Initiatives by Student Accessibility Services

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Registration Open House with Student Accessibility Services

SAS is hosting Registration Open Houses to support incoming York students and their families/support persons. Participants will learn about services and the registration process with SAS Project ADVANCE peer facilitators.

Learn more about these events
attendees participated in the May Open House.
End of year talent showcase

Student Accessibility Services peer mentors hosted a hybrid talent show to celebrate the term. Eight students showcased their talents which included singing, piano and works of art.

Learn more about Student Accessibility Services
students participated in supporting the talents of their peers in the Student Accessibility Services community.
Level Up! Professional Development Day

SAS hosted its first professional development day event in partnership with the Career Centre and Student Community & Leadership Development. Attendees were able to focus on their academic, leadership and career development.

Check out the SAS website
students joined the team for development day.
Strengthening transitions to post-secondary for autistic students and their families

On Thursday, February 22, SAS hosted hybrid sessions focusing on transition, accessing support, strategies for academic success and methods to nurture and strengthen independence. Participants also got the chance to engage in a student panel and tour.

Find upcoming SAS events
high school students, parents and service providers participated in this event.
Transition day for deaf and hard of hearing students

Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) high school students, parents and teachers from the Toronto District School Board joined SAS, students and faculty members from the DHH teaching program. Participants learned about transitions through a panel discussion, on a tour and by watching a presentation.

Learn about Student Accessibility Services
students, parents and educators attended the transition event.
American Sign Language social hosted by Student Accessibility Services' student success mentors

Student Accessibility Services hosted its first American Sign Language (ASL) social. Students gathered to practice and learn ASL, get connected as a community and enjoy refreshments with student success mentors.

Learn more about Student Accessibility Services
students from diverse disciplines and years of study attended the ASL social.

Student Accessibility Services began hosting therapy dog afternoons to support students' well-being during stressful fall term periods. These sessions allowed registrants to de-stress while spending time with a furry friend.

students attended and met Lucy, the therapy dog.
Applying for graduate studies and academic accommodations

In collaboration with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Student Accessibility Services hosted its first workshop for prospective graduate students with disabilities. The session focused on applying to graduate studies and the academic accommodations available on campus to support their transition.

participants joined the session.

Over the first three weeks of the term, students were supported through the Get Set for Success initiative. Peer leaders worked one-on-one with students to prepare them for the term by helping send their letters of accommodation and signing them up for accommodated tests and exams.

students received support through the Get Set for Success initiative.
Supporting the transition of students with disabilities

Student Accessibility Services hosted Project ADVANCE, a week-long enriched transition program for incoming students with disabilities. Thirty three students attended workshops on self-advocacy, services, wellness, community involvement and career development in collaboration with campus partners.

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of participants indicated that they felt very confident about navigating York University's campus both physically and virtually as a result of attending Project ADVANCE
Recognition for Ontario's BIPOC Counsellor & Accessibility Counsellor Group

Christina Abounassar, Accessibility Counsellor at SAS created, and co-chairs, the Ontario BIPOC Counsellor & Accessibility Counsellor Group for over 16 different institutions and expanding. The group won the President’s Award for Innovation in Student Learning & Success from Niagara College.

Improving the Letters of Accommodation process for students

Since launching the Letters of Accommodation (LOA) portal in 2021, students have experienced a more seamless and accessible process with more than 25,000 letters delivered during the school terms. Prior to 2021, students were responsible for providing each of their professors with their LOAs.

Letter of Accommodations delivered through the portal: Fall/Winter 2021/22 = 28,517 and Fall/Winter 2022/23 = 29,308
Celebrating accessibility

Student Accessibility Services hosted its annual End-of-Year Celebration with 19 Faculty and staff who were recognized for their commitment to student-centricity, collaboration, care and innovation for students with disabilities. Sixty York community members participated in the celebration.

Learn more about the celebration
19 Faculty and staff were recognized for their commitment to supporting students with disabilities.
Improving procrastination among neurodiverse students

For National Procrastination Awareness Week, Student Accessibility Services hosted a session on Procrastination Strategies for the Neurodiverse. The workshop explored neurodiversity and effective time management strategies to support executive functioning.

individuals from across the country attended the session.
Transition supports for autistic high school students

SAS hosted a half-day transition event for 80 autistic high school students and their families/support people on February 17. Attendees participated in a student or parent workshop and a York student panel where tips and experiences about transitioning to post-secondary were shared. 

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of participants felt that the session greatly helped them prepare for the post-secondary transition and increased their confidence.
Learning more about Student Accessibility Services

Sixty students received support accessing accommodations, navigating supports and creating schedules during a week-long, winter orientation event, Get Set for Success, for students registered with Student Accessibility Services. This event was offered by peer leaders.

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“It really helped me get my Alt Exams out of the way. I had help from other students and learned helpful suggestions that will be beneficial to me.” - Student Attendee
Supporting students with disabilities in their transition to York

Through Project ADVANCE, peer mentors provided support to students with disabilities transition to post-secondary education. During July and August, mentors ran 27 workshops on topics including: navigating campus supports, self-advocacy, assistive technology and how to access accommodations. 

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students participated in the summer transition program, held virtually and in-person
Supporting students with disabilities transition to university

In partnership with a community school board and agency, Student Accessibility Services invited high school students with disabilities to York to support their move to post-secondary education. Visitors had the opportunity to speak to peer mentors and visit various services across the campus.

students with disabilities from York Region District School Board, in collaboration with Children's Treatment Network, enjoyed a visit to York University.
Launching a new medical documentation form

Student Accessibility Services launched a new form that allows a seamless gathering of student registration documentation. Partners in Communications & Marketing designed the form to be fillable and compliant for accessibility.


Learn more about this form
Recognizing faculty and staff supporting accessibility

“Our end-of-year celebration is a wonderful opportunity to see the interconnection between us – giving students a chance to nominate faculty and staff who have supported them in their academic journey,” says Maureen Barnes, Director of Student Accessibility Services. 

Read the YFile Article
faculty and staff were recognized at the end of year celebration in April.
Recognizing staff and faculty

Student Accessibility Services celebrated interconnectedness during the fourth annual Faculty and Staff Recognition event on April 28.  Knowledge Keeper Amy Desjarlais, Centre for Indigenous Students Success, shared insights as the keynote speaker.


Stay tuned for the YFile article!
Demystifying disability

Student Accessibility Services and the Division of Students' Communications team launched a social media campaign aimed at demystifying disability. The first of four posts went out over Twitter and Facebook in February and will continue into April. #YorkAccessibility

Learn more about the campaign
Strengthening transitions through Autism Spectrum Transition Day

Autism Spectrum Transition Day provides additional support for students with autism. High school students diagnosed with autism attend a half-day workshop preparing them for the post-secondary education transition, while their guardians attend a presentation and peer-parent panel with a Q&A session.

118 people
registered for this February event that hosted school groups and families. There were great conversations with prospective students, their families and high school educators.
Supporting incoming students with disabilities

Student Accessibility Services hosted a virtual event to provide information to incoming prospective students with disabilities and their families. The workshop, held on Jan. 19, provided attendees with necessary information and resources to ease their transition to post-secondary education.

families attended the live session.
Helping students expand their network

Student Accessibility Services supports students with making connections through its virtual programming. Programs include Virtual Support Zone, Time Management Tuesday and Peer Mentor drop-ins. Each event is student-driven and socially engaging.

students regularly attend weekly programming, which is supported by peer mentors and social work students.
Training service providers on accommodations and supports

High school special education teachers, guidance counsellors, school board psychologists, and special education consultants attended a workshop that highlighted information on accommodations supports, documentation, registering and accessing financial information on Dec. 8, 2021.

20 Years
This workshop has helped educators develop their understanding of accommodations and supports at the post-secondary level so that educators feel prepared to answer questions from students.
Epilepsy and U accommodation guide released

Student Accessibility Services worked in concert with Epilepsy Toronto to create Epilepsy and U, a guide for accommodations for students with epilepsy. The website aims to educate how to support and accommodate students with seizures.

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About 300,000 Canadians (1% of the population) are affected by this seizure disorder. Each year, 1 in 2,000 is diagnosed with epilepsy.
Accommodations Guide for Students, Faculty and Academic Staff

SAS is part of a pan-university group aiming to support students in settings outside the classroom. The Academic Requirements in Placements, Practicums, Experiential Education and the WIL Working Group developed two resources to support the creation of effective accommodations.  



The Letter of Accommodation Student & Faculty Portal

We have moved to a NEW way of delivering our Letters of Accommodation. Student and faculty log in to Passport York to request, review and approve letters that will be sent to the faculty portal. Faculty will be notified by e-mail and log in using passport York to receive student’s letters.  

requests made my students -- a record-breaking amount! The portal was launched on August 23, 2021.
Project Advance: Transition Program for Students with Disabilities

Project Advance is designed for students transitioning from high school to university. Virtual sessions were held from August 3rd to August 31st, 2021. Students developed self-advocacy skills, learned about resources and wellness supports, assistive technology, engaged in eClass and met peers.

Find out more
students from AMPD, ED, ES, Health, LAPS, Lassonde, Science & Schulich participated. The sessions were peer-leader driven. Workshops held included Zoom, E-Class, self-advocacy & services.

Student Accessibility Services recently celebrated and recognized faculty and staff at our first-ever virtual End of Year celebration with a focus on resilience. We also congratulated our recent graduates and returning students.

Watch our video recap!
A total of 17 awards were presented at the 2020/21 celebration (15 Faculty, 1 team, and 1 staff). In 2019/20, 15 awards were given (10 Faculty, 1 team, 4 staff).
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