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By Dr. Christine Zaza, Disability Inclusion Team. This article is presented as part of a series highlighting National AccessAbility Week in Canada.
Whether she’s conducting research on planning for equitable transportation or facilitating workshops at the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Emma McDougall is passionate about equity.
A doctoral candidate in the School of Planning and a graduate educational developer with the Centre for Teaching Excellence, McDougall has first-hand experience with learning disabilities.
When she was in grade 11, McDougall’s diagnosis of a learning disability came as a surprise because she had always been successful by any typical standards in school. When she started university, the barriers to learning became more evident.
“If you had looked at my grades in first-year university you would not see someone who was progressing to a PhD,” McDougall says. “I didn’t perform particularly well in many of my classes. The lecture style was just not conducive to my learning.”
For McDougall, taking notes in class was not only distracting, but it was also disengaging as she could not keep up with the lecture while taking notes. Despite these difficulties, she persisted with notetaking because some of her professors encouraged her to “challenge her disability.” In third- and fourth-year seminar courses she found her passion for academia and excelled in that classroom format.
McDougall is now proficient using various strategies and tools that enable her to overcome many of the barriers in the university learning environment. However, many social barriers persist. McDougall is all too familiar with the stigma around disabilities, including well-intentioned but misguided advice, microaggressions related to academic accommodations and outright negative pronouncements about learning disabilities.
In her first year of undergraduate studies, one of her professors was comfortable announcing to the entire lecture hall that he did not believe in learning disabilities.
Call to Action: Want to share your lived experience with disability on campus? Join the Accessibility Advisory Panel.
Regarding academic accommodations, McDougall emphasizes that accommodations are about equity.
“We need to actively shift our understanding of accommodations away from this notion that it’s affording individuals with disabilities something ’more’ than everyone else,” McDougall says. “Accommodation tools are designed to create equity in the classroom. They have never given students with disabilities unjust advantages.”
She goes on to explain that academic accommodations do not make learning easier, but rather they provide an equal opportunity to succeed.
Accessibility tip: Provide multiple accessible formats of instructional materials so that learners can choose what works for them. For example, when selecting videos, choose ones that include closed captions and a transcript.
As a graduate educational developer, McDougall advocates for universal design for learning (UDL) principles. She points to the value of simple actions that instructors can take, like setting a welcoming tone at the beginning of the term and talking openly about accessibility.
“I think the joy of universal design for learning is that we can start to think about different ways we can make our classrooms more accessible overall.”
This announcement was originally published on the Office of Advancement website.
The University of Waterloo has won three awards from the CCAE Prix d’Excellence.
The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) is a membership association serving educational institutions and professionals who work in advancement services, alumni relations, development, marketing and communications, external relations and related areas. The association’s annual awards recognize creative ideas that successfully engage communities to advance higher education.
This year, Waterloo received the following accolades:
Gold for Best Report to Donors – Report on Giving 2021-2022 (Central Advancement)
Silver for Best Alumni Initiative – Women in Pharmacy Leadership Program (School of Pharmacy Advancement)
Silver for Best Indigenous Relations Initiative – A Commitment to Reconciliation: University of Waterloo’s Indigenous Commitment Ceremony (Community Relations and Events)
These awards demonstrate our collective leadership as strategic partners and community builders, and they’re wonderful reminders of the talent across our University. Congratulations to everyone who was recognized for their work!
Information Systems & Technology (IST) is celebrating the career of Barb Yantha, who will be retiring on July 31.
"Barb has been a staff member at the University of Waterloo for over 34 years," writes colleague Theepiga Sritharan, Manager, Service Desks. "She started her journey at St. Jerome’s University in their Registrar’s Office. After moving to the main campus, she had a number of roles until she left to raise her children."
"She returned to campus in 1988 and worked in various roles including the Staff Association and the Arts Computing Office (ACO). She then joined IST in 2015 as a Computing Consultant with the Service Desk. In her current role, Barb is the main support contact for the Crowdmark and Qualtrics applications. She manages IST's Knowledge Base content and has been a consistent advocate for relevant articles and updates. As a result of her contributions, the Knowledge Base has grown to be an essential support tool used across the campus. She has also worked closely with the CRS Team under Client Services and has helped as a co-facilitator of the IT Professional Development (ITPD) program and as a co-chair for the Professional Development Advisory Group (PDAG)."
"Barb is a valuable member within the Service Desk team, in IST, and across campus. Over her years of service, she has been active community member on campus. As an active member for the WatITis Committee and a co-facilitator for the Responding to Disclosure Workshops, Barb has built strong relationships and always has a positive attitude and abundance of energy. Barb will be dearly missed."
"On behalf of everyone in IST, I would like to thank Barb for her dedication to the University of Waterloo, her clients, and colleagues," Srirathan's message concludes. "We wish her all the best in retirement!"
Members of the University community have been invited to a town hall discussion on the important matter of safeguarding research.
"Universities play a unique and important role in this conversation. Our work involves the advancement and sharing of knowledge globally for broad impact," write Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and International, who will be co-hosting the town hall event on June 12. "There have been tremendous geopolitical shifts in the last few years. How do we move forward to pursue safe and productive international research relationships in the current geopolitical context?"
"Join us to learn more about the actions that Waterloo has undertaken to support researchers in navigating the various risk assessment requirements that are required by agencies in evaluating research proposals, to receive an update on how these assessments are to be expanded to other programs, and to discuss what further supports will be useful to researchers at our institution. This townhall also provides an opportunity for commentary on impacts on the research environment from these new federal and provincial directions."
The event will be held on June 12 in East Campus 5's Enterprise Theatre and via MS Teams. There will be refreshments from 3:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m. followed by opening remarks by President Goel and Vice-President Dean from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Q&A portion of the event will run from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
You can register for the town hall event on the Office of Research's website.
Students set to graduate at the spring Convocation ceremonies will be receiving an email tomorrow about important registration deadlines. Friday, June 2 is the last day for graduands to register to attend their ceremony in person and reserve their two guest tickets. Students who do not require any guest tickets must complete the register without guests form to confirm their attendance and receive your diploma at the ceremony. All guests must be registered by June 2 at 11:59 p.m. to attend the in-person ceremonies. If additional guest tickets become available, students will be notified on Monday, June 5.
Registration is open for the 31st annual Matthews Golf Classic. The long-running golf tournament celebrates the life and career of Burt Matthews, the University of Waterloo's second president.
“The mission of the Burt Matthews Golf Classic is to foster connection within the UWaterloo community," says a note from tournament organizers. "This social event gives individuals across campus an opportunity to meet and socialize with other individuals from various departments; people they may never have the opportunity to meet. In other words, skill means nothing. Only the ability to have fun, enjoy the afternoon (rain or shine) and drive a golf cart with a teammate that you may have just met. Well, you have to hit the ball too."
The event will be held at Grand Valley Golf & Country Club on Monday June 19 at 1:00 p.m. Attendees will play 18 holes of golf with a shared power cart. A boxed lunch will be provided, and dinner is optional. There will be an opportunity to win a prize.
Registration is now open. You can sign up and request to play with another player or as a foursome.
Employers hosting Virtual Employer Information Sessions (VEIS) this week and next week include Grant Thornton LLP, Definity, Dow Chemical Canada, and Cruise. Make sure to register through WaterlooWorks and check the calendar for any updates.
Internet connectivity for various campus systems, including WCMS 2 sites like the Daily Bulletin, is being restored after an outage that started this morning on the University's East Campus. Further information will be shared on the IST website as available.
An oral history of the Super Mario Bros. movie (no, not that one, the other one)
Warrior Recreation Registration for the spring term is now open.
Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps. Spring and Summer camps available for Boys and Girls ages 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Hockey and Multi-Sport and Games. Register today.
Fitness and Personal Training - Registrations now open for Personal Training and Small Group Training, as well as a Free Warrior Workout Program.
Warrior Rec FREE Club Try-It Sessions: Karate, Judo, Chinese Martial Arts, Triathlon, Women's Football, Lacrosse, Quidditch, Running, Artistic Swimming, Lifesaving, SERVE, Table Tennis and more), Monday, May 8 to Wednesday, May 31. Find out more.
Student Health Pharmacy in the basement of the Student Life Centre is now offering Covid booster shots (Pfizer and Moderna) and flu shots. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for an appointment. Walk-ins always welcome.
Waterloo Womxn + Nonbinary Wednesdays Year-end Picnic: Mapping Community and Care at UWaterloo, Wednesday, May 31, 12 noon, St. Jerome’s courtyard.
WUSA Bike Centre bicycle auction, Wednesday, May 31, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m., SLC green space.
GreenHouse presents Building Your Team: Pitching to Engineers, Wednesday, May 31, 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., UTD 164.
NEW - Ribbon-Cutting: Gender Neutral Washrooms on Campus, Thursday, June 1, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., outside SLC 3103.
Alumni Weekend, Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3.
CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, "CVE-2022-23491, or Why PO boxes can't be root certificate authorities anymore,"featuring Joel Reardon, University of Calgary, Friday, June 2, 2:00 p.m., DC 3317 and Zoom.
Colin Linden Live: WEI Fundraiser, Friday, June 2, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML – Modern Languages.
NEW - President's Golf Tournament, Monday, June 5, Westmount Country Club.
2023 Summer School: Water and Energy Security in a Changing Climate, Monday, June 5, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., onlne.
NEW - Expert & Acolyte: Finding Ways to Cultivate Curiosity & Respect in Learning & Clinical Contexts, Monday, June 5, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Spring 2023 PhD graduates dinner reception, Monday, June 5, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fed Hall.
GreenHouse presents MentalED Design Sprint, Monday, June 5, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., UTD 164.
Inclusive Research Team presents First Nations Principles of OCAP® Virtual Presentation, Tuesday, June 6, 10:00 a.m. Register today.
Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407 and Zoom.
Quantum for Environment Design Challenge Launch Event, Tuesday, June 6, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., QNC 0101.
Land Skills for Wellness and Sustainability Project, Herbals for Managing Stress, Tuesday, June 6, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Together/Ensemble 2023, Wednesday, June 7 to Friday, June 9.
Dr. John Hirdes, School of Public Health Sciences, presents Back to the future of gerontology: Opportunities, Challenges, and Uncertainties in the Next 40 Years of an Aging World for the University's Network for Aging Research's fourth annual William F. Forbes lecture, Wednesday, June 7, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., LHS 1621 (Sunlife Auditorium) and online. Please register in advance.
Dissertation Boot Camp applications close, Wednesday, June 8.
Continuous Improvement, Change Management, Project & Portfolio Management Community of Practice Showcase, Thursday, June 8, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1301.
Decoding happiness: Understanding the science behind..., Thursday June 8, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., United College Alumni Hall 201.
Speed Hack, Thursday, June 8, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., South Campus Hall 228.
Indigenous Movie Night: Night Raiders, Thursday, June 8, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., LHI 1621. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.
Mix, Mingle & Roll the Dice: UW Co-op Student Mixer, Friday, June 9, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., SLC Student Lounge (formerly the Bombshelter Pub).
NEW - Safeguarding Research Town Hall, Monday, June 12, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Enterprise Theatre, EC5 or on MS Teams.
NEW - Spring 2023 Convocation ceremonies, Tuesday, June 13 to Saturday, June 17, Physical Activities Complex.
NEW - Land Skills for Wellness and Sustainability Project, Introduction to Spoon carving (Green Woodworking), Wednesday, June 14, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
NEW - Pride Movie Night, "But I'm a Cheerleader," Wednesday, June 14, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., LHI 1621.
NEW - Cans for S’mores Bonfire Night, Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Laurel Creek fire pit.
NEW - GreenHouse presents Storytelling for Social Impact, Thursday, June 15, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., UTD 164.
NEW - Therapy Dogs, Friday, June 16, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m., SLC Lower Atrium Multipurpose Room.
NEW - Rock Your Thesis Part 1: Plan your Project, Friday, June 16, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Check out the support listings for faculty, staff and students.
On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):
Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities
Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities
The Daily Bulletin is published by Internal and Leadership Communications, part of University Communications
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The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.