National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) announces Alina Heck as the winner of the Canada Post Award

(Ottawa, March 7th, 2022)

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students and Canada Post are very pleased to announce Alina Heck as the 2021 recipient of this year’s Canada Post Award. Alina is enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Alberta.

Valued at $10,000, the Canada Post Award for Students with Disabilities recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of those who are leading by example and making a difference through knowledge sharing, community practice and innovation. The Award is open to students with a disability who are enrolled in a degree granting program in any discipline at the undergraduate or graduate level. 

"It is difficult to put this into just a few sentences... I am incredibly grateful to be receiving this award. This scholarship provides security and assurance that I will be able to continue the Doctor of Medicine program, but it will also allow me to expand community initiatives I am passionate about. I would like to dedicate a portion of the funds to my work as a member of the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities; with the help of two community partners and a physician with disabilities, I am currently creating an educational module examining Canadian policies (both health policies and policies that indirectly impact health and wellbeing) and how they impact persons with disabilities. The module will be available for use to medical schools, students, and physicians across Canada and will aim to provide education on how physicians can best support their patients with accessibility needs, as well as highlight areas for improvement and unintended consequences of such policies." – Alina Heck, Doctor of Medicine, University of Alberta.

The Canada Post Award was launched in 2020 as part of the NEADS/Canada Post partnership to support full access to education and the workforce for students with disabilities. 

"It is an absolute pleasure to congratulate Alina as the recipient of this year’s Canada Post Award. In addition to excelling academically, Alina has demonstrated leadership in knowledge sharing, advocacy and innovation, and has expanded her contributions and impact through community involvement." – Natasha Saltes, Director of Accessibility, Canada Post.

"A huge congratulations to Alina,” says Lauren Gravis, Director of the NEADS Student Awards Program. "The award was given out to recognize your outstanding efforts in academics, extra-curriculars, and self-advocacy in a way that is incredibly transformative for yourself and others. We hope this award will empower you to continue to advance your strong advocacy and drive inclusion forward.”

For further information:

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6, tel. (613) 380-8065, ext. 201

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