My name is Alex. I am a 3rd-year Business student and I want to be a chartered accountant when I graduate.
I am on the autism spectrum and prefer to do my work independently rather than in a group. I can have difficulty understanding someone if they do not say exactly what they mean. I can struggle with overstimulation; for example, I don’t work well under fluorescent lighting and can be hypersensitive to smells or background noise.
I am 20 years old, and I watch wrestling with my friends every Monday night.
Shé:kon, my name is Alisha.
I’m Kanienʼkehá꞉ka, (Mohawk) through my father and Irish/Danish through my mother. I’m in my second year of Indigenous Studies with the eventual goal of becoming a legal scholar advocating for Disability Justice for Indigenous Peoples.
Further, I am a student with multiple disabilities including ADHD, Chronic Fatigue, and Dyslexia. If my course reading materials aren’t compatible with my accessibility software, I have to have them translated again, which can be frustrating, time consuming and exhausting, adding to the overall cognitive load.
While there is no single solution to my accessibility needs, having support and access to alternative assignments and cultural teachings makes a huge difference and greatly improves my capacity to engage more fully in my academics.
My name is Ann and I am a Chemistry major with ADHD, a learning disability that makes it difficult for me to concentrate.
I use learning software (Kurzweil) on my laptop and find that reading and listening to text at the same time really helps my learning.
I am 20 years old and hope to become a pharmacist.
I share an apartment with two other female students.
I can read electronic materials using an on-screen magnifier (ZoomText) but after 30 minutes, my eyes fatigue and I get headaches. When this happens, I use ZoomText’s screenreader to listen to my reading materials.
I am 48 years old and taking many of my classes online. I live with my husband.
I use a screen-reading program (JAWS) to access electronic text materials, as well as an audio-recorder to “take notes” in class.
I am 28 years old and can’t wait to get my last few classes out of the way so I can start my career!
I share an apartment with my girlfriend.
I sustained a brain injury that affects my vision. My vision changes from hour to hour and minute to minute based on the exposure to: fluorescent lights, computer screens, movement (e.g. traffic on a road), and fatigue.
When I’m exposed to these triggers, I experience blurred and double vision.
I am 25 years old and I am looking forward to a career in landscaping.
I live with depression. It is recurrent and can vary in its severity. I was hospitalized 4 years ago. Sometimes my depression comes in the form of feeling like a failure, or worrying that I have let everyone down. It is difficult to stay motivated to even attend class, particularly when experiencing an episode of depression.
I am 20 years old and I would like to follow in my mother’s footsteps and become a crown prosecutor.
I am a single mother of a rambunctious 4-year old. As a mom, it can be hard for me to find childcare for my daughter and transportation that fits with my class schedule. When I cannot find those, I usually have to skip class. Another problem can be managing expenses.
As a mature student, it’s easy to feel like an outsider in my classes and group work can be so difficult to fit into my schedule with all my other responsibilities.
I am 34 years old and my daughter, Celeste, is four. Right now, Celeste wants to be a fire fighter when she grows up.
I am a future heavy-duty mechanic with a learning disability that was diagnosed in Grade 8. I absorb information best by hearing it and I also enjoy making and fixing stuff with my hands. I’m in my first semester of college taking trades courses and loving it.
I can’t wait to complete the foundation courses and move into my first apprenticeship placement.
I live at home with my family and we share one computer.
I tell my classmates and instructors at the beginning of a new term that I have a type of epilepsy that causes me to have seizures. Epilepsy is different for everyone who has it, but I can usually feel my seizures coming on, most often when I’m stressed or really tired or anxious. I try to sit near the exit of any classroom so I can leave the room quickly when I feel a seizure coming on and slip back in after I’ve recovered.
I have friends in my classes who know how to look out for me when I’m having a seizure, and will know whether or not I need them to call First Aid. I really appreciate it when I have a supportive instructor because my levels of stress and anxiety go down in their classes.
I’m looking forward to the arrival of my first service dog this fall.
I’ve been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The cerebral palsy affects my fine motor and gross motor skills, making everyday tasks somewhat difficult. My epilepsy is controlled with medication, but most days I still have several small partial seizures in my face.
Being able to buddy-up with my classmates for things that require fine motor skills is a useful strategy for me.
I can get tired easily, so being allowed to work at my own pace or in small chunks also works well for me. If I am having a bad day in regards to my epilepsy, it helps a lot if I can work on my studies at alternate times or in alternate locations.
My name is Miriam. I am an international student who has come to Canada to complete a college program in Hospitality Management and improve my English language skills (in both spoken and written form).
I met the English-language requirement for my program but I become stressed when in-class discussion moves too quickly or includes a lot of new terminology.
I appreciate captions and transcripts when video and audio materials are presented in class, as well as electronic copies of lecture notes in advance of a class.
I am living with a Canadian host-family.
I live with anxiety and I can find it difficult to even figure out where to start with my assignments and projects. When I do start, I can obsess, worrying that my assignment or test has to be perfect and taking more time to complete them. I often feel like the stakes may be significantly higher than they really are.
I am 19 years old and live with my older sister.
My name is Ramone and I have recently retired after 30 years in my field. As an avid outdoorsman, I’ve decided to begin my retirement by taking some blended (mixed face-to-face & online) courses in Geography and Environmental Studies through my community college.
I have a form of colour-blindness (Deuteranomoly) which makes it difficult for me to distinguish between reds, greens, browns and oranges. I also recently had to get a stronger prescription for my reading glasses.
I live with my wife and love visits with my grandchildren.
As a student with physical disabilities, I’ve faced some challenges in my classes and in accessing services around the college. I use screen-reading software to access print information, but often content is not accessible to a screen-reader or is only available on paper – a format that is completely invisible to me.
I ask for different formats every term and any other time I need them, but those take time to produce. When I can’t get timely access to the content I need, I get behind in my courses or I completely miss out on critical information that other students can access right away.
What I’d really like is just to have access at the same time to the same information that other students get without having to ask for special assistance.
I am 23 years old and like the flexibility of taking online classes. I don’t have a preference for text-material formats but videos without captions are meaningless for me.
When I do take on-campus classes, I use real-time transcription services to access my lectures.
I live by myself.
Both my parents were survivors of Indian Residential Schools (IRS) and suffered a great deal of trauma. As a result, I have experienced intergenerational trauma in the form of violence, poverty and racism. When confronted with issues of discrimination, I sometimes shut down and do not ask for help, leaving me ill-prepared to meet course expectations.
I am 50 years old and I want a better quality of life for my children and grandchildren; my goal is to become a college teacher.
I have a physical disability resulting from a car accident that left me with partial paralysis and motor issues requiring a motorized wheelchair.
I am physically dependent on my family, so especially enjoy reading and studying independently. I prefer e-book formats and PDFs that can be easily loaded onto my iPad.
I am 18 years old and live with my family.
I decided to enrol in English upgrading courses while I was finishing high school so that I could complete my prerequisites for first-year English. Now that I am enrolled in first-year English, I find that I have read more widely than many of my classmates.
I am very interested in poetry, multi-ethnic literature, cross-cultural literature, and Asian Canadian/American literature. I need more of a challenge with my academic work but I’m not sure how to approach my instructors to ask for more support. When I asked in the past, my instructors just told me that I’m already doing well. I worry that they might think I am demanding if I ask for more challenges so I’m reluctant to try again.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and playing tennis.
I feel intimidated when my instructors put the class into groups for discussions because my Canadian classmates find my accent hard to understand and ask me to repeat things I say many times. I think sometimes they are impatient that I do not understand all of the idioms and phrases they use. Because my English is different, maybe they think I am not good academically and do not want to work in groups with me.
My courses require us to follow rules associated with Academic Integrity and I think I am slowly learning what this means in Canadian academic culture but I am scared each time I hand in an assignment that my instructor will tell me I cheated.
I have 3 roommates who are also here from India and we share an apartment that is a 30 minute bus ride from campus.