by Daniel Fok, Counselling and Accessibility Services
in the June 2021 issue
Laurel Schollen, VP Academic, has made a significant and lasting impact in Accessibility at Seneca College.
Through the Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC), established in 2017 where she is an Executive Sponsor and an active participant, members of ETAC have engaged in several initiatives that have made Seneca more accessible for all Senecans. And if there is an educational technology that is to be considered for purchase at the institutional level, ETAC will review for accessibility to ensure that Senecans can access the technology, either directly or with the use of assistive software/devices.
More recently, Laurel and Radha Krishnan (AVP, ITS) co-sponsored the launch of Ally, a tool that is now in every Learn@Seneca course which allows students to download accessible alternative formats such as tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, audio and electronic braille. Since September 2020 to date, Ally has been accessed 296,350 times, with 166,307 alternative formats downloaded.
Laurel’s efforts to build an open communication climate has not gone unnoticed. If you are reading this article, you have Laurel to thank. She would take every opportunity to encourage dialogue between Academic Departments and Counselling and Accessibility Services. Behind the scenes, she is never too busy to respond to a student in need and direct them to the appropriate resources to assist.
With the impact she has made in our small corner of the world, we can only imagine the tremendous legacy she leaves behind at Seneca and beyond. On behalf of Counselling and Accessibility Services, we will miss you Laurel! We wish you the very best in the next chapter of your life.
Clockwise from top left: Sam Fiorella, Marketing professor and co-founder of the Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench; Laurel Schollen, Vice-President Academic at Seneca; Mental Health Intervention students Bilise Lome and Camille Nelson; and David Johnston, Director, Counselling and Accessibility Services at Seneca, celebrate the Friendship Bench installation at Newnham Campus, December 2016
View the June 2021 issue of the Academic Newsletter.