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May 29, 2017 7:15 AM

Discovery Day introduces new students to Accessibility Services

Conestoga’s Accessibility Services team welcomed parents, educators and prospective students to Discovery Day, held May 24 at the Doon campus. The event highlighted the services and supports available at the college for students with disabilities.

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During Discovery Day on May 24, students shared their experiences with the accessibility services available at Conestoga for students with disabilities.

During the morning, guests participated in a panel discussion with five Conestoga students who represent a diverse range of programs; they shared their experiences and discussed the support services they have accessed at the college.

“I used all the programs the college has to offer, but remember that asking for help is really important,” said Kelly Annets, a Recreation and Leisure student who will graduate at this year’s Spring Convocation. “My advice is to also get involved in activities while you’re here. Create your college journey and have some fun.” 

The panelists recommended seeking assistance from Counselling Services to help with stress related to exams, and suggested using the tools and resources provided through the Learning Commons, which offers clinics to assist with math and writing. The panel also reminded prospective students to learn more about the Adaptive Technology Lab. Staff at the lab 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. 

“I didn’t participate in very much during high school, so when I decided to attend Conestoga as a mature student I knew I wanted to have the experience I missed out on,” said Annets. “Everyone here has helped guide me, offer support and give me confidence. At Conestoga I found out who I was.”

Annets looked to the college for a new beginning after her grandmother passed away; she was eager to find a purpose when she lost her role as a primary caregiver. After observing recreation activities at a seniors’ centre, she realized that would be the direction to pursue.

In her spare time Annets has volunteered with Student Life and Accessibility Services in various roles that include peer educator and orientation leader. She has also worked with new students in the college's summer transition program, also available through Accessibility Services. It is available to students with disabilities and runs in late August to help prepare them for the Fall term on campus.

“My passion is with seniors, but now that I’ve completed my program and learned more about myself, I’m open to working with other groups. My hope is to find a role where I can continue to build community.”

Following the panel discussion, attendees were invited to tour the campus and visit information booths to learn more about the Adaptive Technology Lab, Financial Services, Counselling Services, Residence, Admissions, the Library Resource Centre and the Learning Commons.

Conestoga 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.

Visit Conestoga’s Accessibility Services’ website for more information.

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