Brenda Whaley and Neil Faba researched and wrote Moving On, a resource guidebook to help high school students with disabilities make the transition to post-secondary education. Free copies of this comprehensive book are available in hard copy and on the Internet at www.neads.ca/movingon.
Whaley said that working on the book was an exciting experience that brought real opportunities to understand the needs of high school and post-secondary students. This type of guide was truly needed in the community and the book was in fact created following the last NEADS national conference, held in 2000, where it was identified that Canadian high school students had a great need for help to have a better transition to post-secondary education. The book is also useful for post-secondary students, Whaley noted.
A grassroots approach to research was taken to consult directly with high school students. Three focus groups, a highlight of the project, were held in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal, the latter consisting of one French and one English group. Each group was composed of six to eight students of different disability types. They met for two hours to discuss and give feedback on sixteen questions. Another project highlight was interviews with 3rd- and 4th-year college students, one selected from each province and territory, whose personal stories are interspersed throughout the book. The consultants had support from a Project Advisory Board consisting of NEADS board members, counsellors, and disability service providers. Whaley thanked everyone who gave input.
Neil Faba presented the web-based version of Moving On, an exciting format that is accessible to anyone, locatable through Internet searching, and easily updatable with current information. He demonstrated each section in turn:
- About Moving On
- Funding and Scholarship Programs
- Transition Programs
- Federal Programs for Students
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Disabled Students' Leadership
- Student Success Stories
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Additional Resources
- On-Campus Disability Services
Faba pointed out that some sections feature pull-down menus that allow the user to select and list information at the national level, by region, or by province/territory. He concluded by inviting the delegates to take advantage of Moving On and to share ideas on marketing this resource.