Chris Gaulin presented the CampusNet mission:
CampusNet strives to be a uniquely Canadian online collaborative community bringing together campus-based organizations of students with disabilities. The objective is to provide an interactive community of learning where information on projects, approaches, techniques, successes, and challenges can be shared and exchanged across geographies.
CampusNet is a community that involves students from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. Through this forum, they can come together to discuss projects, techniques for advocacy, and other concerns. CampusNet is supported by the Office of Learning Technologies of Human Resources Development Canada.
The project team includes CampusNet staff, an advisory committee, and partners Adaptech and AQEIPS. New tasks for the next 15 months include:
- Maintaining and improving a free, online collaborative network;
- Providing training, expertise and facilities to allow groups to develop their Web presence;
- Developing resources that will encourage student leadership (this includes helping organizations set up and maintain themselves);
- Providing information and support related to a successful transition from school to work;
- Promoting CampusNet as a community of learning.
Work completed includes:
- A survey of Canadian student groups, gathering information on the structure and objectives of the groups, their technology needs, and their potential use of an online community (CampusNet was developed based on the needs of these groups);
- Development of a directory of student organizations;
- Development and deployment of the CampusNet online community;
- Integration of CampusNet into the NEADS Web site;
- Preparation of a detailed report including an analysis and needs assessment of student organizations across Canada, along with a plan for meeting these needs through CampusNet.
Pilot project activities include:
- The NEADS 2002 conference;
- Participation in NEADS student leadership and employment forums in Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa;
- Improvements to the CampusNet café;
- Development of a new comprehensive directory of student organizations;
- Development and training in Web site design for campus groups;
- Incorporation of an "employment area" including a job posting system;
- Introduction of a mentoring strategy specific to students with disabilities.
The NEADS "community of learning" is based on three components:
- A student leadership guidebook, a collection of resources for students starting and running organizations;
- A directory of campus groups;
- The CampusNet Café, which includes several forums/topic areas, as well as a private discussion group specifically for student leaders.
Networking and peer support online is facilitated through an unmoderated forum that provides mentorship and a secure and private place for students to talk amongst themselves. A variety of topic areas are discussed and there is diverse participation across the country, Gaulin said.
CampusNet will provide employment and transition support as the priority in the current project by helping student leaders gain access to resources and running an online job posting system.
Gaulin concluded by providing contact information for CampusNet:
Web site: www.neads.ca/campusnet
Tel: 450-669-9674 or 1-877-670-1256