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(L2 - VSS) Charting the Course: Applying Universal Design to Disability Services (30 minutes)

Presenter: Debbie O’Halloran, Keyano College

Abstract: The Counselling and Disability Services team made a decision to move our practices in the direction of a social model of delivery with the intent to remove procedural and environmental barriers.  We have embraced the philosophy that disability is an aspect of diversity thus shifting the problem from the individual with the disability to the problem with design of environments.  This session will walk you through the DS team’s journey - from the development of a mission statement to the design of accessible, inclusive DS practices.  Learn from our experiences in making changes in our thinking and office practices, including relationship with faculty. 

Audience: Student Service Providers, Faculty, and Tutors

Learning Objectives:  Participants will be able to

  • Understand the importance of reframing values and practices in a DS office
  • Explore the role of design as it relates to inclusion
  • Consider concrete examples of universal design practices in service delivery.

Biography: I am a lifelong learner and believe that change is essential to developing new opportunities and making a difference.  For the past ten years, I have held the position of Chairperson, Counselling & Disability Services at Keyano College.  Previously, I was a teacher, counsellor in the public school system.  I played a key role in developing a Disability Services (DS) office at Keyano College.  I am now in the process of changing the DS model to include design specific to diverse users with the outcome of promoting welcoming, inclusive, and sustainable environments. 

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Updated January 13, 2016 by Student & Academic Services