Disability support projects

Student Learning and Wellness conducts applied research to create practical solutions to better serve students with disabilities and practitioners who work with these students.

iPad Research (2013)


Wasniewski, E. (2013). One-on-One with an iPad: A faculty perspective on iPad supports for students with disabilities. In R. McBride & M. Searson (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 (pp. 4346-4351). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

This action theory research study examines a faculty perspective on iPads used in one-on-one strategic support sessions for adult students with disabilities at a Western Canadian College. Each academic strategist was provided an iPad to use during the study. Weekly collaborative sessions supported the exploration of apps for strategic support for students with disabilities. Qualitative data was collected from seven academic strategists over a three-month period using reflective practice, and weekly sessions. Carr and Kemmis (1986) describe action research as being about the improvement of best practices, of understanding and of knowledge. This brief paper will confirm the importance of identifying the purpose of the technology prior to applying a tool or app for strategic supports. Based on informed best practices, professional reflections will be shared about the apps identified and the strategies applied for using an iPad as an assistive technology.

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Writing Strategies for Learners who are Deaf (November, 2009)

Authors: Flo Brokop and Bill Persall

An instructional development grant project available to faculty and staff at NorQuest College. A research team at the Student Learning and Wellness reviewed research literature to identify best practice in the area of writing instruction for learners who are Deaf. A limited number of the writing strategies were tried with students at NorQuest and the report discusses the successes and limitations of the strategies with our student population.

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Context Situated Assistive Technology Training and its Impact on Engagement, Learning Outcomes, and Assistive Technology (March, 2009)

Authors: Flo Brokop and Sandy McIntosh

A project report submitted to the Canadian Council on Learning. This research project explored the efficacy of using Academic Strategists, who work one-to-one on academic subjects with students who have disabilities, to also deliver assistive technology training.

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Accessibility to E-Learning for Persons With Disabilities: Strategies, Guidelines, and Standards (2008)

A research project submitted to eCampusAlberta. This project reviewed current best practice in the delivery of e-learning to students with disabilities. The report recommends application of Universal Design principles to the development and delivery of online courses. The second half of the report outlines best practice strategies, guidelines and standards to apply to course navigation, the use of text, the use of audio and the use of multimedia. It also outlines considerations in the areas of fostering engagement and the demonstration of learning by students with disabilities in an on-line environment.

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NorQuest Reader 1 and NorQuest Reader 2 (2004)

A research and development project submitted to the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. The research and development team at NorQuest College worked together with members of the Deaf community in Edmonton and across Canada to develop two interactive CDs with accompanying storybooks. The 39 stories are displayed in print form on screen with accompanying ASL video clips. Hypertext links to challenging vocabulary and interactive reading comprehension activities throughout the stories provide support to adult literacy learners.

These CDs have been distributed to literacy programs that serve the Deaf population across Canada.