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Media

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and University and College Partners launch Website for Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities

Media Release - 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
(October 29, 2018 - Toronto)

Researchers from Nipissing University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), York University, and George Brown College, in partnership with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) announced today the launch of CommunAbility ( www.communability.ca ), a social networking website for post-secondary students with disabilities across the province of Ontario. CommunAbility is a virtual space that harnesses the power of online and social media technology to enable students with disabilities and others in the post-secondary education community to connect in ways seldom experienced in the current environment.

The CommunAbility website focuses on education, community-building, and mentorship. These 3 key areas of the website correspond with the broad themes and objectives of a research project titled, “Applied Research to Support the Development and Evaluation of the Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities Network (PSDNet) Project”. Students with disabilities and others in the post-secondary education community visiting the website can access a number of services and products including learning modules, discussion forums, and an e-mentorship program for post-secondary students with disabilities.

“CommunAbility is really about a call to action”, says Dr. Charles Anyinam, Assistant Professor at Nipissing University and Principal Investigator of the project. “We know that post-secondary education is vital to achieving the full participation of people with disabilities in Canadian society. The benefits of post-secondary education are well-documented including, more stable employment and opportunities for personal and social development. Yet in Canada, people with disabilities are profoundly underrepresented in post-secondary education and consequently, the labour market”, says Dr. Anyinam.

He continues, “CommunAbility is step towards addressing this challenge”. Dr. Sue Coffey, the project’s Co-Principal Investigator and an Associate Professor of Nursing at UOIT adds, “Addressing this challenge is not only of key importance to achieving individual and societal prosperity, it lies at the very heart of the beliefs embedded within Canadian culture and society about equity and justice.”

CommunAbility is being launched this week on the campuses of Nipissing University, UOIT, York University, and George Brown College where the research evaluating the website will occur.

About the Applied Research to Support the Development and Evaluation of the Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities Network (PSDNet) Project

The PSDNet project is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project’s aim is to further the work underway in post-secondary education institutions to remove barriers and create opportunities that promote the success of students with disabilities. The project’s objectives are to: 1) promote a positive disability identity, 2) provide essential information about disability and issues relevant to post-secondary students with disabilities, 3) provide post-secondary students with disabilities access to mentorship/coaching opportunities, and 4) disseminate information and resources by mobilizing knowledge, including research and evaluation through innovative means.

For further information about CommunAbility and the opportunities it offers visit the website www.communability.ca  To learn about the research underway contact Dr. Charles Anyinam at charlesa@nipissingu.ca





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