On Tuesday, June 2, over 100 new and prospective students, along with parents and educators, attended Conestoga’s annual Discovery Day at the Doon campus.
The event provided visitors with a chance to learn more about the accessible supports available for students with disabilities.
Comfort Afari, an Accessibility Services counsellor at Conestoga, welcomed the students. “One of the greatest myths out there is that at college or university you are considered a number and that nobody really cares about you. That is not true,” assured Afari.”The teachers here do care and we definitely want you to succeed. That’s why we’re having this event. There is a lot of help available to you and all you need to do is reach out for it.”
Visitors had the opportunity to hear personal experiences from a panel of five students who have used Conestoga’s accessibility programs. The panelists all expressed appreciation for the counselling services, as well as the tools and resources provided through the Learning Commons, which offers peer tutoring and clinics to assist with math and writing.
Members of the panel were also thankful for the services in the Adaptive Technology computer labs. Staff at the labs work with students to pair them with adaptive technology solutions, which may include specific software and hardware, or textbooks that have been converted to an alternate format, such as Braille.
The panelists also encouraged new students to consider the PASS (Post-Secondary Accommodations, Supports and Strategies) summer transition program. It’s designed for students with disabilities and prepares them for Conestoga by offering orientations, opportunities to use the college’s computer systems and helping students set up a student ID and parking pass before the start of the school year.
Following the panel discussion, those in attendance were invited to tour the campus and speak with staff at a number of information booths.
Conestoga College is committed to providing a safe and accessible environment for students with disabilities. Accommodating disabilities at the college is a shared responsibility between students, faculty and administration. The support services provided by Accessibility Services allow students to pursue their college education in a way that respects their dignity, encourages independence in their academic pursuits and promotes full participation in the college community. More information on Conestoga’s Accessibility Services is available here