On March 7th 2016, for the first time ever, the Peer Support Program extended its reach out of the Lower Mainland into Kelowna to co-present a workshop on post-secondary transition. We continue to work closely with three other community agencies: Post-Secondary Communication Access & Services (PCAS), Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (PDHHS), and Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH), a partnership that is seeing its third year.
For this workshop there were 20 people in attendance, comprised of students, parents, teachers for the deaf and hard of hearing, and a new addition: disability service coordinators from local post-secondary institutions. We were glad to have them so that students and parents can make a visible connection with who the “new” resources are. The coordinators also provided valuable input from their perspectives on how to navigate the transition smoothly.
As always there is so much information to cover throughout the workshop that it can seem overwhelming, but our audience stayed with us all the way (it was 3 hours long). They were engaged and asked great questions. This shows that they know the right questions to ask, having put some thought into preparing for what comes next.
My personal favorite moment of the day was when an audience member said and I quote: “It is better to have it and not need it than to need it but not have it”. This is a reference to the importance of requesting accommodation early, regardless of whether the student feels if he or she needs it. To make such request is to ensure a safeguard in the case that the student eventually finds the need for accommodation, but it may be too late to request one in time. Consequently, the student may find him/herself at a disadvantage.
All in all, the workshop was a success and we look forward to the next two coming up in April.
[Left to Right: Elissa (WIDHH), Carla (Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, School District 23, Dakota (a student), Piper (PCAS), Bowen (CHHA-BC), David (PDHHS)]
Note: Elissa, Piper, Bowen and David are presenters of the post-secondary transition workshop