NEADS receives funding for science and technology project

Ottawa - January 29, 2008: The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is proud to announce a new two-year initiative, developed through a funding partnership with the Imperial Oil Foundation. “Enhancing Opportunities for Post-Secondary Students and Graduates with Disabilities in Science and Technology Related Fields” will launch in April, 2008 and conclude in March, 2010. NEADS will receive $120,000 from the Foundation for the project.

While research has been conducted on factors affecting the inclusion of the general student population in science and technology-related programs, very little work has been done to highlight the issues and challenges faced by students and employees with disabilities within this sector. Furthermore, the identification of role models or success stories in science and technology is not encouraged – every student and educator, or every employer and employee, facing these issues may well believe that they are the first, ever, to do so.

NEADS is in a unique position to remove these barriers, and address issues specific to persons with disabilities in science and technology, by leveraging our extensive network of college and university service providers, and students and recent graduates with disabilities. It is not our goal to “re-invent the wheel” and re-tread research that has already been conducted. Instead, with a specific focus on students and employees with disabilities in the science and technology sector, and with the establishment of partnerships – including organizations who are already conducting science and technology outreach – we hope to contribute in a novel and unique way to the inclusion of students with disabilities in science and technology-related programs and employment.

There are four aspects to the project:

  1. The development of a guidebook “Promoting Careers in Canada’s Science and Technology Sectors to Students and Recent Graduates with Disabilities: Success Stories, Best Practices and Resources”;
  2. The hosting of national conference workshop on “Education and Employment in Science and Technology for People with Disabilities" at the 2008 NEADS National Conference in Ottawa;
  3. Research and development of the concept of national science and technology fair for students with disabilities as an outreach tool to encourage participation and visibility of students with disabilities in the science and technology sector;
  4. The establishment of a network of stakeholders and existing organizations to examine the research findings in the guidebook and develop strategies for communication, dissemination and implementation of strategies to counter barriers faced by students with disabilities in the science and technology fields.

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is a consumer-controlled, registered charitable organization with a mandate to encourage the self-empowerment of post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities in Canada. NEADS advocates for increased accessibility at all levels so that students with disabilities may gain equal access to a college or university education, which is the right of everyone. The Association also supports the successful transition of students and graduates with disabilities into employment within their chosen field.

Imperial Oil Limited has been contributing to communities across Canada for the past 126 years. Imperial Oil contributed more than $12 million to enhance the well-being of communities across Canada in 2006, building on a tradition of corporate giving that began with the company's inception in 1880. Supporting organizations where we live and work, the company emphasizes investment in education of math and sciences, environment, and civic and community programs where we have employees or business operations.

For more information, please contact the NEADS National Office:
National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Rm. 426 Unicentre, Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6
tel. (613) 526-8008