NEADS Plan of Action For 2000/2001
The following activities are a priority for 2000/2001 for the Association (not listed in order of importance). These activities will be implemented under the direction of the NEADS Board of Directors.
- Hosting a national forum (with international guests) on post-secondary access and student leadership - Networking, Educating, Advocating: Delivering Success in the New Millennium - at the Delta Ottawa Hotel and Suites, November 10-12, 2000.
- Developing and implementing a new project to address faculty awareness and training occurring on Canadian college and university campuses, which will identify existing programs and recommend best practices in this area.
- Creating an effective plan for "high school outreach", to ensure that high school students become more aware of the work of NEADS and the support that it can offer students in making the transition into post-secondary education.
- Publication of a new edition of Organization of Students With Disabilities Guidebook: Leadership in Our Community. The result will be significant outreach to campus organizations of students with disabilities and the maintenance of an important resource.
- Continuance of the Student Leadership Initiative -- with two forums on student leadership and the advocacy work of the association to be held over a 12 month period. This will ensure that NEADS is communicating with students at a grassroots level. The forums -- to be hosted by Board members on their campuses -- will shape our work as an association and will provide excellent input for the government on issues of post-secondary education and public policy. Other forums with students may be held using electronic means of communication.
- Following-up on the recommendations of the report from our 1998 national conference: Commitment to Excellence: Building Leaders for the Future. A report on the meeting has been published. This meeting was held in Ottawa at the Delta Ottawa Hotel and Suites, November 20th-22nd, 1998. It addressed four themes: student leadership, developing a national approach to disability services, student financial assistance and transition from school to work. Participants included: students, service providers, educators, advocates, employers, and government representatives.
- Implementing the recommendations of the report Working Towards A Coordinated National Approach to Services, Accommodations and Policies For Post-Secondary Students With Disabilities: Ensuring Access to Higher Education and Career Training in consultation with HRDC, colleges and universities, provinces and service providers (as represented by the Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers). NEADS will continue to work together with our partners to build consensus with respect to "best practices" and a national approach to accessible post-secondary education. A key second stage of this activity has been the creation of an on-line Accessibility Guide on CanLearn Interactive.
- Promoting the new National Directory of Financial Assistance Programs for Students With Disabilities (NEADS 2000) and making sure that the publication is available in a variety of formats - in both official languages -- and on-line on the Association's web site.
- Continuing to develop and expand the information available on post-secondary education and students with disabilities available on CanLearn.
- Continuing Official Languages work through our Official Languages Committee, which will have a particularly important role to play in ensuring participation of francophone students and groups at the 2000 forum and ensuring that all meeting functions and sessions are accessible to both official language groups.
- Partnering with our member group in Quebec, Association québecoise des étudiants handicapés au postsecondaire on the National Approach project, Official Languages Initiatives and a new project exploring issues facing students with learning disabilities in the province of Quebec.
- Publishing two issues of the Association's newsletter.
- Continuing to respond to numerous requests for information from students and the general public.
- Ensuring that we have the capacity to make materials available in a variety of alternate formats.
- Ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance our web site and expand and support the NEADS listserv that was established following our national conference in 1998.
- Continued partnership work with organizations in our network, including the Council of Canadians With Disabilities.
- Continuing to improve the lines of communication between NEADS and the Canadian Federation of Students.
- Working with Human Resources Development Canada, through the Office For Disability Issues and Learning and Literacy, to improve the communication with students concerning the Canada Student Loans Program, Employability Assistance For Persons With Disabilities and Opportunities Fund programs.
- Working with the Youth Initiatives Directorate of HRDC to promote dialogue with youth with disabilities and encourage the sharing of opportunities in education and employment.
- Holding two meetings of the Association's Board of Directors to implement and coordinate all activities and projects.
- Continued representation of the Association to important advisory bodies including: National Advisory Group on Student Financial Assistance; Canadian Labour Force Development Board; Reference Group for People With Disabilities; National Council of the Council of Canadians With Disabilities; Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers in Post-Secondary Education (CADSPPE); Adaptech Research Project.
- Exploring innovative ways to expand our membership base.
- Working to ensure that our documents are available in alternate formats.
- Filling a vacant position on our Board of Directors in Manitoba.
- Working with Human Resources Development Canada and the Public Service Commission to promote employment opportunities for students and graduates with disabilities.
- Continuing to facilitate transition from school to work opportunities with national employers and through such innovative internship/apprenticeship programs as Career Edge.