Realize - Free Webinar: Fostering Inclusion and Environments of Support for Students with Episodic Disabilities (FINESSED)

The goal of the FINESSED project is to develop an online course for post-secondary teaching and support staff to raise awareness of the challenges faced by students with episodic disabilities, and to provide strategies to support and accommodate students living with episodic disabilities.  Realize is a national, charitable organization that works toward fostering positive changes for people living with episodic disabilities (  This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.
Activities completed to inform this initiative include:

    A provincial environmental scan on the management of episodic disability in the post-secondary education sector.
    A survey of post-secondary teaching and support staff on attitudes and issues related to accommodating students with episodic disabilities.
    A discussion paper that reviews work completed since 2015 and identifies potential topics and priority issues to be addressed in the online course.
    A pan-sector provincial Summit to collect additional feedback to inform the online course (held October 3, 2018).

The purpose of the FINESSED webinar is to provide an opportunity for cross-sector stakeholders to contribute to the development of content for the online resource.

When:  Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 12:30 - 2:00 pm EST
Registration deadline: Monday, November 26, 2018 at 12:00 noon EST
Email to register:  Annette Wilkins (
Webinar Format:

Prior to the webinar, participants will be asked to complete a 4 item survey and review a 20 minute online presentation that provides an overview of the work-to-date, including key themes emerging from the Summit. The FINESSED discussion paper will also be circulated to provide additional details for those who are interested. The agenda for the Webinar will include a very brief introduction followed by a facilitated discussion.

Participants are asked to consider the following questions:

What one action would you recommend to raise awareness of the issues impacting students with episodic disabilities?
What are the most important points to make in any training intended to increase supports for students living with episodic disabilities?
What can post-secondary institutions do to make navigating programs and services easier for students with episodic disabilities?
What suggestions do you have for the format of an online training course recognizing the range of teaching and support roles and the differences between colleges and universities?   

Webinar Facilitators: 

Helen Anderson, Senior Manager, Education Services, The Arthritis Society
Melissa Popiel, Episodic Disability Consultant
Annette Wilkins, Episodic Disabilities Initiatives, Realize
Tammy C. Yates, Executive Director, Realize