Upcoming Events

April 27, 2021 to May 6, 2021

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Accessibilty & Inclusion Summit


Tuesday/Thursday April 27/29, 2021 and

Tuesday/Thursday May 4/6, 2021

Schedule to take place between 12:00-3:00ET (9:00-12:00 PT)

The 2021 Accessibility & Inclusion Summit is an opportunity for professional staff working in Accessibility and Inclusion to come together to engage in discussions surrounding their work. The Summit will take place April 27/29 and May 4/6 online. The goal of the summit is to bring together experts and novices from the accessibility/disability field to learn, share, and discuss a variety of topics of interest identified by the membership. Our theme is Supporting Student Success in Accessibility/Disability Services. Topics of Interest will include making accommodation decisions, collaborating with faculty, implementing UDL, transitions between post-secondary and employment and more.

The schedule for the event will be posted on March 1.

For more information contact - access@cacuss.ca

For questions about registration contact- contact@cacuss.ca




Registration information

CACUSS Member: $49 plus tax

Non-member: $69 plus tax

Registration includes access to all presentations, plenaries/keynotes, and recordings (where available).

Note, if you are registering more than one member of your team, use the code  Access10Teams (10% off for additional team members)

Accessibility & Inclusion Summit Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday, April 27 12:00-3:00ET/9:00-12:00PT

Room 1: Universal Design for Learning

A: Today’s Accommodations are Tomorrow’s Best Practices

Presented by: Jeff Iles, Disabilities Counsellor, Centre for Accessible Learning, Algonquin College - Pembroke Waterfront Campus  

     Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan has identified 2025 as the goal for full accessibility across the province.  For many institutions, AODA compliance is perceived as a curse rather than a blessing. 
But time and time again, disability service offices have demonstrated that innovation is at the heart of their service. From curb cuts to bring-your-own-device policies, the accommodations put in place for individuals identifying have time again become best practice. 

B: Changing Practices: The intersectionality of accommodations, accessibility, and UDL

Presented by: Ellen Flanagan, Accessibility Consultant, George Brown College & Ravinder Brar, Access and Inclusion Coach, George Brown College  

Our session will follow the campfire format to maximize knowledge sharing to support learner variability. We will explore the intersection between academic accommodations, accessibility, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and review models to reduce barriers and widen access for all learners.

  • We will share GBC’s UDL Certificate, designed to engage professors in self-directed learning, interactive group learning, one-on-one coaching, and peer-to-peer sharing activities, to work through understanding and applying the UDL framework at progressively deeper levels.
  • Collaboratively, we will reflect on current roles acting to widen access for learners, current practices, and future initiatives which leverage collaboration.

Room 2: How advisors determine accommodations

A: Exploring a functional limitation framework for decision-making processes in disability services

Presented by: Jessie Gunnell, Research and Development Officer (READ), Carleton University,
Sonia Tanguay, Disabilities Coordinator (PMC), Carleton University & Boris Vukovic, Director (READ), Carleton University   

     This session will use assessment of functional limitations as a source of information for post-secondary disability professionals to establish baselines for disability-related functioning and in turn conceptualize, recommend and/or guide disability related support services.  

The session intends to use a pre-existing structured functional limitations questionnaire as one source of information to assist in developing a student profile to guide student development planning and skills building. The participants will become familiar with the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0, a free self-report questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization.  

Through discussions, attendees will share their experiences as student support services professionals and engage in constructive dialogues through case scenarios on how to promote rapport building, student resiliency, skills and strategies by identifying areas of need through assessment of functional limitations in the context of post-secondary education. 

B: Learning Strategy Support for Student Success  

Presented by: Jaclyn Borden, Learning Strategist, UPEI & Nicole Wadden Garland, Coordinator of Accessibility Services, UPEI   

     In this roundtable session, we will review the potential for learning strategy support to reduce and remove barriers to academic success for students with disabilities in higher education. We will also review how UPEI provides one to one learning strategy support as an accommodation for students registered with Accessibility Services.  
The participants will use guided questions based on the following themes: learning strategy support as an accommodation, delivery of learning strategy instruction, and the potential for learning strategy support to improve academic success for students with disabilities.  
Participants will also have the opportunity to share their experiences delivering learning strategy support to students with disabilities. Specifically, participants will evaluate the model they are using and the success of the learning strategies they recommend to students. Through this discussion, we will develop a document of best practices and resources for teaching learning strategies to students with disabilities.  

Thursday, April 29 12:00-3:00ET/9:00-12:00PT

Room 1: Universal Design for Learning

A: Faculty Liaison Disability Counsellor:  Beyond Accessibility:  Year One 

Presented by: Sara Jordan, Manager, Centre for Accessible Learning, Algonquin College/ Bonney Hunt, Faculty Liaison Disability Counsellor, Centre for Accessible Learning, Algonquin College 

    This interactive session will illuminate the unique role of the Faculty Liaison Disability Counsellor at Algonquin College.  Specifically, the session will be divided into two sections:  the first will address the rationale, description, and context of the position.  Part Two will address how the role's focus on Accommodation, Accessibility and UDL are addressed in the broader context of Algonquin College's Learner Driven Plan. 
Participants can expect to learn more about this new role;  it's rationale, purpose, and description through the use of both quantitative and qualitative data gathered across the campus.  Attendees will also benefit from insights into Accommodation, Accessibility, and UDL and how these are addressed in a larger campus initiative.  Participants are encouraged to reflect upon, post questions and share experiences and data with similar roles and experiences at their institutions.  Pre-session questions will be provided to recruit interest and stimulate discussion. 
Finally, participants can expect to take away tips and ready to use strategies for communication, advocacy, awareness and the implementation of Academic Accommodations, Accessibility and UDL.  Indications for next steps will be discussed. 

B: Accessibility & Inclusion Leadership Roundtable

Tuesday, May 4 12:00-3:00ET/9:00-12:00PT

Room 1: Transition Planning

A:  How UPEI uses Collaborative Transition Meetings, Summer Orientation, and Peer Mentoring to Transition Students from High School to PSE.  

Presented by: Nicole Wadden Garland, Coordinator, Accessibility Services, UPEI & Jaclyn Borden, Learning Strategist, UPEI  

     In this presentation, we will review how UPEI supports students in their transition to university. We will create a shared document of best practices based on the following questions: 

  • How do we make the structure and expectations of university explicit to students with disabilities early on so they understand the environment, responsibilities, and adjustments they have to make to be successful? 
  • How do we support students with disabilities in making the transition from an educational environment often characterized by high levels of teacher and parental support to an environment where they are expected to take more responsibility for their own learning and advocacy? 
  • How do we ensure students with disabilities are given appropriate information during course selection in order to reduce cognitive load while managing accommodations? 
  • How do we make it easier for students with disabilities to navigate the complex administrative systems and services environment present on campus? 
  • How do we ensure our services are known and accessible to students? 
  • How do we ensure that we support students with disabilities in transitions while addressing the particular needs of different groups in our highly diverse student body?  
    Questions adapted from Keating, Davies, and Holden (2006) 

B: Supporting the Career Development of Students with Disabilities 

Presented by: Karen Unger, Accessibility Work Experience Program Coordinator, University of Alberta Career Centre  

     The University of Alberta Career Centre launched the Accessibility Work Experience Program (AWEP) in January 2019 for students and alumni with a permanent disability or mental health diagnosis. The purpose of AWEP is to provide participants with enhanced employability assistance support, wherever they are on in their career development journey, and to offer meaningful work experience opportunities that align with their field of study, level of education, and career interests. 
AWEP started as a collaboration between Accessibility Resources and the Career Centre, both of which are student services units that fall under the Dean of Students portfolio. As the program has developed, we have built a collaborative relationship with the Department of Occupational Therapy. Consultations with Occupational Therapy practicum students have become a key component of AWEP. 
This presentation will offer best practices and lessons learned in the first 18 months of developing and implementing the program. Participants will engage in a discussion about: 
- The value of offering targeted career services to students with disabilities 
- Opportunities for collaboration with on-campus and off-campus partners. 
- Promoting experiential learning and career development opportunities to enhance the resume of students with disabilities throughout their entire experience at university.       

Room 2: Best Practices

A:  Health and Wellness in Today's Post-Secondary World - Collaboration and Innovation 

Presented by:  Matthew Maston, Disability Services Advisor, Mount Allison University  

     Traditional health and wellness programming has tended to rely on systematic platforms, which are often appointment based, direct, and focused on treatment over prevention and wellbeing. This session will begin with an overview of innovative and collaborative health and wellness efforts implemented at Mount Allison University that have been designed to differ from such traditional approaches. These modern approaches include wellness planning, appointment-free counselling, faculty/staff collaboration regarding health and wellness, connections with external agencies, and the redefining of campus space to support student wellbeing. Following this brief overview of programming, presenters will become facilitators to allow for participants to describe innovative and collaborative programming that has been implemented at their own institutions. Future directions for health and wellness programming will also be discussed. Participants will leave the session having learned about various health and wellness programs that may be utilized at or formatted for their own institutions. This discussion may also prompt participants to think about reshaping traditional approaches to health and wellness that have become less applicable in today’s post-secondary context.  

B: Heads Up! How Adaptech’s Research Findings Can Inform Your Practice 

Presented by: Alice Havel, Dawson College & Susie Wileman, ADAPTECH

     Does research have a role in supporting student success in colleges and universities? The Adaptech Research Network contends that it does. That is why, for 20+ years, we have been conducting research involving Canadian postsecondary students with disabilities. Our goal is to provide empirically based information to various stakeholders that they can use to inform best practices, provide data for lobbying and guide policy. Recently, we have begun to examine our data through a universal design lens. 

We will begin by briefly sharing our research findings regarding a variety of topics including: 

  • Demographics of students who do and do not register for Accessibility/Disability Services; 
  • Their graduation and persistence rates; 
  • The employment experiences of graduates; 
  • The use of personal technologies in completing academic work; 
  • Integration of smartphones and tablets inside and outside the classroom;  
  • Students’ online course experiences during COVID. 

A discussion will follow the presentation.   Presenters will address questions such as: 

  • Do our findings reflect what is happening on your campus? 
  • How can you use research data to lobby on your campus? 
  • Does research in general support a Universal Design in Higher Education (UDHE) paradigm? 
  • Are there research findings available specifically on your campus to support a UDHE paradigm?  

Thursday, May 6 12:00-3:00ET/9:00-12:00PT

Room 1: Transition Planning

A:  Best Practices for Supporting Students with ASD in their Transition to Post-Secondary 

Presented by: Amanda Dresch (Disabilities Counsellor/Transition Support Centre Coordinator) & Amanda Smith (Disabilities Counsellor), Algonquin College 

     This session will provide attendees with an awareness of the best practices for supporting students on the spectrum in their transition into post-secondary. Attendees will be presented with an overview of the Transition Support Centre services such as Disability Counselling, Learning Strategy services, Assistive Technology support, workshops, social events, just-in-time drop-in space, and faculty education/support. General tips for supporting students with ASD will also be discussed. Attendees will then have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss how they might integrate universal and accessible strategies for supporting individuals with ASD. 

B: Accommodation changes between high school and university:  Their effect on academic performance and transition experiences 

Presented by: Jeanette Parsons, PhDc  Director, Accessibility Services, Wilfrid Laurier, University

     We know that academic accommodations often change for students as they transition from high school to university.  However, research has not yet identified the most significant accommodation changes that students experience, or the effect they have on their transition experience at university.   

This session will present findings from doctoral research that identifies the most significant changes to accommodations that students experience between high school and university.  It will also highlight the effect of these changes on university academic performance and personal transition experiences.  Using a specially designed academic accommodation comparator tool, the study compared accommodations on high school IEPs for 71 participants with their first-year accommodations at university.  Receipt of certain university accommodations, and changes to accommodations between high school and university, were analyzed for their effect on academic performance, including GPA and failed courses in first year.  Participants were also interviewed about their accommodation experiences at high school and university, and the influence that changing academic accommodations had on their transition from high school to university.   
A 20-minute presentation will highlight key findings.  Participants can then join a facilitated discussion about applying these findings to accessibility advising practice in supporting the transition experiences of students with disabilities.   

Room 2: Best Practices

A:  It Takes a Village: The Intersection Between Field Placement Accommodations and Peer Supports for Students with Disabilities 

Presented by: Toby Merritt, Donna Boyce, Kasey Waddell, Mohawk College   

     Colleges and universities are responding to an increasingly complex environment that necessitates implementation of novel solutions for individual accommodations in an environment where financial constraints are ever present. Given the focus on experiential learning opportunities within most post-secondary programs, there is a need to explore innovative ways to ensure that students with disabilities fully participate in experiential learning opportunities. One way that post-secondary institutions can respond to this need is to develop a comprehensive approach to providing accommodations for work integrated learning components of programs that involve collaboration between the student, program faculty, the placement site, and the Accessibility Office. The goal of this session will be to provide participants with an overview of Mohawk College Placement Support Model that incorporates use of a module on disability disclosure in the workplace, completion of the Field Placement Support Form, and Coop Interview assistance for students with Autism. Moreover, this session will provide participants with an overview of Mohawk’s Peer Support Assistance Model and how this model has been used to support students on a field or clinical placement. Participants will have access to a copy of the Field Placement Support Guide and Form and the Coop Interview Assistance Model

B: The CARE Process: Bridging Strategic Enrolment Management data with the Circle of Care philosophy 

Presented by: Jeff Iles, Disabilities Counsellor, Centre for Accessible Learning, Algonquin College - Pembroke Waterfront Campus and Shelly Sutherland, Student Success Specialist Algonquin College - Pembroke Waterfront Campus

     In 2015 at Algonquin College's Pembroke Waterfront Campus, the Student Success Specialist, Disabilities Counsellor, Health Nurse, and Counsellor began meeting weekly to coordinate services to assist students who have been identified as struggling, whether that be academically, physically, mentally, or emotionally. 
In 2018 we implemented the University of Rochester's CARE Network model.  The CARE Network enables members of the University of Rochester community to express their concern about a person, incident, or issue by submitting a report online via web form. 
Through a series of Strategic Enrolment Management initiatives, our campus also has data in which students self-identify any issues they may foresee as impacting their academic success.  This data is instructive in assisting the CARE team in determining the appropriate support, and ideally creating a referral and support structure prior to crisis development.  


Cancellation Policy: 

Event cancellations must be received in writing (via email to contact@cacuss.ca). Refunds will be processed minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be issued if the request is received after April 25, 2021. Registrations can be transferred to another delegate with no fee.

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