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Note: The university’s mandatory vaccine directive is now in effect. Learn more about vaccine requirements.
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Is your remote learning experience accessible?

February 18, 2021

Written in collaboration with Arnetia Bishop-Kent.

With the transition to remote learning, everyone has felt a shift in their study style, work ethic, and overall education. Now with all classes being virtual, here are some ways that you can make your online learning experience more accessible! Just because the university has transitioned online, it does not mean you can’t adjust it for your ease. Some of these programs are available for anyone to download, and others are available for those who have a disability and are connected with Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

Adapt your classroom 

Google Read & Write Chrome Extension 

This is a free chrome extension that is a text-to-speech reader allowing you to hear any passage; this can be very helpful for gaining information from textbooks through listening.

Canvas Speech Transcript

Kaltura Media Gallery allows the option of displaying a transcript of the recorded video, allowing it to be accessible for those hard of hearing or those who want to read instead of listening. If your professor currently does not allow captions, feel welcome to request them to add this feature!

Adjust your online and physical settings

 Fine-tuning your online settings and workspace can go a long way in making remote learning as comfortable as possible. Adjust the text font to larger or smaller sizes as needed, as well as turning on the Night-Time setting for your screen (in both Mac and Windows Settings) to reduce strain from blue light emitted from our laptops. Along with adjusting your computer settings, adapting your physical workspace is something to consider. Consider adjusting your laptop positioning to prevent neck strain, a comfortable chair/seating, and good lighting to do work. Having a dedicated workstation and removing any distractions can help make your online learning experience more efficient. 

AS equipped software

These extensions are paid and can be available, when appropriate, for students who are registered with Student Accessibility Services for accommodations.

  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech): A high functioning screen reader in combination with braille output for those with low vision who are unable to use a mouse. 
  • SONOCENT: An audio notetaker aimed to ensure nothing is missed in a live lecture or meeting.
  • DRAGON: Speech recognition software to dictate, conduct commands on your computer, including transcribing recordings.

Do you need accommodations?

The accommodation process all starts with booking an appointment with the Student Accessibility department. If you do have medical documentation stating your area of aid or in the process of exploring a diagnosis, they are more than happy to help. This also goes for temporary disabilities; if you have broken a bone, had a concussion, or experienced another situation that has impacted your ability to learn at the university, you may be granted accommodations. If you had an IEP in high school, this might be transferable to your university experience as well. Student Mental Health Services are also always there to listen to you and any issues you may be having, and they may also redirect you to SAS when applicable.  The key reminder here is that accommodations are to ensure an even playing field for every student and to accurately demonstrate your learning! More information and a list of documentation forms to start your personalized university plan can be found by contacting: 

Student Accessibility Services 

studentaccessibility@ontariotechu.ca

905.721.3266


TLDR - If you don't read anything else, please read this! 

Ever since we first heard the term ‘COVID-19’, the dread set in. We thought of our friends and family that could be affected by this virus. People with disabilities also have a higher chance of contracting the virus and dying of it. To protect the most vulnerable in society, we must do everything possible to prevent the transmission of the virus. For those nurses, doctors, pharmacy technologists, or anyone working in the medical field right now, we applaud you. We must stop the transmission of this virus to prevent our hospitals from overflowing, medication shortages, and the rising need for PPE, which can be hard to find during this time. If hospitals become too crowded, there might not be enough ventilators, and if this happens, then not everyone will be able to receive adequate healthcare, and many will die. Our most vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, need you to ensure that you keep them in mind during this time. 

By Aaleen Zhera