BY JED SALIBAY AND MICHAEL AKINFEMI
In order to mark this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), Sheridan College is holding several events throughout the week.
“People aren’t aware of what students with disabilities have to go through,” said Nida Zia. “There are less job opportunities for them,” she said. “It gets in their way of life. There aren’t a lot of accessible places around and even some washrooms here don’t have it. Most of the time it’s so hard to navigate even from the parking lot to here.”
Zia is one of several Accessible Learning Peer Mentors who are offering daily activities and information sessions in the Trafalgar C-Wing Pit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on every day this week.
The IDPWD is a special day set aside each year to bring attention to issues that affect disabled people, who make up around 15 per cent of the world’s population and are the world’s largest minority group. It aims to encourage a better understanding of people living with disabilities and make people more aware of their rights as well as the benefits of integrating them into every part of life.
On Thursday, there will be a special presentation about the Magnus Card Transit App. It will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Trafalgar campus in room B124.
The MagnusCards app functions as a digital guide which helps people with autism and other cognitive special needs learn life skills as well as build confidence so they can live independently. Users can manage tasks with less worry, and explore communities with greater independence.
Thursday’s presentation will be on a different but similar app that focuses on helping disabled people with taking the bus, including paying transit fares, using the Presto system, planning a trip, transferring, getting help, and staying safe.
On the same day, the Sheridan Student Union’s Face It Club is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special ceremony at the Trafalgar C-Wing Pit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Face It, which stands for Friends Accepting Challenges and Endeavouring to Improve Themselves, is a club for students with disabilities. Co-facilitated by Accessible Learning, Wellness and Counselling Services as well as Sheridan alumni with autism, members come to make friends and strengthen their self advocacy, social, and leadership skills in a series of weekly meetings.
Thursday’s celebration will allow the Sheridan community to learn more about the club’s achievements and milestones. There will also be interactive games and prizes.
“I’m hoping that people take action as a result of all this,” said Zia. “I hope there are more and more accommodations in the future.”