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Community of Practice: WILAA

Work-Integrated Learning, Accommodation, and Accessibility

Lack of accessibility within placement sites can cause students to leave their programs or limit their employment. This lack of accessibility leads higher educational institutions (HEI) to provide accommodation for students with disabilities. Things get complicated when accommodations are needed during work-integrated learning (WIL), as more than one institution is involved in the accommodation process. Each institution will have its policies related to accessibility and accommodation. Therefore, a student with a WIL component must navigate both institutions’ accommodation policies as part of their studies.  We believe that an Accommodations in WIL Community of Practice can help makes it easier to access accommodations in WIL.

AcTinSite logo, which shows a network of interconnected nodes

This WILAA Community of Practice (CoP) arose from work being done to make the accommodation process easier during nursing practicums. This work takes the form of AcTinSite, a 3-year SSHRC funded research project. AcTinSite aims to create an intervention that can help make this complicated WIL accommodation process easier for everyone involved. AcTinSite comprises five partner institutions, George Brown College, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, and York University.

In a desire to reach beyond nursing and healthcare, the AcTinSite partners decided to apply for a one-year SSHRC Connection Grant. This grant provides funds for sharing knowledge related to a research project. With this funding, we are formalizing the learning opportunities from the research project and the lived experience of people connected to the project. We hope that the CoP will thrive after the SSHRC funding finishes so the AcTinSite intervention can be shared, and people can learn from each there to address the complex situations related to accommodations in WIL. 

With these ideas in mind, the CoP plans to develop a space where people can learn and support each other while addressing accessibility and accommodations during WIL. People may want to engage with the CoP to build a supportive network of knowledge to address the complexities of accessibility and accommodations related to WIL. The CoP will support the creation of such a space through 

Four women of colour meeting around a table. One person is using a cane and another a wheelchair.
  • Access to a collaborative learning environment where people share their lived experiences and institutional knowledge related to accessible WIL. 
  • Access to networking events to help people develop trusting relationships with others working in accessible WIL. 
  • Access to educational events for members to learn more about providing accessibility or accommodations during WIL. 

Attend our board meetings to see whats happening!

Board meetings are held on the second month of each month, from 10am to 11am EST, until November 2022

 We understand our community to be a space for two main groups 

  • People who are working to create accessible learning, training, and hiring spaces for disabled people. 
  • People whose work relates to WIL or Accessibility and accommodation in higher education. 

Our stakeholders are any person who supports, or who has, a WIL component as part of their HEI program. 

Learn more about the temporary board that is helping to set-up the CoP

Find out about AcTinSite research and how you can get involved.

Stay up to date by signing up to the AcTinSite Newsletter!