Disabilities Awareness Week 2015

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Poster for Disabilities Awareness Week, 2015

From March 23rd to March 27th, The Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill will be hosting the fourth annual Disabilities Awareness Week. This year’s theme will be “inclusion” to advocate that people with disabilities, visible and invisible, should have equal access and opportunity to participate in society. The notion of equal participation, access and inclusion are applicable to all areas and contexts ranging from physical access to buildings and transportation to accessing education, community services, employment and so on. The week particularly aims at raising awareness of barriers people with disabilities experience, highlighting inclusive practices and policies that reduce barriers, widen access and value diversity in a wide variety of contexts.

Monday, March 23rd

You Want to Learn ASL (American Sign Language)?

OSD Main Office
12:00-1:00 pm

American Sign Language or ASL is the official language of Deaf people in North America. It is primarily used by the Deaf individuals to communicate with each other, as well as with the larger hearing world. Interpreters for the Deaf and hearing professionals often use ASL to communicate with their Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients. Come to this ASL introduction class and learn more about sign language and Deaf culture!

Therapeutic Paws Canada

Brown 4300
12:30 - 2:00 pm

Therapeutic Paws of Canada is a volunteer-based pet therapy dog and cat visitation program.  Our programs involve our volunteers and their pets visiting with members of their communities in schools, hospitals or senior’s residences.

Our Paws Room program sees our group partner with universities and colleges to provide emotional support and stress relief for students during exam week.

Students welcome the chance to interact with our therapy teams.  It allows the students to put the pressure of studying and exams aside, if not for a short time, and spend some quality time with the animals. Students often share stories of their own family pets and for a moment can refocus on something other than the challenges of exam week.

Paws Rooms have been extremely well received prompting extensive coverage in the media. They continue to be a welcome addition to the calendar of many universities and colleges across Canada. From time to time we may also be asked to provide a Paws Room to a Secondary school or to a corporate body to provide a distraction from a busy work schedule and we are also called in to diffuse stressful times following traumatic events. Find out more by visiting the Therapeutic Paws Canada website

Media@McGill Presents - Radical Affordances:
Emerging Scholarship, Art, and Activism at the Intersection of Media and Disability Studies in Montreal

Leacock 132 Leacock 132 [access map]
4:00 - 6:00 pm, followed by a reception

To what extent do media technologies and practices shape our abilities to act and circulate

in the world? In what ways might critical disability studies invite us to rethink our understandings of media and their affordances? Inspired by McGill postdoctoral researcher Arseli Dokumaci’s current work on disabilities and affordances, this panel explores the potentials of “radical affordances” in relation to mobility, everyday performance, as well as artistic and activist practices. Featuring six Montreal-based emerging scholars and practitioners, the presentations include projects and case studies that offer new tools to expand the affordances of existing technologies, as well as creative approaches that reveal unsuspected possibilities in familiar devices and media.

Misfires that Matter: Disabled Ways of Affording the Everyday

Dr. Arseli Dokumaci, postdoctoral researcher, McGill University.

Wheeling New York City

Laurence Parent, PhD candidate, Concordia University.

Art and Design in the Context of Assistive Technologies: Two Projects

Dr. Florian Grond, postdoctoral researcher, Concordia University.

Singing Beyond Hearing

Jessica Holmes, PhD candidate, McGill University.

Creations in Sign Languages: The Promises of Image Technologies

Dr. Julie Châteauvert, independent artist and scholar.

The Underwater City Project

Aimee Louw, journalist and activist.

This event is supported by McGill University’s Office for Students with Disabilities and Concordia University’s Critical Disability Studies Working Group

For more information, visit 

Radical Affordances

Organizations that are Tabling

  • McGill OSD
  • Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
  • Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons (CHIP)
  • Aim Croit-Iam Cares

Tuesday, March 24th

3 Easy Steps to Completing your Quebec Government Funding Application

Tuesday March 24th
Brown 4300
10:00 - 11:00 am

Presented by: Scholarships and Student Aid Office – Bronwyn Rice – Loan Administrator – Quebec Region. A step by step guide to completing your application for Quebec government loan funding.

AMI-Quebec Presentation

Brown 4300
12:00 -1:00 PM

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and nearly all will be affected through someone close to them. AMI Quebec's mental health awareness campaign is aimed at increasing understanding of mental illness, removing the stigma associated with it, and demonstrating that recovery is possible. We will discuss the warning signs and symptoms of major disorders such as depression, psychosis, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. We'll also talk about what you can do if you are worried about someone close to you. The presentation also includes personal testimony from someone who has lived with mental illness.

Navigating the Challenges:
Internships, Stages and Real-World Evaluations

HSSL, McLennan Library Bldg, 3rd floor - M3-37F
2:00 - 3:30 PM

This workshop is designed to help students with a variety of complex identities and needs to feel better prepared to successfully navigate the transition from professional program to the field (internship, clinical) component of their program.

The workshop addresses particular challenges that students might face in the field, provides a safe and relaxed forum for the sharing of experiences, encourages discussion and offers strategies for transitioning successfully from program to field. In addition, the workshop offers concrete supports and resources that students can access during their time in the field. Jointly offered by the OSD, the Office of Student Teaching (OST), and the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. Facilitation to be shared among Fiona J. Benson, Tara Flanagan and Jess Giles.

Organizations that are Tabling

  • McGill OSD
  • Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
  • AMI-Quebec
  • Independent Living and AQEIPS, photo exhibit

Wednesday, March 25th

Making Space for Disability in the Legal Profession

NCDH Room 201
1:00 - 2:30 pm

Join Melanie Benard and Law First Year Students for a discussion of disability in the legal profession. What are some common misconceptions about disability, and how can we work towards promoting inclusion, accessibility and diversity in the legal profession? What employment opportunities are available in the emerging field of disability law?

Nancy’s in the House

OSD, Redpath Library Building,
Room RS56
3459 McTavish Street

Nancy Moulday, CACEE President-Elect and The Manager of Talent Acquisition for TD Bank Group, will be hosting 20 minute individual coffee sessions at the OSD; “Nancy’s in the House” 1.30pm – 3pm that provides students with a chance to individually talk with and ask her about disclosing in the workplace, recruitment, interviews, resumes, careers at TD, diversity, accommodations, anything you want!

These spaces are very limited, so sign up by emailing jessica.giles [at] mcgill.ca (Jess Giles).

Whether, When and How to Talk about Disability as it Relates to Employment (Information Session)

CaPS Library, Brown Student Services Building
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Not sure if you should disclose or discuss your disability during an interview or at work? Do you want to build your confidence having this conversation? Karen Kelsey, Relationship Manager, Lime Connect, Canada is coming to McGill to discuss the topic of: whether, when and how to talk about disability as it relates to employment

Contact cindy.mancuso [at] mcgill.ca (Cindy Mancuso) to register.

Whether, When and How to talk about disability as it relates to employment (Individual Sessions)

Office for Students with Disabilities, Redpath Building Suite RS56
9:30 am -12:00 pm


Brown Student Services Building, Suite 2200
1:30 - 3:00 pm

In addition to the Information Sessions listed above, Karen Kelsey, Relationship Manager with Lime Connect Canada, will be available during Office Hours for anyone who would like to meet with her individually.

30 minute Individual Sessions:

Time: Wednesday, March 25th  30 minute sessions available 9:30 - 12:00
Location:   Office for Students with Disabilities, Redpath Library Building, Suite RS56
Contact jessica.giles [at] mcgill.ca (Jess Giles) schedule your session.


Time: Wednesday, March 25th  30 minute sessions available 1:30 - 3:00
Location: Brown Student Services Building, Suite 2200
Contact cindy.mancuso [at] mcgill.ca (Cindy Mancuso) to schedule your session.

Develop a Healthy Body Image

Brown Student Services Building, Room 4200
2:00 - 4:00 pm

Improve how you feel about your body by increasing your awareness of some of the causes/influences of negative body image. Explore ways in which you can attain a more positive and pleasurable relationship with your bodily self.

Organizations that are Tabling

  • McGill OSD
  • Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
  • Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons (CHIP)

Thursday, March 26th

Whose residences? Assessing the Accessibility of Student Housing & Hospitality Services

Lev Bukhman Room (SSMU)
12:00 - 1:00 pm

Over the past year, two interns have been conducting an audit of the McGill residences. They’ve been looking at the residence buildings, the events and programming, staff hiring/support, and the website. The project is nearing the end, so come out and hear about their results, the work that’s been done to address barriers already, and the plan moving forward!

Managing Exam Anxiety

Service Point, MS-55
1:30 - 3:30 pm

Exams can be stressful! Come and learn some techniques to help you manage your anxiety. Learn to take some of the edge of this exam season.

Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Management

Brown Student Services Building, Room 4200
2:30 - 4:30 pm

Feeling stressed out? Burned out? Overwhelmed? Learn to manage stress using mindfulness based meditation techniques.

First People’s House Mixer

OSD Lobby
4:00 - 6:00 pm

First Peoples' House and the Office for Students with Disabilities are co-hosting a mixer during Disabilities Awareness Week. All are welcome to join us as we highlight our partnership and collaboration and reveal a new piece of Indigenous artwork to go up in the OSD lobby.

Organizations that are Tabling

  • McGill OSD
  • Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
  • Concussion Support Group
  • Healthy McGill

Friday, March 27th

Beyond Microsoft Office
Apps to Help Your Writing and Organize Your Digital Clutter

Brown 4300
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Whether you’re frustrated with writing your essays in Microsoft Word or you’re simply looking for new strategies to improve your composition skills it’s worth trying something new. However, there are literally hundreds of applications to help you with your writing, it can be overwhelming to know what is worth trying?

This workshop will provide an overview of inexpensive and free applications that can help you improve your writing depending on your specific needs.

Learning Styles, Strategies and Self-Advocacy

Brown 4300
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Christopher Simeone, is an individual with a Learning disability(LD) who has gone through the academic system of elementary school, high school, college and is currently at McGill University. He has been advocating for individuals with Learning disabilities for the past six years and is coming to share his strategies and perspective on living with an LD. He will be initiating conversation about adaptive technologies, learning styles, learning strategies, stress management and how he made his own adaptive plan in overcoming his own barriers.

He will also share his experience with self-advocacy in terms of looking at barriers and ways to access. He will be giving out handouts based on these topics.

The Ambassadors

Brown 4300
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

A group of people with learning disabilities and/or ADHD, known as The Ambassadors, travel to different locations presenting to various audiences their own unique perspectives about what it is like to have a learning disability and/or ADHD, and how each individual presenting managed to overcome the obstacles faced over time.

Organizations that are Tabling

  • McGill OSD
  • Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
  • Seeing Voices Montreal

Poster for Disability Awareness Week 2012 - Widen Access, Explore Universal DesignPoster for Disabilities Awareness Week 2012Poster for Disability Awareness Week 2013 - Inclusion: Celebrating Sustainable Campus PracticesPoster for Disabilities Awareness Week 2013

Poster for McGill's Third Disability Awareness Week - Making it virtual and accessiblePoster for Disabilities Awareness Week 2014