Upcoming Events

February 10, 2022

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Future of accommodations and our work - Conversations in post-secondary disability support


Date: Thursday, Feb 10, 2022

Time: 1pm (Est)

90 min Roundtable (discussion)

This roundtable will explore (new) thinking in supporting students with disabilities to learn and demonstrate their knowledge in university settings. We will discuss new and creative approaches that are being tried in different institutions to help us collectively understand what is essential and what may no longer be working. As the learning landscape continues to shift, we will collectively explore what is becoming less relevant in our work and where our roles, resources, and time are starting to align more with these shifts. Finally, we will discuss the ways in which student learning and accommodations interact with one another, and how this relationship might collectively effect change for our offices and students.

Cette table de discussion explorera une nouvelle pensée pour aider les étudiants handicapés à apprendre et à démontrer leurs connaissances dans une environnement universitaire. Nous allons discuter des approches nouvelles et créatives qui sont actuellement à l'essai dans d'autres institutions, pour nous aider à comprendre collectivement ce qui est essentiel et ce qui ne fonctionne plus. Alors que le parcours d'apprentissage continue de changer, nous explorerons collectivement ce qui devient moins pertinent dans notre travail, et comment nos rôles, nos ressources et notre temps commencent à s'aligner davantage avec ces changements. Enfin, nous discuterons les manières dont l'apprentissage des étudiants et les aménagements interagissent les uns avec les autres, et comment cette relation pourrait collectivement apporter des changements pour nos bureaux et nos étudiants.


Anna Barrafato is a student services professional in higher education and a part-time faculty member at Concordia University with expertise in accessibility, inclusion, and diversity.  She has presented nationally and internationally at conferences on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), supporting students with mental health conditions, strengths-based advising, and inclusive teaching practices. She is a licensed psychologist and a Disability Accommodation Specialist at the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) at Concordia University. Anna Barrafato holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University.

Maureen Barnes is currently the Director of Student Accessibility Services at York and over the past 20 years, she has worked in a variety of capacities. Her focus has always been on supporting the close to 5000 students registered with the services on campus to pursue their academics at the post-secondary level with the support of academic accommodations.  She is leading the department through significant organizational change to ensure that all campus members, students, staff and faculty can connect quickly with support and services. Barnes graduated from York with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Linguistics and from the concurrent education program Faculty of Education with her Bachelor of Education.  She went on to study at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.) at the University of Toronto to obtain her Master of Arts with a specialization in adaptive instruction.

Sarah Kloke has worked within disability service offices for the last 9 years. Currently, Sarah is the Team Lead of the Accessible, Inclusive & Experiential Learning Team. In this work, Sarah considers how student learning and accommodations relate and interact with one another and how learning continues to evolve as accommodations change and adapt. Within her portfolio, Sarah is also responsible for implementing and assessing the Student Experience Survey within Accessibility Services which receives 1300+ unique responses each year. This assessment also helps to inform and lead how accommodations are being utilized and accessed by students.

Tanya Lewis, PhD was in leadership roles for eighteen years in accommodations for students with disabilities at the University of Toronto St. George campus and Ryerson University. Her interests include rethinking how accommodations can be provided in post secondary education as well as psychoanalytic approaches to coaching, leadership and organizational development.

Michael Nicholson (MEd, MSW, RSW) is currently Director of Accessibility Services at the University of Toronto.  He has previously held roles in student crisis response, registrarial services and student housing/residence, all at the University of Toronto.


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