In today’s inclusive and diverse educational environment, universities have a crucial role in ensuring that students with disabilities have equal academic opportunities. Mt. A is an example of an institution that upholds these principles of accessibility by offering comprehensive disability services through its nationally recognized Meighen Centre on the third floor of the Wallace McCain Student Centre.
The Meighen Centre at Mt. A has been a vital source of support for students with disabilities since its establishment in 1994. The centre was made possible through a donation from Michael and Kelly Meighen, who were the driving force behind what was then the Themadel Foundation, now known as the T.R. Meighen Family Foundation. Initially, the centre primarily catered to students with learning disabilities. However, over the years, the services have been expanded to encompass all types of disabilities, working in collaboration with the university’s Wellness Centre.
The Meighen Centre’s dedication to inclusivity extends beyond offering accommodations to students. The centre collaborates with faculty to implement Universal Design for Learning principles, provides Mental Health First Aid training, and engages in research to study topics relevant to young adults with disabilities.
The Meighen Centre offers a wide range of services and accommodations to ensure that students with disabilities can thrive academically and personally. Some of the key services provided include:
Assistive Technology: The Meighen Centre offers access to assistive technologies such as Kurzweil 3000, Inspiration, and the Echo Smart Pen, enabling students to overcome various learning barriers.
Advocacy: The centre acts as a liaison with admission offices, deans, professors, funding agencies, library staff, and technical services, advocating for students’ needs and ensuring they receive the necessary support.
Alternate Formats: The Meighen Centre assists students in obtaining digital textbooks and course materials, making it easier for them to access the required reading materials.
Assessments: The centre offers on-site learning disability screenings and provides referrals for comprehensive assessments conducted off-campus.
Counseling: The centre provides academic, personal, and financial counseling, helping students make informed choices about course selection, career prospects, and financial assistance.
Note Takers and Peer Tutors: Funds are available to assist students in paying for note takers and peer tutors when necessary.
Test/Exam Accommodations: Students may receive accommodations such as extra time, a quiet room for exams, and the use of assistive technologies like text-to-voice and voice-to-text software.
Time Management and Organization Help: The Meighen Centre helps students in developing effective time management and organizational skills.
Writing Assistance and Proofreading: Students can access support for improving their writing skills and ensuring their academic work meets the required standards.
Policy 1202, Mt. A’s policy on Students with Disabilities, underscores the commitment to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities while maintaining academic standards. This policy ensures that students with disabilities can access the support they need to excel in their studies.
By offering an extensive range of services and accommodations, the centre empowers students to overcome academic and personal challenges. As the Meighen Centre continues its mission, students with disabilities at Mt. A can confidently achieve their academic goals.