Contacts and Feedback

We're here to help and answer any questions you might have! If you're not sure who you need to speak to, email us at accessible_learning@wlu.ca (Waterloo) or lbaccessiblelearning@wlu.ca (Brantford) and we'll connect you with the right person, resource or information.

Find the Right Contact

Share Your Feedback

As a mandatory support service of Wilfrid Laurier University, the Accessible Learning Centre (ALC) has an obligation and desire to facilitate open communication to ensure accountability, and to ensure effective resolve of any concerns related to the performance of the ALC.

Submit feedback and comments regarding your experience and interaction with the ALC. All feedback is confidential and sent to the director of the ALC to be given careful consideration and investigation.

Leadership and Administration

Jeanette Parsons, Director
jeanette-parsons.jpg
  • jparsons@wlu.ca
  • Office: Teaching and Learning Commons, Laurier’s Waterloo campus

I lead the ongoing development of a collaborative environment with faculty and staff across our campuses which is essential for effectively accommodating and supporting students with disabilities.

View Jeanette's full profile on wlu.ca.

Laura Kirkland, Receptionist and Admin Assistant
Michele Anderson, Manager Accommodations
Michele Anderson

Biography

My graduate education, training and work experience as a Speech- Language Pathologist has given me an active understanding of the strengths and functional limitations of individuals across a broad range of disability conditions. Through experience, I understand how functional limitations of a condition intersect with an adult student’s ability to access and participate in the postsecondary environment. Work in this field has provided the opportunity to develop support plans to assisting individuals across the lifespan in private practice, hospital, community and educational settings. I hold registration with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario; I am an Independent Authorizer of Communication Aids – Assistive Devices Program Province of Ontario and hold memberships with certification from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

Special Projects and Memberships

In my spare time, I have and continue to contribute to advancement of the field of Communication Disorders and Sciences through various volunteer roles at provincial, national and international levels with the following organizations:

  • Council for Academic Accreditation; The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association; 2000-2010: Site reviewer and past voting board member of the world’s largest accreditor of Graduate Programs in Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • Council for Accreditation of Canadian University Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (2008- present): Site reviewer for university graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology
  • Canadian Association of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Regulators of Canada (2014-2016): Subject-matter contributing consultant
  • College of Audiologists and Speech- Language Pathologists of Ontario (2012-present): Subject-matter contributing consultant
Katlyn Guzar, Manager Accommodation Services
Katlyn Guzar

Area of Responsibility

As Manager, Accommodation Support Services, I oversee the work in Accessible Learning related to facilitating student accommodations including exams, learning strategies, assistive technology, note taking, educational support, and transcription.

Background

I began at Laurier in September 2019 in the role of Supervisor, Academic Accommodations on the Brantford campus and transitioned to my current role in April 2021. Previously I worked at Redeemer University College as a Learning Strategist and Director, Institutional Research. My educational background includes: Bachelor of Science (biomedical biology), Bachelor of Education (junior/intermediate/senior qualifications), Master of Education (administration and leadership), and Certificate in Learning Disabilities Studies. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctor of Education degree. I'm certified with the Ontario College of Teachers and in Mental Health First Aid.

Publications

Hands, Catherine; Guzar, Katlyn; Rodrigue, Anne. "The Art and Science of Leadership in Learning Environments: Facilitating a Professional Learning Community across Districts." Alberta Journal of Educational Research. (2015)

Davis (Guzar), Katlyn. "Education for Sustainable Development in the Elementary Classroom." Elements Online. (2012)

Davis (Guzar), Katlyn; Armstrong, Denise. "Engaging difference and racial equity: What school leaders need to know and do." Teaching and Learning. (2012)

Kristin Grezcko, Supervisor and Accommodation Consultant

Consultants and Support Planning

The Intake Coordinator and Consultant Team:

  • determines student eligibility for ALC services
  • designs academic accommodations and support plans for eligible students to facilitate equitable access to the learning environment at Laurier
Vanessa Lopak, Intake Coordinator
Vanessa Lopak

I work with students, faculty, and staff to coordinate the intake process for the Accessible Learning Centre, which includes reviewing applications, assessing documentation, and guiding students through the accommodation process. In addition, as an Accessibility Consultant, I meet with students with disabilities to better understand barriers they may face in participating in their academic learning and help develop a plan of accommodations to ensure equitable and inclusive access to learning. I have a BSc in Psychology, an MA in Psychology, and an MSW, all from Laurier. Prior to joining Accessible Learning, I worked for 13 years in municipal government, leading a team of inclusion specialists in the areas of accessibility, human rights, community development, and equity.

Linda Chamberland, Consultant
Ellen Clarkson, Consultant
Niyati Joshi, Consultant
Niyati Joshi

I started this position on October 10, 2017. Prior to this position, I worked as a psychologist in India. After coming to Canada, I worked as a learning skills advisor at Conestoga College and as a learning strategist counsellor at UOIT. I hold a Master of Social work (MSW) from Laurier and earned an MA (Psychology) in India.

Erin Riggin, Consultant, Brantford
Erin Riggin

I started at Laurier in 2010, having previously worked in the Thames Valley District School Board and with CPRI (Child and Parent recourse institute). My education includes a Childhood and Social Institutions BA, minor psychology (University of Western Ontario) and a Learning Strategy – Applied Learning Disability Specialist post graduate certification (Cambrian College). I was also the recipient of the Laurier Success Factor Award for Leadership and Accountability.

Kwame Sarpong, Consultant
Kwame Sarpong

I began working at Laurier in 2020. Prior to this, I worked as Accessibility Counsellor at Mohawk College. I have a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Master of Science from the University of Toronto.

Becky Verdun, Consultant

Accommodation Services

The Accommodation Services team helps to implement student accommodation and support plans. They include:

Exam coordination Learning strategies Transcription (alternatives to print)
Adaptive technology Transition, notetaking and tutor coordination

Brantford

Tammy Bartolo, Transcription and Assistive Technology Administrator
Tammy Bartolo

Area of Responsibility

I am responsible for offering support and a range of services to the Brantford Campus students registered with Accessible Learning.

As the transcriptionist, I organize and process all transcription/alternate format requests from students. I also coordinate, with exam staff, any formatting requirements in preparation for examinations written with the Accessible Learning Centre.

As the assistive technologist, I make recommendations for student assistive technology use and purchase based on their academic accommodation plan and offer as needed training and problem-solving support for effective equipment use.

In the learning strategist role, I work with students in individual appointments and small groups, teaching educational strategies and skills development in areas including: study strategies, executive functioning, time management skills, memory techniques, note-taking strategies, reading strategies, critical thinking, exam and test preparation, presentation skills, memory aid training, writing support and coping skills.

The goal in all of these roles is to help the student develop to his/her full learning potential.

Background

I started as the transcription and assistive technology administrator with Laurier in Fall of 2017 and then assumed the learning strategist role the following spring.

I graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies and a minor in Psychology in 2009. I completed Applied Learning Disability Studies Plus Combined Concentration in Learning Strategies and Assistive Technology at Cambrian College in 2018. I am currently working towards completing my Master of Education in the field of Student Affairs at Laurier.

Angel Evans, Exams and Educational Support Coordinator
Angel Evans
  • aevans@wlu.ca
  • 519.756.8228 x5786
  • OM207-25, One Market, Brantford

Area of Responsibility

I have a diverse role which includes providing coordination of all accommodated exam and educational supports for students registered with the Accessible Learning Centre and managing all volunteers, paid student and casual staff (note takers, tutors, work study students, invigilators). In addition to this, I enjoy collaborating with other departments, volunteers and staff, to coordinate initiatives for department and campus-wide Accessible Learning Centre events.

Background

I began working at Laurier in 2005 in the Accessible Learning Centre as the exams and educational supports coordinator, where I continue in this role. I have over 25 years experience supporting people with disabilities in both post-secondary and community-based programs and am a strong advocate of self-determination. I am committed to helping people with disabilities achieve their goals by reducing barriers to learning.

Education:

  • Wilfrid Laurier University, M.Ed, Student Affairs. Research Interests: Mature Students, Ageism, Compassion Fatigue in Student Affairs
  • University of Waterloo, Honours BA, Social Development Studies. Specializations: Individual Well-Being & Development, Child Abuse Studies, Social Work
  • Georgian College, Communicative Disorders Assistant (graduate certificate)
  • Cambrian College, Learning Disability Specialist Certificate. Assistive Technologies & Learning Strategies
  • Mohawk College, Certificate in Volunteer Management

Publications

Evans, A., Clarke, K. (2021). Student services for adult learners: Reviewing a sample of Ontario universities. In N. Simmons and J. Szpara (Eds.). Adults in the academy: Voices of lifelong learners. The Netherlands: Brill.

Evans, A. (2020). Compassion fatigue in student affairs: A closer look at the research. Communique, 20(1), 17–20. https://www.cacuss.ca/files/Communique/Communiqu%c3%a9%20Spring%202020%20(20-i)%20HI%20RES.pdf

Waterloo

Kim Davids Mandar, Exam Coordinator
Kim Davids Mandar
  • kdavidsmandar@wlu.ca 
  • 519.884.0710 x4257
  • 2C2, Arts C Building, Waterloo
    • Monday to Friday in the evening, occasional weekends

Area of Responsibility

I support the delivery of alternate testing for the Accessible Learning Centre under the guidance of the Exam Coordinators. This work includes supporting professors and students as they apply learning accommodations to Laurier's online and in-person testing systems. As part of a team I assist with communications, adjustments and implementing new protocols that relate to removing any academic barriers for students with accessibility accommodations to successfully undertake their course assessments. As Invigilator Assistant, I support proctors especially as they navigate any in-the-moment problems or unforeseen circumstances. As a team, we administer the exams, ensure academic integrity and securely deliver completed exams to professors.

Background

I started in this role in September 2021. It is a natural follow-up to having worked as a Test Day Supervisor for IELTS and Instructing at Conestoga College. I have undergraduate degrees in Linguistics (Queen's), Music Therapy (Laurier) and post-graduate teaching certificates for EAP English (CERTESL, University of Saskatchewan) and in Instructional Design (Athabasca). I successfully defended my MSc Thesis in Intercultural Competence Development in August, 2021 (Guelph).

Special Projects

I publish a community magazine in Guelph, volunteer as a neighbourhood group lead, and lead online workshops for a variety of capacity development initiatives for community development. I'm an enthusiastic reader and writer, with some experience creating radio shows. More can be seen here: www.kimdavidsmandar.com

Shieneth Dogmoc, Invigilation Assistant
Douglas Facey, Transcription and Technology Coordinator

Area of Responsibility

I am responsible for ordering and production of alternate format materials. This includes electronic texts for use with Kurzweil, enlarged text, and Braille text.

Background

I started at Laurier in January 2003.

Jane Fridrich, Assistive Technologist
Jane Fridrich

Area of Responsibility

I support students individually through assessment, advocacy, training and technical support. To arrange technical accommodations, I collaborate with other ALC staff, faculty, staff in other departments, vendors and service providers.

I research and track developments in hardware and software that impact students with disabilities. Participation with other staff to forecast and plan technology needs, along with awareness and training to increase accessibility across campus are also part of my role.

Background

I started at Laurier in 2002. Prior to coming to Laurier I worked in vocational rehabilitation and career planning for 15 years. I did my undergraduate degree at Laurier in Psychology. My post-grad work includes: Diploma from McMacster in Computer Systems; AT Certification from Cambrian College; MA in Integrated Education Studies Athabasca University.

Jennifer Hunt, Exam Coordinator
Jennifer Hunt

Area of Responsibility

I am responsible for coordinating all tests, midterms and final examinations for students registered with Accessible Learning. This includes scheduling, acquiring specialized equipment and technology, requesting and coordinating support staff and rooms for the facilitation of tests and exams.

Background

I have been an examinations coordinator in Accessible Learning at Laurier since 2005. I have been committed for over 20 years to helping students overcome barriers that impact their learning. I am a Laurier graduate (BA’12) and have previously worked with the Ontario Ministry of Education Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch and as a learning disabilities consultant to Literacy Practitioners throughout Ontario. I am also a member of the Gendered Violence Task Force Steering Committee.

Publications

Assessing Adult Student Reactions to Assistive Technology in Writing Instruction Mueller, J., Wood, E., Hunt, J., & Specht, J. (2009). Assessing Adult Student Reactions to Assistive Technology in Writing Instruction. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 3(1) https://www.learntechlib.org/p/71831/

Learning disabilities training: phase II : screening tools, strategies, and employment. Judith Anne Fowler & Jennifer Hunt. London, ON: Literacy Link South Central, http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/ldtrain/tools/cover.htm

Lauren Price, Exam Coordinator
  • lprice@wlu.ca
  • 519.884.0710 x3666
  • P220, Peter's Building, Waterloo

Area of Responsibility

I co-coordinate tests, midterms and final examinations for students registered with Accessible Learning.

Background

  • MA Psychotherapy and Spiritual Care 2019, Martin Luther University College
  • PhD Religious Studies 2012, Wilfrid Laurier University
Jaz Raine, Invigilation Assistant
Angelique Talbot, Learning Strategist
Angelique Talbot

Area of Responsibility

I work with students who are registered with the Accessible Learning Centre to provide a wide variety of strategies and supports tailored to students needs which are built on their strengths and that will support them with their academic success. Together, we zone in on the areas of challenges and create goals and determine which strategies and supports will fit their needs. I offer my support on understanding these learning strategies in more detail and how to incorporate them with their learning style if needed.

Background

I previously worked at Laurentian University in the Accessibility Department, where I trained students on how to use assistive technology, and invigilated during tests and exams. I also was the coordinator for the Learning Initiative for Transition program. I developed a tailored program to support new students with needs entering the University. This assisted them to have a smooth transition by providing them with Learning Strategies and Assistive Technology training prior to commencing at the University. Furthermore, I worked for the Learning Disability Association of Sudbury providing support and workshops in the community about Learning Disabilities and the supports and strategies available.

Education

  • Early Childhood Education (Conestoga College)
  • BA in Psychology (Laurentian University)
  • Learning Strategy – Applied Learning Disability Specialist post graduate certification (Cambrian College)
Korrie Van Haaster, Learning Strategist and Educational Support Coordinator