he/she.” Comments such as “It is so easy, even your mother could do it” are both sexist and ageist. Any sexist, racist, ableist, and other exclusionary jokes are not appropriate and will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Any language that is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also strongly discouraged.
  • Do not ridicule others for a lack of knowledge. It is always acceptable to say, “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand.” All sincere questions are great questions! Please do not act surprised when people are not familiar with a tool, person, place, or process. This applies to both technical things (“What?! I can’t believe you don’t know how to use a Mac!”) and non-technical things (“You don’t know who KC is?!”).
  • Do not patronize. Take care neither to patronize your colleagues nor assume complete knowledge of a topic. This is especially important when talking about technical topics: many women and people of color in the engineering field have multiple tales of a person, usually a man, explaining something to them in a manner considered condescending, overconfident and oversimplified within a field in which they themselves are experts, or of being excluded from learning opportunities because a colleague would not make an effort to answer questions—don’t be that person. Remember that your colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of and listen at least as much as you speak.
  • Avoid cultural misappropriation. When you take a cultural element from its original context and use it in a different context it can lead to misinterpretation or disrespect of culture or beliefs. Specifically, elements of Indigenous culture, such as dance, music, art, language, folklore, cuisine, medicine, or dress, should not be adopted or exploited by non-Indigenous groups. It is ok to purchase authentic crafts, clothing, and fine arts, but do so directly from Indigenous sources to know for certain that misappropriation is not taking place, and to support Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Learn how people want to be addressed. Make an effort to ask how a person wants to be addressed and learn the proper pronunciation. Do not shorten someone’s name for convenience, convert it to an English pronunciation, or make comments such as “it’s too long,” “I just can’t say it properly,” or “I’m not even going to try with that one.” Use their requested pronouns if known.
  • Do not make assumptions. Assumptions about a person’s gender (including their pronouns), level of knowledge, marital status, age, or language should not be made based on how they look. Treating everyone with respect and being conscious of your own biases will help you to avoid insulting someone due to an incorrect assumption.
  • Respond appropriately to corrections. If someone approaches you with a complaint, do not say, “Comment X wasn't sexist!” or “That’s not what they meant. You’re being too sensitive.” Just apologize and move on. Similarly, do not continue to criticize excessively once a mistake has been addressed.
  • Do not be a bystander. If you ever witness something that seems like it is not aligned with our values or the standards outlined above, err on the side of caring for your colleagues. Even if an incident seems minor, reach out to the person impacted by it to check in. Consider submitting a report as described below. Depending on the circumstances, you may also want to speak directly to the person who has violated our EDID Standards.

Reporting a problem

If you feel there is an immediate threat to your safety or the safety of any member of the campus community, or if you become aware that any member of the campus community is a victim or perpetrator of violence report this information to the Campus Safety and Emergency Services (ext. 83300) or call 911 in an emergency.

When something goes wrong—whether it’s a microaggression or an instance of harassment—there are a number of things that you can do to make sure that the situation is addressed. Know that it is your overarching right to protect yourself and others, and to file a complaint in a manner that protects you further. Consider any, or all, of the following options according to your level of comfort:

  1. File a report through the Human Rights Office. You can report an incident anonymously or confidentially by visiting https://www.uwo.ca/hro/discrimination/help/index.html and select to either send an email, or use the online form to report a concern. The latter option allows you to remain anonymous, but regardless of how you submit, the information will be treated confidentially.
  2. Contact your supervisor. Your supervisor is always here to listen, help and take action. Never hesitate to contact her directly should you have any questions or concerns.
  3. Address it directly. For smaller incidents that might be settled with a brief conversation, you can choose to contact the person in question or send an email to express how the incident affected you. Most people do not realize that they are causing distress, and a gentle reminder may be sufficient. Please use this approach only if you feel comfortable; you do not have to carry the weight of addressing these issues yourself.

How do we Improve?

None of us are perfect. All of us will, from time to time, fail to live up to our very high standards. What matters is not having a perfect track record but owning up to our mistakes and committing to a clear and persistent effort to improve.

If you are approached as having (consciously or otherwise) acted in a way that might make your teammates feel unwelcome, listen with an open mind, and avoid becoming defensive. Remember that if someone offers you feedback, it likely took a great deal of courage for them to do so. Do not come up with excuses or reasons for your actions. Just listen to them and thank them for letting you know how your actions made them feel. The best way to respect that courage is to acknowledge your mistake, apologize, and move on with a renewed commitment to do better.

Repeated or severe violations of this code can and will be addressed by the Human Rights Office, and can lead to disciplinary actions, including termination. Visit Western University's Non-Discrimination/Harassment/Sexual Misconduct Policy for further information.

The WearME lab has established this EDID Code of Conduct to hold ourselves to the highest standards of communication, collaboration, and academic excellence. This document is intended to be reviewed, critiqued, and amended periodically to reflect the evolving culture of the team.


All WearME Lab students and employees are invited to contribute to this EDID Code of Conduct. Members are expected to review this document regularly and are invited to contribute to discussions around changes. Note, of course, that contributions to the code and discussions around it are themselves governed by the rules of the code.

Please send an email to Dr. Trejos if you have a question or suggestion for evolving the policies. Provide as much context as you can and a justification for the change requested.


This code of conduct is released under an Attribution CC BY license.