Student Accessibility Services welcomes feedback regarding supporting students with disabilities. Please send your feedback to SAS@ocadu.ca or speak with a staff member.
If your concerns have not been addressed to your satisfaction, please contact the Vice-Provost, Students & International, Deanne Fisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or request an appointment with her via Yinnie Ng-Klee, at 416-977-6000 x2929 or email@example.com.
Former CSD Program Review Report
Message from the Vice-Provost, Students & International:
Former CSD Program Review Report
In January 2017 a review of the former Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) was initiated at the request of OCAD Student Union (SU) to evaluate program efficiencies and student satisfaction related to current best practices in post-secondary education. Under the leadership of the Office of the Vice-Provost Students & International and in collaboration with the SU and OCAD U Human Resources (HR), a thorough review of the former CSD was conducted and completed in Fall 2017. The review included multiple stakeholder interviews, focus groups with students, staff and faculty, a student feedback survey, an in-depth analysis of CSD user data between January to April 2017 and consultation with external best practice experts. In addition, a CSD Review Committee was established to receive the findings of the review.
Throughout the course of the review as recommendations and feedback for increasing accessibility for students were received, changes were implemented quickly at the program level, including the following:
• In September 2018 the former CSD and former Health & Wellness Centre (HWC) merged under the leadership of Jennifer Robinson, Director of Student Health, Wellness and Conflict Resolution and Robyn Shaw, Manager, Health & Wellness Centre
• Restructure of CSD intake/registration process
• Streamlined process for students seeking to provide confirmation of disability to the CSD from the OCAD Health & Wellness Physician (i.e. students are no longer required to have the physician complete the 10-page medical document and then deliver this to the CSD)
• Review and relocation of learning support to the Writing & Learning Centre, with the goal of diversifying programming and broadening access to learning skills support to students
• Implementation of an online system (Papyrus) for requesting and retrieving materials in alternate format from the library
• Enhancing access to assistive technology through the procurement of institutional software licenses for all members at OCAD U
• New training module for faculty in creating accessible course materials (launched November 2018)
• Faculty training in inclusive teaching and accommodations (in collaboration with Inclusive Design faculty) and accessible training materials (in collaboration with Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre)
• Review and redesign of the Student Accommodations Letter and supplementary educational materials via the Teaching and Learning Committee of Senate
• Revamped notetaking service and leveraging the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) program to fund professional note taking
• Promoting use of the BSWD to all eligible students, transferring appropriate functions to Financial Aid & Awards (as per Ministry manual)
• Provision of ADHD/ADD and LD assessments via the HWC’s psychiatrist and physician as appropriate and possible to reduce costs and speed up process
Development of referral database for tutors and other community resources to meet needs
• Leveraging of HWC’s active and popular social media channels to outreach for CSD
• Consistent outreach to faculty to provide advice, problem solve and increase capacity to meet increasing accommodation needs
• Implementing strategies in conjunction with HWC/CSD Peer Educators, to increase service usage and resources specific to BIPOC and LGBTQ students
At a review committee meeting in January 2018, members requested an external reviewer to complete the review process. Dr. Frederic Fovet was retained via an RFP process and interview conducted by a committee of students, faculty and staff. Dr. Fovet was provided with all of the previously assembled data and consultation summaries, and conducted a number of interviews and focus groups onsite throughout the summer of 2018.
The external review final report was shared with all members of the CSD Review Committee, and makes some 26 recommendations at the strategic, institutional and operational levels.
This report outlines the action taken to-date based on the recommendations of both the internal and external review, leadership’s response to some of the key institutional and strategic recommendations, and next steps with regards to the ongoing advisory process.
Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed to this process.
View the full report: Former CSD Program Review Report
~Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International