Facilitating the Use of Preparatory Resources

Reading time: approximately 4 minutes.

The first section of the ACTon resource is intended to provide some background on the ACTon project and explain how the instructor and student videos were created. For example, when reflecting on interactive video content, it may be of interest for your group to know that the videos are fictional but based on the lived experiences of placement instructors and disabled students with placement experience.

Examples of discussion and optional assessment activities that can be used in conjunction with these resources are listed below.

Introduction to ACTon Project and Choosing the Resource That Is Right for You

  • Review the introduction individually or together as a group.
  • Discuss what experiences or questions have brought group members to this training.
  • Discuss which resources you intend to use.

Optional assessment activity: What are three things that each group member looks forward to from this training?

Character Bios

The character bios are provided as background information. The videos present minimal background information on the characters, their relationships, and social identities; some of these details are revealed in the scenarios, while others (e.g., a main character’s specific disability diagnosis) were purposefully left undefined so as to invite viewers to either see opportunities or to reflect on and challenge their assumptions. Consider why members of your group might want to know the medical diagnosis of the different characters. How does this impact their interpretations with the characters’ behaviour? How might leaving the diagnosis undefined challenge the medical model of disability? The character bios may also be helpful for individuals who have difficulty with facial recognition and/or names. Further, it may be useful should you choose to integrate any suggested activities that involve re-imagining and creating alternative endings for the videos.

  • Review the character bios individually or together as a group.
  • Where do your participants see themselves in relation to the characters?
  • What characters represent someone they may come into contact with?
  • What are the intersectional qualities of the characters’ identities and why might recognizing intersectional oppressions be important when considering student accommodation in placement?

Optional assessment activity: Discuss the different characters and how they might relate to group members’ positionality, based on what they know so far.

Definition of Disability Accommodations

This section provides an introduction to disability accommodation in relation to international and national human-rights codes. Students who know their rights are in a better position to advocate for themselves. Students that do not have a disability and lack lived experience with disability may be unfamiliar with accommodations.

  • Review the definition individually or together as a group.
  • Was the group aware of this responsibility prior to training?
  • Have they come across a situation where accommodations have been needed in the past?

Optional assessment activity: Discuss or write a blog post about why confidentiality is essential to the accommodations process.

Disabled Students or Students with Disabilities

Disability is a contested and sometimes highly stigmatized term. This information is provided to explain ACTon’s choice in using the term disabled student.

  • Review the definition individually or together as a group.
  • Have your participants come across identity-first language before?
  • What are the significant differences between the different terms and what do these differences emphasize about the person and disability?
  • Which terminology do they prefer and why?

Optional assessment activity: Discuss what disability terms group members may have used in the past and where the terms come from.

Additional Resource: Identity-First Language Autistic Self Advocacy Network https://autisticadvocacy.org/about-asan/identity-first-language/

Tip Sheet: York University Accommodation Process

  • Discuss the York University Procedures for Accommodation and Student Responsibilities, one at a time.
  • Discuss how group members might have these conversations.
  • Are there any questions or concerns that come up for the group?
  • You may want to consider looking at the additional resources together as a group.

Optional assessment activity: In pairs, work through some student-and-instructor scenarios to practice having this conversation.

Intersectionality and Disability Tip Sheet

  • Review the section together as a group.
  • Discuss how intersectionality relates to the group members’ practice.
  • How might this change their perspective on accommodations?
  • You may want to consider having a discussion about how you would respond to ableism, individually or collectively.

Optional assessment activity: Have individuals write a reflective journal for a week on their shifting positionality in different spaces. Have them consider what intersectional identities they identify with and how their identity impacts their privilege(s) and access in different spaces?

Additional Resources


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ACTon: Disability Accommodation Stories in Placement Copyright © by ACTon, York University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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