McGill University's Disabilities Awareness Week - March 23-27, 2015

From March 23rd to March 27th, The Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec will be hosting the fourth annual Disabilities Awareness Week. This year’s theme will be “inclusion” to advocate that people with disabilities, visible and invisible, should have equal access and opportunity to participate in society. The notion of equal participation, access and inclusion are applicable to all areas and contexts ranging from physical access to buildings and transportation to accessing education, community services, employment and so on. The week particularly aims at raising awareness of barriers people with disabilities experience, highlighting inclusive practices and policies that reduce barriers, widen access and value diversity in a wide variety of contexts.

Monday, March 23rd

You Want to Learn ASL (American Sign Language)?

12:00-1:00 pm

American Sign Language or ASL is the official language of Deaf people in North America. It is primarily used by the Deaf individuals to communicate with each other, as well as with the larger hearing world. Interpreters for the Deaf and hearing professionals often use ASL to communicate with their Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients. Come to this ASL introduction class and learn more about sign language and Deaf culture!

Therapeutic Paws Canada

Brown 4300
12:30 - 2:00 pm

Therapeutic Paws of Canada is a volunteer-based pet therapy dog and cat visitation program.  Our programs involve our volunteers and their pets visiting with members of their communities in schools, hospitals or senior’s residences.

Our Paws Room program sees our group partner with universities and colleges to provide emotional support and stress relief for students during exam week.

Students welcome the chance to interact with our therapy teams.  It allows the students to put the pressure of studying and exams aside, if not for a short time, and spend some quality time with the animals. Students often share stories of their own family pets and for a moment can refocus on something other than the challenges of exam week.

Paws Rooms have been extremely well received prompting extensive coverage in the media. They continue to be a welcome addition to the calendar of many universities and colleges across Canada. From time to time we may also be asked to provide a Paws Room to a Secondary school or to a corporate body to provide a distraction from a busy work schedule and we are also called in to diffuse stressful times following traumatic events. Find out more by visiting the Therapeutic Paws Canada website

Media@McGill Presents - Radical Affordances:

Emerging Scholarship, Art, and Activism at the Intersection of Media and Disability Studies in Montreal
Leacock 132
4:00 - 6:00 pm, followed by a reception

Radical Affordances Exhibition.

We will be holding a free public panel with 6 speakers on March 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in Leacock 232, titled “Radical Affordances: Emerging Scholarship, Art, and Activism at the Intersection of Media and Disability Studies in Montreal.” The panel will be accompanied by an online exhibition on Media@McGill’s website.

Our event will primarily feature emerging scholars/artists/activists working on projects at the intersection media and disability studies. The idea is for them to make short presentations (approx. 10 min each), followed by a Q&A with the public.

There will be a reception afterwards in the same space from 6pm.

Organizations that are Tabling:

 -  McGill OSD
 -  Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
 -  Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons (CHIP)
  -  Aim Croit-Iam Cares

Tuesday, March 24th

3 Easy Steps to Completing your Quebec Government Funding Application

Tuesday March 24th
Brown 4300
10:00 - 11:00 am

Presented by: Scholarships and Student Aid Office – Bronwyn Rice – Loan Administrator – Quebec Region. A step by step guide to completing your application for Quebec government loan funding.AMI-Quebec Presentation

Brown 4300
12:00 -1:00 PM

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and nearly all will be affected through someone close to them. AMI Quebec's mental health awareness campaign is aimed at increasing understanding of mental illness, removing the stigma associated with it, and demonstrating that recovery is possible. We will discuss the warning signs and symptoms of major disorders such as depression, psychosis, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. We'll also talk about what you can do if you are worried about someone close to you. The presentation also includes personal testimony from someone who has lived with mental illness.

Navigating the Challenges: Internships, Stages and Real-World Evaluations

HSSL, McLennan Library Bldg, 3rd floor - M3-37F
2:00 - 3:30 PM

This workshop is designed to help students with a variety of complex identities and needs to feel better prepared to successfully navigate the transition from professional program to the field (internship, clinical) component of their program.

The workshop addresses particular challenges that students might face in the field, provides a safe and relaxed forum for the sharing of experiences, encourages discussion and offers strategies for transitioning successfully from program to field. In addition, the workshop offers concrete supports and resources that students can access during their time in the field. Jointly offered by the OSD, the Office of Student Teaching (OST), and the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. Facilitation to be shared among Fiona J. Benson, Tara Flanagan and Jess Giles.

Organizations that are Tabling:

-   McGill OSD
-   Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
 -  AMI-Quebec
 -  Independent Living and AQEIPS, photo exhibit

Wednesday, March 25th

Making Space for Disability in the Legal Profession

NCDH Room 201
1:00 - 2:30 pm

Join Melanie Benard and Law First Year Students for a discussion of disability in the legal profession. What are some common misconceptions about disability, and how can we work towards promoting inclusion, accessibility and diversity in the legal profession? What employment opportunities are available in the emerging field of disability law?

Nancy’s in the House

OSD, Redpath Library Building,
Room RS56
3459 McTavish Street

Nancy Moulday, CACEE President-Elect and The Manager of Talent Acquisition for TD Bank Group, will be hosting 20 minute individual coffee sessions at the OSD; “Nancy’s in the House” 1.30pm – 3pm that provides students with a chance to individually talk with and ask her about disclosing in the workplace, recruitment, interviews, resumes, careers at TD, diversity, accommodations, anything you want!

These spaces are very limited, so sign up by emailing Jess Giles.
Whether, When and How to Talk about Disability as it Relates to Employment (Information Session)

CaPS Library, Brown Student Services Building
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Not sure if you should disclose or discuss your disability during an interview or at work? Do you want to build your confidence having this conversation? Karen Kelsey, Relationship Manager, Lime Connect, Canada is coming to McGill to discuss the topic of: whether, when and how to talk about disability as it relates to employment

Contact Cindy Mancuso to register.
Whether, When and How to talk about disability as it relates to employment (Individual Sessions)

Office for Students with Disabilities, Redpath Building Suite RS56
9:30 am -12:00 pm


Brown Student Services Building, Suite 2200
1:30 - 3:00 pm

In addition to the Information Sessions listed above, Karen Kelsey, Relationship Manager with Lime Connect Canada, will be available during Office Hours for anyone who would like to meet with her individually. 30 minute Individual Sessions:

Time: Wednesday, March 25th  30 minute sessions available 9:30 - 12:00
Location:   Office for Students with Disabilities, Redpath Library Building, Suite RS56
Contact Jess Giles schedule your session.


Time: Wednesday, March 25th  30 minute sessions available 1:30 - 3:00
Location: Brown Student Services Building, Suite 2200
Contact Cindy Mancuso to schedule your session.

Develop a Healthy Body Image

Brown Student Services Building, Room 4200
2:00 - 4:00 pm

Improve how you feel about your body by increasing your awareness of some of the causes/influences of negative body image.  Explore ways in which you can attain a more positive and pleasurable relationship with your bodily self.

Organizations that are Tabling

-   McGill OSD
-   Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
-   Communicaid for Hearing-Impaired Persons (CHIP)

Thursday, March 26th

Rez Audit

Lev Bukhman Room (SSMU)
12:00 - 1:00 pm

The residences at McGill were evaluated to see how accessible they are. Come listen for a sneak peek at the findings.

Managing Exam Anxiety

Service Point, MS-55
1:30 - 3:30 pm

Exams can be stressful! Come and learn some techniques to help you manage your anxiety. Learn to take some of the edge of this exam season.
Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Management

Brown Student Services Building, Room 4200
2:30 - 4:30 pm

Feeling stressed out? Burned out? Overwhelmed? Learn to manage stress using mindfulness based meditation techniques.
First People’s House Mixer

OSD Lobby
4:00 - 6:00 pm

First Peoples' House and the Office for Students with Disabilities are co-hosting a mixer during Disabilities Awareness Week. All are welcome to join us as we highlight our partnership and collaboration and reveal a new piece of Indigenous artwork to go up in the OSD lobby.

Organizations that are Tabling:

-   McGill OSD
-   Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
-   Concussion Support Group
-   Healthy McGill

Friday, March 27th

Beyond Microsoft Office: Apps to Help Your Writing and Organize Your Digital Clutter

Brown 4300
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Whether you’re frustrated with writing your essays in Microsoft Word or you’re simply looking for new strategies to improve your composition skills it’s worth trying something new. However, there are literally hundreds of applications to help you with your writing, it can be overwhelming to know what is worth trying?

This workshop will provide an overview of inexpensive and free applications that can help you improve your writing depending on your specific needs.

Learning Styles, Strategies and Self-Advocacy

Brown 4300
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Christopher Simeone, is an individual with a Learning disability(LD) who has gone through the academic system of elementary school, high school, college and is currently at McGill University. He has been advocating for individuals with Learning disabilities for the past six years and is coming to share his strategies and perspective on living with an LD. He will be initiating conversation about adaptive technologies, learning styles, learning strategies, stress management and how he made his own adaptive plan in overcoming his own barriers.

He will also share his experience with self-advocacy in terms of looking at barriers and ways to access. He will be giving out handouts based on these topics.

Organizations that are Tabling

-   McGill OSD
-   Centre de Rehabilitation Mackay
-   Seeing Voices Montreal

For further information:

McGill Office for Students with Disabilities
Redpath Library Building, Suite RS56
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec


telephone: 514-398-6009


Conference webpage: