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  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    1/36| fall2011 | careers. education. ideas. all of it

    ArmedFor WorkTwo young Canadians have

    invented a brain-controlled

    prosthetic arm. What it

    means for your career.

    The LSATProbLem&

    JobLifeThe Importance of

    Showing Up

    Universal Designfor Learning

  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    2/36

    DisabilityAwards.ca

    Canadas portal to awards

    and scholarships for

    students with disabilities

  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    3/36

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  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    4/362 (dis)ability| fall 2011 | jobpostings.ca

    4 /Success StoryNelson Garcia discusses his career with Canadian Pacic. Brought

    to you by Rogers Wireless.

    8 /CareerCupidDriving positive change through disability. Christine Fader shares

    her story of how her invisible disability was suddenly made visible.

    11 /ReachingUpA new and innovative prosthetic option for amputees. Minus the

    $300,000 price tag.

    16 /MoreThanaTest:The LSATProblemTo accommodate or not? A look at some of the hurdles students

    with disabilities face when writing the LSATs

    22 /Oneonone:Dr.GregorWolbringYou have an obligation to keep ghting. Future generations

    depend on it.

    29 /FocalPointWhen it comes to a career in social work, is it better to have a

    Bachelors or a Masters?

    32 /JobLife:ShowingUpisHalftheBattle

    Show up early and stay late it leaves a lasting impression!

    one

    onone

    22 /

    WhoS hiring /Hey. Did you know that these

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    15 CGI

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    21 Export Development Canada

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    STuFF To buy /1 Excel

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    28 SchoolFinder.com

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  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

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    Unilever Canada Inc. Used under license.

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    rogers.com/careers/campuslife

    Where did you go to School? What

    program did you attend?

    I took the Corporate Readiness TrainingProgram at Bow Valley College in Calgary,Alberta. And before that, I attended theUniversity Jose Maria Vargas in Venezu-ela, where I studied Business Administra-tion and General Management.

    What drew you to your current

    position?

    I started out at CP Rail in customer ser-vice. My passion and love for the trans-portation industry, along with business

    and logistics, led me to my current role asa shipment planning coordinator.

    Tell us a bit about your

    responsibilities:

    I provide information and updates onemergent conditions on the railway. Ialso care for our strategic customers andurgent situations on the off shift. Main-taining direct communications withcustomers and field operations is alsovery important to ensure traffic moves

    smoothly across the network.What is the most challenging as-

    pect of your position?

    Definitely the shifts. I work 12-hour shifts,that vary. Right now, I work seven dayshifts during the first two weeks of themonth, and seven night shifts after that.It can be difficult adjusting, becausesleep and eating patterns are affected,along with the time you get to spendwith your family.

    What is the most rewarding part

    of your job?

    The job itself is very interesting. When Isee results delivered and difficult situ-ations solved, it feels very good. I loveit when I see my traffic moving overthe rails and arriving to its destinationsafely and quickly.

    What accommodations do you

    use to help you succeed on

    the job?

    Since I drive daily to work, the access to apermanent parking space is a huge bene-

    fit. Especially in the winter! The building Iwork in is quite accessible, with automat-ic and accessible doors and an automaticadjustable desk.

    Can you tell us about the history

    of your disability and how it has

    affected your career?

    It was always my hobby to race bikes. Backin 2006, I was riding my Yamaha R1000(motorcycle) when I crashed and broke myback at a T10 level. This resulted in a per-

    manent spinal cord injury, which left meparalyzed from the waist down. Before myaccident, I was a custom broker in Venezu-ela. But after, I wasnt able to return to myjob due to my physical limitations and thelack of accessibility at the sea docks. I hadto rethink my options and see what I hadto do to once again become independent.This was important not only for myself ormy family, but for society as well.

    Is there one accomplishment you

    are most proud of to date?

    Yes! Actually, I have two. The first is that Ihave a full time professional job with CPRail. The second is that Im able to stand upon my own, with the help of my leg braces,for an hour every day after work. Whenyoure paralyzed from the waist down,standing up is pretty impossible. But thereare ways around it. You have to do your re-search and find out what works for you. Inmy case, carbon fibre braces helped, alongwith a daily commitment to exercise.

    What advice do you have for

    students looking to land their

    first job?

    Its important to be realistic when itcomes to expectations. Be strategic in

    your job search, and pay close attention tothe type of organizational environmentand industry you would like to develop

    your career in. Be honest with yourself,consistent, reliable and always look to addvalue to any process.

    Company

    Canadian Pacific

    Position

    Shipment PlanningCoordinator

    Length of employment

    14 monthsDegree

    Bachelor in BusinessAdministration

    Sponsored by

    successstories

    NelsonGarcia

    4

  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    7/361 Extreme Text Messaging service is available to Rogers wireless prepaid and postpaid customers only as part of their wireless service. Visit rogers.com/extremetext for complete user details. Trademarks of or used under licensefrom Rogers Communications Inc. or an affiliate. 2011 Rogers Communications.

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  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    8/366 (dis)ability| fall 2011 | jobpostings.ca

    Published by Passion Inc.

    25 Imperial Street, Suite 100

    Toronto, ON M5P 1B9

    jobpostings.ca1-877-900-5627 ext. 221

    jobpostingspublishes disability

    issues twice a year. Issue dates are

    September and January. 20,000

    copies are distributed to over 100universities and colleges. Available

    by subscription: 2 issues for only

    $8.00 (plus HST). Contents of

    this publication are protected

    by copyright and may not be

    reprinted in whole or part without

    permission of the publishers.

    on the cover:

    Ryerson University/James Kachan

    pblhNathan Laurie

    [email protected]

    aapblhMark Laurie

    [email protected]

    dJason Rhyno

    [email protected]

    a dSonya van Heyningen

    [email protected]

    wb dSimone Castello

    [email protected]

    nbMelissa Bolton, Wade

    Brown, Christine Fader, Ross

    Harrhy, Brandon Miller,

    Kevin Nelson, Andrew

    Williams,

    nanalanmanagSarah-Lyn Amaral,

    Mary Vanderpas

    nnVlad Omazic, Alyssa

    Ouellette, Andrew Williams

    jobpostings

    There are many battles youll ght

    throughout your life, and theyll range

    in size, and importance. For students

    with disabilities, life can be a

    constant battle.

    Sometimes its a battle to get

    accommodations for a test, like in More

    Than a Test: The LSAT Problem, or gure

    out a solution to a problem, like Michal

    Prywata and Thiago Caires are doing

    with their robotic arm. Other times,

    the battle is much larger and somewhat

    invisible like societys view of

    people with disabilities and what they

    are capable of. (Although, if you askme, the latter is changing, slowly, but

    in the right direction.) And more often

    than not, youll lose those battles or

    feel like you lost. You havent.

    What you have done is laid groundwork

    for the people that will come behind

    you. For a more specic example of

    what I am talking about, read the

    interview with Dr. Gregor Wolbring

    Jason Rhyno

    on page 22, and our story on getting

    accommodations for the LSAT.

    If you put your heart, soul and all of

    your intellect into your work, into the

    accommodations you ght for, youll

    have made it easier for the people

    that come behind you. Your employers

    and colleagues will notice and it

    doesnt matter if you win or lose. What

    matters is that you showed up, and

    you gave it your all.

    This is my last issue as editor of this

    publication. I have thoroughly enjoyed

    working on this publication, and I

    couldnt have done it without thesupport of the following people:

    Frank Smith and the team at NEADS,

    Christine Fader, Nancy Moulday of TD,

    and all the people that called us up or

    wrote in to say positive things. Please

    keep it coming. This type of magazine

    is important, and we cant do it without

    the support of the community. Best of

    luck were cheering for you!

    editors

    noteThe Work You do and What You Leave Behind

  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    9/36 is a registered trademark of t he WM. Wrigley Jr. Co., Wrigley Canada Licensee. Skittles MD est une marque dpose do la WM. Wrigley Jr. Co., en ver tu de la licence de Wrigley Canada.

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    cAr

    eercuPiddriving positive changethrough disability

    Cant seem to

    the interview?

    We can help.

    jobpostings.ca

    make it past

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    One minute it was there and

    the next, it was gone.

    Im talking about my drivers

    license. And no, it wasnt just

    lost in the bottomless pit I call

    a purse. The card was still there,

    nestled in my wallet, but its

    power was truly gone. My doctor

    and some government ofcials

    had decided I couldnt legally

    drive until I had been episode

    free for at least a year.

    It was a major bummer to be

    banned from driving because

    of my disability. But I guess

    fainting a bunch of times a daycan make people a little nervous

    when they think of you behind

    the wheel of a car

    My job, at the time, was working

    with people, none of whom had

    a drivers license of their own.

    Approximately 40% of my job

    required me to drive clients

    around to doctors appointments,visits with their relatives and to

    pick up groceries.

    When I had begun my job, I had

    a drivers license, and then, one

    Thursday afternoon, I didnt.

    My invisible disability had

    suddenly become very visible.

    When employers think of people

    with disabilities, they oftenassume something that is

    permanent and always the same.

    They accommodate it and then

    you get on with the work, right?

    by Christine Fader

    Christine Fader works as a career counsellor at Queens University and is the author of the book,

    Career Cupid: Your Guide to Landing and Loving Your Dream Job. She was a member of the Ontario

    Governments Employment Standards Development Committee which created new legislation to

    increase accessibility in Ontario by 2025. Visit her at www.careercupid.com

    Wrong.

    In fact, many people with

    disabilities may need

    accommodations for a little

    while, then cease needing

    them (or need to change

    them). Even in the case of a

    more consistently-presenting

    disability (think: visual disability,

    deafness, mobility difference,

    etc) accommodations often need

    to change over time. Certainly,

    they should be re-discussed with

    changing work tasks and as the

    person settles into a job or new

    role and becomes more aware of

    what would be helpful.

    However, many peoples

    disabilities are highly variable in

    terms of their symptoms (think:

    chronic illnesses such as Multiple

    Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Colitis,

    Macular Degeneration, etc) and

    the environment theyre in (think:

    learning differences, ADHD,

    psychiatric and mental illness

    etc). Often, the accommodations

    that were initially discussed no

    longer t the circumstances.

    In my case, I had chosen not to

    disclose a disability or discuss

    accommodations when I rst

    applied for and accepted the job

    since my symptoms were not

    going to affect my work (my bodyapparently had other ideas). My

    employer didnt even know I had

    a disability and then, suddenly,

    I couldnt perform 40 percent of

    my job!

    What I soon realized was that I

    wasnt completely correct. Yes,

    I couldnt perform 40 percent of

    my job the traditional way, but

    I could perform it. My job was

    to help people get to doctors

    appointments, visits with relativesand to pick up groceries and thats

    exactly what I continued to do.

    In my case, and since it was such

    a major chunk of my job, I chose

    not to ask for accommodations

    (although it was absolutely within

    my rights to be accommodated

    once I had disclosed that I had

    a disability). Instead, I chose to

    re-think how my job was done andproposed that to my employers.

    I could accompany clients on the

    bus, teaching them bus routes,

    condence, money skills, and

    behavioural skills along the way.

    NOT having a drivers license

    actually ended up making a huge,

    positive difference in the lives

    of my clients. People started

    noticing and all of a sudden, the

    phrase, drivers license required

    was removed from all the job

    postings in the agency.

    Huh.

    One minute it was there and the

    next, it was gone. Just like my

    license.

    jobpostings.ca | fall 2011 | (dis)ability

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    Imag

    e:RyersonUniversity/JamesKachan

    r e A c

    h i n g

    u P

    A Canadian-madebrain-controlled prosthetic

    is in development and could

    open up new career options

    for people with amputations.

    No invasive surgery, no

    $300,000 price tag.

    11jobpostings.ca | fall 2011 | (dis)ability

  • 7/31/2019 (dis)ability (2011) by jobpostings Magazine

    14/3612 (dis)ability| fall 2011 | jobpostings.ca

    Michal Prywata was showing

    a heart monitor device he

    created at a Ryerson University

    engineering open house in

    2009, and one person in the

    crowd stood out. A lot of

    people were asking questions,Prywata says. But there

    was this one guy asking very

    specic questions that only

    someone who knows what they

    are talking about would ask.

    That guy was Thiago Caires,

    and the two started working

    together shortly thereafter.

    They founded BionikLaboratories housed at

    Ryersons Digital Media Zone

    in Toronto, a workplace for

    young entrepreneurs and

    have a number of projects

    in the works, including the

    Articial Muscle-Operated

    Arm (AMO). While the AMO

    Arm has already won a

    number of awards, the OntarioEngineering Competition and

    the Canadian Engineering

    Competition being two

    examples, it is not yet

    available for purchase.

    So whats all the

    excitement about?

    Currently, the only comparable

    device that exists requires

    invasive muscle re-innervation

    surgery that is not performed

    in Canada or covered by

    provincial health plans. It also

    reportedly costs $300,000,

    though there is no set price.

    The AMO Arms inventors are

    hoping for something more

    along the lines of $15,000,

    which is at the upper endof the range for a simple

    hook prosthesis covered by

    insurance plans. What we

    wanted to do is something

    that is just as functional or

    more functional as the arm

    developed from the surgery,

    says Prywata. But external.

    Part of the appeal of the AMO

    Arm is the fact that it might

    be useful for those with full-

    arm amputations in a way

    that current articial limbs

    are not. If you have a partial

    arm amputation, you can still

    send signals to the brain.

    Finding a functional articial

    limb is more difcult the

    comPuTerS AregreAT equALize

    by Brandon Miller

    higher the amputation, says

    Karen Valley, Director of the

    National Amputee Centre with

    The War Amps.

    Valley says that shes interested

    in the AMO Arm because it will

    provide more options for those

    with amputations. It might

    also open new doors in the

    workplace. Computers are the

    great equalizers, she says. It

    levels the playing eld

    for (amputees).

    The War Amps provides up-to-

    date and accurate information

    about prostheses to Canadianamputees, as well as nancial

    assistance when it comes to

    purchasing articial limbs.

    Valley cant say for sure if

    the AMO Arm would be a

    limb they would cover, but

    shes been following its

    development and is hopeful.

    I would be interested in

    checking (the AMO Arm) out,

    says Valley, an amputee who

    currently uses a myoelectric

    device. I would have to see

    if it would benet me.

    Giving more limb options to

    an amputee means offering a

    greater scope of career

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    heS

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    choice. Every job has different

    requirements and environments,

    and an amputee often has to

    nd ways to adapt to those

    environments. Valley thinks the

    AMO Arm could have an impact

    on the types of jobs many with

    amputations are physically

    capable of undertaking.

    But, even then, shes quick to

    point out the resilience of the

    community. Amputees seem to be

    able to nd something to work for

    them if they want to do a certain

    activity, she says. If it is the

    right (limb) for you, you will use

    it, despite some of the limitations

    aesthetics or weight.

    The AMO Arm might not be theprettiest arm out there Valley

    notes that the accompanying

    headpiece might be a turn-off for

    some but its functionality is

    pretty inspiring. The technology

    can allow the wearer to close the

    hand, rotate the wrist, and lift

    the arm up to shoulder level. It

    can even lift 200 pounds, though

    the inventors would recommend

    sticking to around 50. It

    will offer new options when

    compared to the other devices in

    its price range.

    If someone needs their entire

    arm and all they have is a hook,

    how much can they do, no matter

    what job it is? Prywata asks.

    Maybe they can hold a notebook

    with one hand and write with

    the other, but thats about it.

    Using the AMO Arm, a person

    could easily handle fragile and

    sensitive objects. Right now,

    myoelectric arms allow people

    to differentiate between grips,

    but the technology does not.

    Prywata and Caires have inventeda technology to sense different

    materials that is designed for the

    mechanical device itself. Lets

    say you are about to pick up an

    egg, it will sense what material

    it is, Prywata says. It will set

    a maximum pressure the arm

    will exert on that object, so you

    wont crush the egg.

    Unless you want to a be baker

    or a professional heckler, eggs

    arent likely to t into your daily

    work life, but it is easy to think

    of other uses for an arm that cansense materials and adjust its grip

    accordingly. Think of a scientist

    trying to adjust glass slides on his

    microscope, or an ofce manager

    trying to screw in a light bulb

    while holding the old bulb at the

    same time. Those are not things a

    person can do with one arm.

    In addition to grip and therange of movement, the AMO

    Arm also provides an added level

    of efciency. Even if you are

    working construction and you

    want to drill something to a

    wall, you could easily hold the

    drill and adjust whatever you

    need to on the wall, Prywata

    says. You could hold the screw

    and do whatever you need todo. Not only will the technology

    benet employees, but it might

    also decrease some of the

    misconceptions that persist

    about what an amputee can and

    cannot accomplish at work.

    The way we chose rehabilitation

    (as our eld) was by looking

    at gaps in technology, says

    Prywata, who hopes the AMO

    Arm will be available within the

    next two years. Prosthetics had

    the problem of being very simple

    or very expensive. There was

    nothing in between.

    And while theres still nothing in

    between, theres something on

    the way.

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    T he Law School Admission Test

    (LSAT), by its own nature as an

    exam, is an obstacle that any

    student must overcome if theywish to progress to a career in

    the legal world. But for students

    with disabilities, obtaining

    the necessary accommodations

    presents yet another hurdle for

    them; something intended to

    make the process accessible too

    often becomes wrapped up in

    bureaucracy, litigation, or short-

    sightedness. There are various

    accounts of students and the

    Law School Admission Council(LSAC) having a courtroom

    jousting competition when

    Council administration fails

    to accommodate a persons

    disability. But lets not get too

    hasty and make LSAC out to be

    the Grinch who stole Christmas.

    Accommodations are tools and

    practises that allow persons

    with disabilities to perform the

    same tasks as everyone else.For the LSAT, these may include

    extra time, large print or Braille

    formats, a reader or assistant, a

    separate room, and extra rest.

    moreThAnA TeST

    The LSAT Problem

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    In some cases, students can

    request to have food or drinks

    depending on their needs. There

    have been some requests that

    were, lets say, more unusual.

    Back in 2004, Brian Carlise

    took LSAC before a BC tribunal,

    citing that he was denied his

    right to smoke marijuana during

    the exam. The plaintiff had a

    physical disability that required

    him to take medicinal marijuana

    for treatment. LSAC argued

    that because they operate

    outside the jurisdiction of theprovince, (they were based in

    Delaware), the LSAT, a not-for-

    prot property, isnt liable.

    Nevertheless, the presiding

    tribunal concluded that because

    the LSAT is administered

    within provincial jurisdiction,

    provincial legislation still

    applies. Nonetheless, Carlise had

    to drop the case, but he stillmanaged to prove that provincial

    jurisdiction applies to the LSAT.

    This case was referred to when

    Emma Arenson, a Masters

    student at the University

    of Western Ontario, had her

    own run in with the Council.

    Arenson has dyslexia and an

    auditory processing disorder,

    and among the things she

    requested for her exam were

    a computer, extra time, and

    a reader. However, she wasnt

    granted all the accommodations

    she needed. It s like if youre

    eating spaghetti and they

    give you a spoon but no

    fork, she illustrates. Partial

    accommodations arent actually

    accommodations, just an extra

    thing to carry around in your

    hands. After numerous attempts

    of trying to learn from LSAC

    why she was denied and whatshe could do to obtain her

    accommodations, it became

    clear that she wouldnt be given

    the assistance she needed.

    Eventually, she decided to get

    an Ontario human rights tribunal

    involved. Using tactic after

    tactic and much negotiation

    with LSAC, Arenson eventually

    chose not to rewrite the LSATwith full accommodations,

    but instead used the results

    she already attained with

    partial accommodations that,

    thankfully, still allowed her to

    get into Law school.

    iTS Like iF youSPAgheTTi AndSPoon buT no

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    One concern is how

    accommodations on a

    standardized test can translate

    into the eld. When students

    with disabilities enter their

    careers and are faced with real

    life scenarios in their profession,

    they may not always be permitted

    the extra time or more breaks

    in, say, a court room setting.

    However, in many industries,

    including for legal professionals,

    accommodations dont need to be

    that big an issue. The real worldis the world you make it, says

    Arenson, and law is such a wide

    eld. Not everybody chooses

    to be a litigator, not everybody

    chooses to work in a court room.

    Some people are mediators,

    some people work in [other legal

    elds]. When it comes to the

    court system she explains that,

    depending on how understanding

    the judge is and the time

    sensitivity of case, there is some

    exibility; the LSAT, as far as

    shes concerned, doesnt have

    that same exibility.

    Michelle Morgan-Coole, a lawyer

    and advocate for people with

    disabilities, adds that although

    she may not personally know

    anyone in the legal eld with a

    learning disability, it may well be

    simply because shes not aware

    that the person has one. She

    explains that much of it is about

    e eATinghey give you A

    ork... learning strategies for yourselfthat allow you to do what youdo. I think when you get to the

    point where youre practicing

    law, she says, you know the

    accommodations that you need,

    you may not even consider them

    accommodations anymore; its

    just the way you do things

    what you need to do to make it

    work. Once you learn how to

    cope with it, a disability isnt

    something you need to publicise.

    Standardized exams like the GRE

    and SAT dont ag test results,

    meaning they dont indicate

    when a test was written with

    accommodations. However,

    the LSAT remains among the

    few that still do. This doesnt

    sit too well many students

    with disabilities. According

    to Arenson, it was decided

    around the early 2000s that

    agging doesnt allow a better

    interpretation of test results.

    [] if you received extra timeon your test and its agged, its

    not put in with the standard

    pool, and as such you dont

    receive a percentile score, says

    Arenson. It doesnt allow you to

    see where you sat; it singles you

    out and forces you to disclose

    your disability. Your test scores

    are taken out of the average and

    treated differently. Youre made

    to feel negatively special.

    At least when it comes to

    employment you shouldnt have

    to disclose whether or not you

    have a disability. But Morgan-Coole points out that this

    presents a bit of a conundrum.

    If you dont disclose,

    how are you going to get

    accommodations, and if you do

    disclose (maybe not so much in

    the context of the LSAT), youre

    always concerned that its going

    to have a backlash against you.

    Its sort of like being between arock and hard place.

    So what accounts for some of

    the challenges that people with

    disabilities are facing. Law is

    a very conservative eld, says

    Morgan-Coole. We look back to

    19

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    the 1800s and England to tell us

    what to do in many ways. But on

    the other side theres the fact

    that this is the legal eld. You

    should be very aware youre not

    discriminating against people.

    She explains that the problem

    that students with disabilities

    face with the LSAT goes beyond

    the institution. I would say

    theres this attitude that weve

    always done things a certain way,

    therefore thats the only way

    it can be done, and thats the

    end of the story without beingable to look beyond that. We

    see that whether were [dealing

    with] elementary schools, and

    to reach out to students by

    improving the understanding

    of how the accommodation

    process works and making

    the test more accessible.

    Not only does LSAC provide

    a section on their website

    with resources such as videos,

    forms, and demonstrations for

    accommodated testing, they

    also have a full team dedicated

    to LSAT accommodations. They

    have also done round tables with

    students with disabilities as well.

    Arenson advises that studentsshould make preparations two

    to three years in advance of the

    LSAT. That way youll have enough

    time to obtain and organize up

    to date psychiatric evaluations,

    assessments, and any other

    medical documents needed to

    submit for accommodations. Keep

    in mind that backlogs can and do

    happen, and could be up to three

    years deep, so arranging all

    your materials certainly

    isnt something to be done

    over the weekend.

    keep it quiet. She admits she

    might be cynical but she dislikes

    it when another person comes

    along only to ght the same

    battle over again. One person

    may get accommodations but the

    next person who comes along is

    denied. And thats part of the

    reason why I like going public,

    because when you accomplish

    something for one person,

    youre accomplishing it for

    someone else as well. Arenson

    was one of those people; she

    managed to create a consentorder which mandates LSAC to

    consider a students previous

    accommodation records and

    medical documentation, as

    long as said documents arent

    misrepresented.

    Nevertheless, responsibility

    shouldnt be placed solely

    on organizations like LSAC.

    Though Arenson and Sherman

    may disagree, the Council may

    sincerely be trying to help their

    applicants. There should be an

    equal amount of attention from

    (and given to) law schools, Bar

    societies, and the legal eld as

    a whole, to better accommodate

    individuals. Indeed, its a long

    arduous process, but its all

    about treading through the

    ankle-deep snow. That way, those

    who follow may have an easier

    time on the path you cut.

    by Andrew Williams

    whether were dealing with

    public community services to get

    someone appropriate residential

    housing as opposed to being

    stuck in a nursing home.

    Although LSAC declined to

    speak with us, it must be said

    that they have made efforts

    No one ever desires for a

    situation to escalate to the point

    where it has to be brought before

    a court or tribunal. But for

    Morgan-Coole, she believes that

    public pressure can sometimes

    be the most effective method.

    I see too much of [when] they

    give something to one person

    essentially to shut them up and

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    www.edc.ca/careers | www.edc.ca/carrieres

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    Ce que nous recherchons : baccalaurat en commerce/Administration des affaires et/ou MBA (finances, comptabilit, affaires internationales) ou dans un domaineconnexe (ventes, RH, informatique etc.); dsir de travailler dans un milieu affair, o les priorits peuvent tre divergentes, et les chances, serres; trs bon espritdanalyse et capacit dinterprter des tats financiers; engagement fournir un excellent service la clientle; aptitude communiquer dans les deux languesofficielles et aptitude lgale travailler au Canada (citoyen canadien ou rsident permanent).

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    24/3622

    interviewed by Melissa Bolton and Wade Brown

    the variations ofDr. Gregor WolbringDr. Gregor Wolbring is a prominent

    academic, biochemist, bioethicist,

    health policy researcher, ability

    scholar and assistant professor

    in the University of Calgarys

    Faculty of Medicine, Programme of

    Community Rehabilititation and

    Disability Studies. This interview

    has been re-printed and edited

    for length with the permission

    of NEADS. For the full, unedited

    interview, visit neads.ca

    one

    onone

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    jobpostings.ca | fall 2011 | (dis)ability

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    Q: What kind of disability do

    you identify as having?

    A: None. Well again, you have

    to differentiate what you

    mean by disability. You are

    thinking of disability in terms

    of impairment, and I dont I

    have no legs, but I dont seethat as an impairment, but

    rather as a variation.

    Q: Thats a very good point.

    Can you speak a little bit more

    to that?

    A: Well, I am very particular

    about language, and I think

    there is a problem that we use

    the term disability for twodifferent discourses. One is

    a body image discourse, and

    one is for the social treatment

    discourse. Normally when

    people use the term disability,

    they mean to identify a body

    structure or function that is

    labelled as an impairment

    in relation to expected

    body structures and ability

    functioning. I do not identify my

    body with this use of the term. I

    might have no legs, but I do not

    see this as leading to a mobility

    impairment, but a mobility

    variation. However if disability

    is used with the second meaning

    that highlights the social

    discrimination one experiences

    due to ones non-mainstream

    body structure/functioning, I

    see myself as disabled as many

    places are still inaccessible for

    wheelchair users.

    Q: During your undergraduate

    and graduate studies, did you

    face any discrimination?

    A: Sure, mostly building-wise,

    where there were not a lot of

    accommodations. You just had to

    accommodate yourself, which I

    could do. I am one of the lucky

    guys. I can use a wheelchair, I can

    use legs (prosthetics). There are

    always tools. And I love to crawl.

    Q: What kinds of things did

    you do to advocate for those

    accommodations?

    A: I didnt. There was no time

    for that. If you want to make a

    career, you dont have time to try

    to get people to change things,

    because you will miss so muchtime. There is no time to sue

    you just suck it up and do things.

    And I was in a lucky position that

    I could do things, modify myself

    with all these different tools.

    Q: How would you describe your

    experience in getting to where

    you are today, as a biochemist

    and a professor?

    A: Well, I think its as it is with

    everyone. You have to work hard.

    Its not like you are going to get

    any slack. You have to work hard.

    You have to perform, and you

    have to get your results. If you

    dont, then you dont make it.

    Q: Is there any piece of advice

    that you wish you had when

    If people treat yoIts not because ofbecause they arignorant or stu

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    you were a student going

    through this process?

    A: Well I think, rst, dont

    take any rejection personally.

    Second, perseverance. And just

    work hard. As I switch between

    different tools, in this way I

    am in a much better positionthan most people. I nd ways of

    doing things. But not everyone

    of course can do it like I did. So

    everyone has to nd their own

    solutions. And again, it depends

    on where you go, different

    faculties, different departments

    will have totally different

    willingness to adapt things. And

    even if they do want to adaptthey often have trouble with

    administration; even if professors

    who run a biochemistry research

    lab want to adapt the lab, they

    very likely have no money to do

    so. No one is really paying for

    making a research lab accessible

    in many countries.

    Q: What advice would you give

    those students who might not

    be able to navigate around the

    actual physical setting?

    A: I would say you have to

    change your expectations. You

    have to know what you will face.

    You can complain all you wantbut, as unfair as it is, you still

    have to perform. Because later

    on you may have gotten the

    degree, but you are so old that

    no one will hire you anymore.

    So you have to be aware of the

    barriers that exist in different

    settings at different universities,

    in different faculties, in different

    departments. So, you should berealistic with what you will face.

    Even if you think that everything

    needs to be adapted for you,

    what you want and what you get

    are a whole different story. And

    I dont think it does any good to

    come in with the mentality that

    they have to adapt everything,

    knowing that you wont get

    everything. That might be good

    for activism, but it doesnt do

    you any good for your career as a

    biochemist. If activism leads to

    changes, you can do more things;

    indeed disabled people can do

    more now in university than

    they could do 40 years ago. Butthe ones who fought for it very

    likely did not directly benet.

    You dont have the time to wait

    to win a lawsuit before you

    actually change things. I do a lot

    of disability activism so disabled

    people have it easier, but for

    myself I simply had to adapt.

    It never occurred to me that I

    couldnt do what I wanted to do.But I am in a position where I

    can adapt myself. If people are

    not able to do so, then they have

    to do more research and they

    have to be much more realistic of

    what they can do and what kind

    of adaptations, accommodations

    you get, within a given system.

    Buildings do not change fast.

    Q: Do you have anything else

    that you think is important

    for students with disabilities

    within the science and

    technology felds?

    A: Never take anything personal.

    If people treat you badly, its not

    because of you, its because they

    are bad or ignorant or stupid

    badly,you,itsbad or

    id people.

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    people. They just dont get it and

    they will do the same to others.

    If someone treats you badly

    because they are a bully, they

    will also bully other people. So

    never take it personal. Because

    then you just become bitter and

    then you are cutting into your

    enjoyment of life.

    Q: How did you manage to cope

    with that?

    A: My parents gave me this

    message: You follow your dreams

    and dont take anything personal.

    Focus on the good people. My

    parents are wonderful, what

    can I say. You just have to step

    back and not take things too

    personally. All the time I say that

    my wheelchair is a pretty good

    pre-screening tool. People who

    cant cope with me wont treat

    me as an equal in the wheelchair,

    so people who can see beyond

    the wheelchair are normally less

    prejudiced. Stay loyal to those

    who are good and just ignore the

    others. You cant do anythingabout them anyway. I do a lot of

    activism work, but you can never

    take it as a personal thing. You

    do it for the group, especially if

    you have certain abilities that the

    group doesnt have, you can add

    to the capacity. But if you do it as

    a personal vendetta, then you are

    I benefItedfrom otherswho wantedto help make a

    dIfference, so IthInki have anobligation tohelp others.

    just hurting yourself. I think that,

    because I made it in the system,

    I have an obligation to do stuff

    for those who did not make it

    into the system, or who are yet to

    come. I beneted from others who

    wanted to help make a difference,

    so I think I have an obligation

    to help others. We often have a

    problem with those who make itinto the system who disengage

    from the movement. And I

    absolutely do not agree with that.

    There are enough people who did

    not make it into the system and

    need help, and I think that if you

    make it into the system you have

    an obligation to give back.

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    At some universities, however,

    its not necessary to have a

    Bachelors in Social Work to enter

    the masters program. A lot of

    people come from psychology,

    political science or womens

    studies backgrounds, or even

    other professions, such as law,

    nursing or teaching,observesAndrea Litvack, Director of the

    Masters of Social Work program

    at the University of Toronto. The

    rst year of our two year masters

    program is generic, introducing

    students to various subjects that

    are important. By the end of the

    rst year, however, the playing

    eld is pretty level. Those with

    a Bachelors in Social Work enter

    the second year of the program.

    One of the differences between

    obtaining a masters and a

    bachelors in social work is

    the question of focus. The

    bachelors is a generalist degree

    that prepares students to work

    in a variety of settings, while

    the masters is characterizedby particular areas of

    specialization, says Sandys.

    The masters curriculum includes

    theories, policies and practices

    relevant to a students major area

    of social work practice. This is

    also the case at the University

    of Toronto. Our masters offers

    a specialized understanding of

    social work, explains Litvack.

    For example, if you choose to

    pursue a specialization in mental

    health, youll have a much

    better grasp of issues, work and

    research in that area. Its not

    all theory, however, as Social

    Work is one of the more applied

    areas of the social sciences. AtRyerson, our masters program

    includes 450 hours of eld

    experience, conrms Sandys.

    As far as preparing to undertake

    a masters, there are some

    important things to keep in

    mind. Its an intellectually

    demanding degree, so the best

    way to prepare is through diligentwork at the undergrad level,

    Sandys advises. Students should

    develop skills in critical analysis

    and reective practice, and good,

    clear writing skills are a major

    asset. Also, experience working

    with diverse populations is a

    must the more, the better.

    A masters degree can be

    a valuable asset for recent

    graduates and experienced social

    workers alike. It enhances ones

    employability in the short run,

    says Sandys, and increases

    the likelihood of moving into

    supervisory roles in the future.

    Of course, the decision to pursue

    further education should always

    be subject to a persons view

    by Kevin Nelson

    of the big picture. I think

    its important to have a clear

    understanding of what social

    work is, and why a student is

    choosing social work as a career,

    as opposed to law, sociology

    or another related eld, says

    Litvack. A persons academic

    and practical background shouldalso factor into the decision.

    Consider whether youve had

    a solid enough experiential

    background to get the benet

    from advanced study, cautions

    Sandys. Students need to have

    a solid understanding of the

    societal factors that lead to

    the marginalization of certain

    groups within society, and be

    deeply committed to issues of

    social justice and equity. This

    commitment is important, as the

    stakes are high and the road is

    long. I would urge prospective

    students to consider whether

    theyre up to the difcult but

    rewarding task of working to

    promote change, continuesSandys, even it requires years of

    dedicated effort.

    V

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    YOURDOG

    thanMOREFOLLOW

    ERS

    careers. education. ideas. all of it

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    with Ross Harrhy

    If my dad taught me one thing

    over the years, its always been

    that you have to work hard for

    success. When I was a kid it

    seemed like my dad was always

    working he made time for us

    kids, no worries there, we just

    went to work with or for him

    but he was ALWAYS working. He

    would get calls late at night that

    would drag him out to a work

    site and he wouldnt return until

    early the next morning, crash on

    the couch fully dressed, and wake

    up again a couple hours later to

    shower, change, and head back

    out. He still does that now, even

    though hes getting older and

    the kids have all (but one) moved

    out. Hes still out and moving,

    now in charge of the company

    hes helped build to what it is

    today. Hes smart, hes got the

    skills, but the biggest reason

    I think hes found success in

    his own way is the fact that he

    shows up! He always shows up.

    Ive taken this to heart with each

    and every job or position Ive

    taken. For me, its imperative that

    if you want the job, and you want

    the people who count to see you

    mean it, you show up, you staylate, you do whatever it takes to

    get the job done. Often, its the

    time you put in during the rst

    few months that count the most:

    youre learning the basics of your

    new job, the type of working

    environment that you are in, and

    proving that you should stay past

    the probation period.

    Show up early, and staylate. This is crucial for makinga good impression; it shows that

    you want to be there getting

    your work done. You may not

    be able to do it all the time,

    but I think you should never

    let your boss be in the ofce

    before you, and if you can help

    it, you should rarely leave beforehe or she does. When your boss

    walks in and sees you sitting

    at your desk already knee deep

    in the days projects, they are

    bound to notice. When they

    sign off for the night and you

    are just nishing up another

    project, they will know that

    you are serious about what you

    do. Of course, you shouldnt be

    staying late because youve been

    dawdling all day on your regular

    tasks, but this is a great time to

    go the extra mile. Try it, youll

    be surprised how many of your

    colleagues dont use this simple

    practice to their advantage.

    Show up for EVERYTHING.

    When I started my current

    position, I was showing up early,

    leaving late, sweating streams

    at my desk as I pumped through

    project after work project and

    tried to overcome what I didnt

    know and make better what Idid, and if I was invited into a

    meeting or presentation I made

    sure I was there, and if I needed

    to make up the time afterwards

    at my desk, I did. Then the

    annual dinner came up where

    all of our customers attended

    as well as staff. It was a big

    to-do where relationships could

    be grown from formal meetings

    into casual conversations and

    friendships. And I got sick. Now,

    I know what I said a minute

    ago, but at the time everybody

    was scared of Swine Flu and

    so nobody wanted me around

    them let alone eating dinner

    and drinking wine with them. I

    can understand that but themissed opportunity came up all

    the time at meetings only letting

    up once I was able to attend the

    following year. So for an entire

    year I was null on conversations

    about the dinner, how good it

    was, funny things that happened,

    and of course everybody seemed

    to forget I was sick; in fact, I

    felt people just thought I didntshow up because I must not have

    felt like it. It just took that much

    longer to build and work on my

    relationships both within the

    company and out. So Im telling

    you, you have to work hard, but

    showing up is half the battle.

    show-ing up ishalf the

    battle

    *jobLife

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