Re-envisioning the Disability Service Model: The Advising and Access Services Centre at Dalhousie University Jill Malolepszy, Jen Davis - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Re-envisioning the Disability Service Model: The Advising and Access Services Centre at Dalhousie University Jill Malolepszy, Jen Davis PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 6cc9e0-NjliM


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Re-envisioning the Disability Service Model: The Advising and Access Services Centre at Dalhousie University Jill Malolepszy, Jen Davis


Group Discussion Who We Are Jill Malolepszy: Academic Advisor Coordinator Funding and Note Taking Jen Davis: Academic Advisor ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:4
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 34
Provided by: Holly151
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Re-envisioning the Disability Service Model: The Advising and Access Services Centre at Dalhousie University Jill Malolepszy, Jen Davis

Re-envisioning the Disability Service Model The
Advising and Access Services Centre at Dalhousie
UniversityJill Malolepszy, Jen Davis Quenta
AdamsAdvising and Access Services
CentreHalifax, Nova ScotiaCanada
What We Plan To Discuss
  • Past
  • Background of our Unit and Service Provision
  • Process to Change Our Delivery Model
  • Present
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Future
  • Room for growth
  • Transitions programming
  • Opportunities Present in Your Institution For
    Adopting a Similar Model

Who is responsible for accessibility on your
campus Philosophically?Practically?

Human Rights Legislation
  • Dalhousie University is committed to providing a
    learning environment in which students are able
    to participate without discrimination, on grounds
    prohibited by human rights legislation, and to
    facilitating students access to the Universitys
    academic programs, activities, facilities and

Our History
  • Practice and Philosophy
  • Approving accommodations
  • Focus more on the condition as opposed to the
  • Separate, and often disconnected supports
  • Decisions were often extreme
  • Hard line on what was reasonable, or
  • Over-accommodate
  • Accommodation policy had procedures built into
    the document
  • Any changes (no matter how minor) would require
    Senate and Board approval

Our History continued
  • Practice and Philosophy
  • Fixing not empowering
  • Business process
  • Mirrored an assembly line
  • Advising was done elsewhere
  • Silos remained intact internally and externally
  • Outcomes
  • Quantitative only, no qualitative
  • Who are we helping, How are we helping
  • No frame of reference Student Development

Our History continued
  • Practice and Philosophy
  • Too few staff during peak accommodation intake
  • Staff burnout
  • Increased sick time and/or overtime, turnover
  • Lack of expertise
  • Challenges navigating inter-connectedness of
    disability, race, gender, class and sexuality

Our History continued
  • Accommodation staffing
  • Three full-time staff
  • Bachelors degree only
  • Limited experience with issues of accessibility
  • Narrow focus of job duties
  • Fragmented approach to working with students
  • Academic Advisors
  • Three full-time staff
  • Masters degree
  • Professional advisors with range of skills
  • Broader focus of job duties
  • Fragmented approach to working with students

Our Process For Change
  • Policy and Service Review in Fall 2011 External
  • Interviews (students, staff, faculty)
  • Focus groups (students, faculty)
  • Questionnaires (students, faculty)
  • External Scan (other university practices)
  • Internal Scan (existing strengths)
  • Revised policy and service model recommended

How can you be the leader or champion of
campus-wide accessibility? Where are the
natural collaborations on your campus?
Our Present Practice
  • Creation of a holistic, integrated model in
    winter 2012 combining Academic Advising with
    Accommodation Services.
  • Represents a shift from a focus on accommodations
    to a focus on access.
  • Away from a medical model focused on illness or
  • Moved towards a holistic model focused on
    overcoming barriers to enable full participation
    in student life

Our Present Practice continued
  • Students always ask
  • I have enter disability here. What can you
    offer in terms of accommodations?
  • We always answer
  • Tell me what are the barriers you face by having
    enter disability here?

How does the new system work?
Student in a wheelchair
  • Old system
  • Automatically approved for writing exams in
    separate room
  • Approved for extra time
  • Working on assumption that student is less
  • New system
  • Student writes most exams with classmates,
    without accommodations
  • Writes in a separate room only when has
    difficulty accessing large stadium to write exam

How does the new system work?
Student with LD
  • Old system
  • Provided with ability to write in own room
  • Approve note taking in almost every circumstance.
  • Working on assumption that student is less
  • New system
  • We ask student to show how having an LD is a
    barrier to writing in an exam room with other
  • We discuss the students note taking strategies,
    refer for skill development and possible note

Our Present Practice
  • Focusing on barriers to participation allows us
    to provide accommodations for requests based on
    all protected characteristics under human rights
    legislation in Canada, not just disability.
  • We are guided by human rights legislation which
    states we have a duty to accommodate.
  • We provide reasonable accommodations up to the
    point of undue hardship (which might differ from
    students ideal or perfect accommodations).

Our Present Practice
  • A disability determination, however, should not
    be based on abstract lists as categories of
    impairments . In fact, the regulations note
    that a finding of disability is not necessarily
    based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment
    the person has, but rather, on the effect of that
    impairment on the life of the individual. Some
    impairments may be disabling for particular
    individuals but not for others . 29 C.F.R.
    App. Sec. 1630.2(j).
  • AHEAD (2008) Retrieved from http//

Examples of protected characteristics common to
human rights legislation
  • Mental disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Source of income
  • Irrational fear of contracting an illness or
  • Association with protected groups or individuals
  • Political belief, affiliation or activity
  • Gender Identity/Gender Expression
  • Age
  • Race
  • Colour
  • Religion
  • Creed
  • Ethnic, national or aboriginal origin
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical disability

Our Staff Allies
  • Staff with significant experience and specialised
  • 6 full-time staff, all with relevant Masters
    degree Education, Special Education, Social
    Work, Ethics, Occupational Therapy several
    years of experience
  • On-going professional development
  • Partnerships with
  • Faculty Assistant Deans
  • Office of Human Rights, Equity Harassment
  • Health Services Counselling Services

Our Present Practice
  • Accommodation policy adopted for September 1st
  • Anticipate increase in numbers of students
    seeking accommodations for reasons other than
  • More complex requests, including accommodations
    for clinical placements/rotations in health
  • Able_at_Dal
  • An orientation for incoming students with
    disabilities to assist with the transition, and
    to develop self-advocacy skills
  • Joint project with School of Occupational
    Therapy, now resides with us, with goal to expand
    to other areas of transition

Future initiatives What can you add into your
existing practice?
Characteristics Other Than Disability
  • Request increase
  • Focus on identifying the barriers to full
  • Centre of Expertise
  • Referrals and partnership
  • Black Student Advising
  • International Centre
  • Native Education Counselling Unit
  • Indigenous Blacks Mi'kmaq Initiative
  • Dal Allies (LGBTQ)

Protected Characteristics Other Than Disability
  • Attend lecture with infant
  • Bring infant into exam room
  • Stop-time breaks during exam
  • Family Status
  • Schedule conflict between infant feedings and
    class lecture and scheduled exam

Protected Characteristics Other Than Disability
  • National Origin/Age
  • Student completed schooling without the use of
  • Hand write exams in a program that requires all
    exams to be typed.

Protected Characteristics Other Than Disability
  • Religion
  • Schedule conflict between exam dates and
    religious observance
  • Defer exams
  • Pray during exams by using stop time breaks

Advising As Coaching
VP Student ServicesIntegrated Career Coaching
  • WHO
  • Faculty Assistant Deans
  • Academic advisors
  • Career counsellors staff
  • Faculty career co-op offices
  • Alumni
  • Employers
  • WHAT
  • Career awareness
  • Career planning
  • Employability skills
  • Applied experience
  • Job search skills

Career Development for Advisors
  • Training Winter 2014 Semester
  • Foundations of career development and the process
    of career counselling
  • Issues confronting students and career
  • Intervention strategies
  • Career development strategies and techniques to
    enhance career conversations

Community Engagement
  • 100 Days of Listening Initiatives
  • Fostering relationships with community
  • OT Student Social Work Student Placements
  • Workforce Re-Entry Placements
  • Local community members living with disabilities

First Year Advising
  • Student Success Coaches and Advisors
  • Course selection, registration and transition to
    university life
  • Outreach provides initial contact with EVERY
    incoming first year student
  • Academic accommodation conversation included in

Fostering Collaboration on Campus
  • Breaking down silos
  • Strengthening programming for students
  • Centre for Learning and Teaching
  • Certificate program for faculty
  • Facilities Management
  • Physical space and accessibility concerns
  • Case Management Team
  • Us, Counselling, Assistant Deans, Student Dispute
    Resolution, Residence Life

Tracking Our Progress
  • Number of requests beginning September 2014
  • Able_at_Dal and Able After Dal
  • 4 year transition support
  • First Year Advising
  • College Student Inventory
  • Interventions with specific populations

Where are the natural collaborators on your
campus?What can you add to your existing
  • Group Discussion

Who We Are
  • Jill Malolepszy
  • Academic Advisor Coordinator Funding and Note
  • Jen Davis
  • Academic Advisor Accommodations/Professional
  • Quenta Adams
  • Director, Advising and Access Services Centre