Rafael De La Pena, Director of the Centre for Learning, Access and Student Success (CLASS) with the Premier’s Council Award of Excellence.

 

St. Mary’s University Awarded 2017 Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Award of Excellence for Education

St. Mary’s University continues to be a leader for post-secondary institutions as a champion in providing a safe, supportive, accessible and inclusive environment for all students and these efforts were recognized on December 1, 2017 by the awarding of the 2017 Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Award of Excellence for Education.

The annual Premier’s Council Awards publicly acknowledge initiatives and accomplishments of groups, businesses and organizations to develop barrier-free, inclusive communities within Alberta, with the Award of Excellence – Education awarded to an educator, team or organization that has made a significant contribution to a barrier-free and inclusive educational or training program.

St. Mary’s was nominated for the award by a member of KLM Captioning Services who, since 2014, has provided simultaneous close captioning to a St. Mary’s student in each and every class session. By being in the classroom the nominator has been able to witness the willingness of St. Mary’s faculty and staff to embrace students that require additional academic accommodations due to experiencing a permanent disability.

For Rafael De La Pena, Director of the Centre for Learning, Access and Student Success – CLASS at St. Mary’s University, this award highlights that St. Mary’s is headed in the right direction.

“For me, being nominated and then receiving this award is reassurance that we at St. Mary’s are on the right track,” explained De La Pena. “While we still have a way to go and room to enhance what we do, it is rewarding to learn that our policies, procedures and services are having the intended effect on our student’s learning experience.”

“Winning this award celebrates and recognizes all our students, faculty and staff for their collaborative efforts and commitment to having a barrier-free, inclusive community for persons with disabilities.”

De La Pena also believes that the Premier’s Council Award highlights St. Mary’s University’s Academic Accommodation Services and the faculty, students and staff that implement them, as well as the recently formed Accessibility Committee, created and lead by St. Mary’s University’s Vice President of Student Services Bob Hann.

“At St. Mary’s we have a shared belief that any and all students deserve the same opportunities to thrive and grow in all of our programs.”