22 Accessibility and Disability Inclusion in Instructional Support and Technology-Enabled Learning

MacStart Pilot Project with the Regional Assessment Resource Centre (RARC) at Queen’s University

In August 2023, Julia Millington in Student Accessibility Services worked with RARC to pilot online modules designed for students with disabilities transitioning into the post-secondary learning environment. Course spanned the month of August and was supplemented by synchronous workshops on academic skills, note-taking, assistive technology, and a guest lecture.

Content in the course included: learning how to use Avenue to Learn, study strategies, time management, note-taking, academic integrity, healthy relationships, managing sleep and nutrition, introduction to campus supports and clubs. 265 students with disabilities enrolled in the course through the MacStart program.

Contributors: Student Success Centre: Sean Beaudette and Julia Millington

Professor Hippo-on-Campus Mental Health Resource

Professor Hippo-on-Campus is an evidence-informed program developed at McMaster that teaches faculty, staff, and graduate students about student mental health issues which arise at university and their role(s) in helping to address them. The core program consists of 8 online modules, covering topics including understanding mental health and mental illness, addressing stigma related to mental health disorders, and the “6Rs”—to recognize, reach out, rate, respond, review and reflect—when supporting students who are distressed or experiencing mental health concerns. Additionally, the program teaches about universal design for instruction or learning, improving accessibility for all students, and principles and processes related to providing academic accommodations for students with mental health-related disabilities.

Throughout 2022-2023, Professor Hippo-on-Campus has continued to offer the core program as well as increased in-person workshops for faculty and staff, and a new online program and workshop for graduate students, supported by the McCall MacBain Foundation.

Contributors: Professor Hippo-on-Campus Mental Health Education Program, offered by the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being, Dr. Catharine Munn (Advisor to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)), Special Projects (Mental Health); Lead, McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being Mental Health Division; Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME); Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences)

“Nothing About Us Without Us”: A Teaching & Learning Network Designed by and for Disabled Graduate Students

We collaborated to draft a student-driven roadmap to establish a peer-to-peer network for graduate students with disabilities at McMaster University. This project was funded through the MacPherson’s Student Partners program as well as SSC’s CAPS program, and built on a 2021-2022 collaboration with Student Accessibility Services which co-designed transition supports for students with disabilities pursuing graduate studies. Some outcomes from the roadmap project include:

  • Curriculum outline of relevant workshop topics and learning outcomes for a future transition and mentorship program.
  • Review and recommendations of resources and website navigation through SGS, for students with disabilities in graduate school.
  • Creation of a resource navigation summary document geared towards incoming graduate students with disabilities.

Contributors: Andrea Cole, School of Graduate Studies, Jennifer Faubert and Devon Mordell, MacPherson Institute


The Annual Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Update Copyright © 2022 by McMaster University. All Rights Reserved.

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