If you have learning challenges, you can get the support you need to succeed at school.
Janice Fennell, the manager of accessible learning services at Sheridan, says that some students are not aware of the services available and there’s a lot about accessible learning that students should know.
“We exist to provide academic accommodations . . . accommodations depend on the student’s unique circumstance. Not all students have the same accommodation plan. It’s driven by the type of disability that a student has,” said Fennell.
There are a variety of ways a student can receive help:
- Learning strategies training (use your strengths to compensate for areas in which you may have limitations)
- Assistive technology (Livescribe Pen, Word Q, Kurzweil 3000)
- Other Services & Accommodations (accessible parking, testing accommodations, interpreters and computerized notetakers)
Jacob Calvert, a second-year child and youth care student at Sheridan College, was given accessible parking because of his physical disability and says that the process to getting the accommodation was fairly easy. All he had to do was have proof that he had an accessible parking sticker. He also says that the accessible learning services were a big help when he was enrolling in school.
“They helped me make my schedule more beneficial for my daily life. They also helped me map out the remainder of my course as I got advanced standing, so I had to shift a whole bunch around. That was definitely a huge weight off my shoulders,” says Calvert.
Fennell says that being able to meet with an accessible learning advisor can be beneficial because they can arrange for students to have a psychoeducational assessment:
“Some students might not even be sure that they have a disability. We support students who have suspected disabilities in addition to those who have confirmed disabilities. Some students might come in and they describe what areas they have a challenge in,” said Fennell.
Roderick Murphy, an accessible learning advisor at Sheridan College, says having accommodations has allowed students to thrive and remove barriers. It’s important that students know how to access the services so that they can get the support they need.
“I like to put it as ‘so their disability doesn’t get in the way of showing their true abilities’ in their classes,” says Murphy.
Registering with accessible learning services is available online, or you can check out their offices at any one of the three Sheridan campuses.