Identifying and working to remove barriers to students with accessibility needs that have self-selected not to participate in Co-op at Okanagan College, as well as supporting students already participating was the underpinning focus of this project.

Project Information

Institution(s): Okanagan College
Status: Complete
Project Dates: January 1, 2020 — June 30, 2021
Project Contact:
Kathryn Hall


Pivoting during a pandemic has reinforced the significance of providing online virtual spaces through accessible virtual events, meetings and digital communications. With accessibility in the virtual event sphere often overlooked, this guide aims to provoke action when engaging Work Integrated Learning (WIL) student participants in the virtual event space. Learn more »
Social media content is accessible if it meets the needs universally of all audience members. This means understanding and implementing communication practices that maximize adaptive technologies, ensuring that published content optimizes accessibility features used by some audience members to interpret content. It also means considering all perspectives and providing engaging content that is... Learn more »

This project brings together awareness raising of Co-op and WIL, addressing the need for process changes within current Co-op and WIL programs, identification of available student services supports, as well as educating employers on the benefits of diversity in their workforce.

Project Partners:

  • Community of Practice Meetings with: SFU, TRU, UBC and UVIC CanWork
  • Involved in EDI Advisory Committee meetings on Akanksha Thakur, SFU project.
  • Okanagan College collaborated on student survey sent through SFU.

Project Contributors: 

Okanagan College Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment Centre & Advisory Committee

  • Alison Beaumont
  • Erin Pedro
  • Paulette Gill 
  • Cassandra McFarland
  • Brenda Naka
  • Jewell Gillies
  • Gulshanpreet Brar
  • Jessica Landau

Okanagan College Accessibility Services

  • Samantha Matychuk
  • Paula Faragher
  • Rhyscia Cerda
  • Shannon Kielbauch

Kimberly Zavera- Accessibility Project Marketing Assistant

Leslie Munro- Original Manager of Accessibility project (departed Dec 2020)

Student advisors to project- identity protected for privacy 

John Wecels- Public Affairs, graphic designer

Brenda Ridgely- Chair of Office Administration program

Dyani Simon- Chair of Human Service Worker program

Mark Nishihara – Chair of Human Service Worker program

Glendon Wiebe- Counselling Services

Piper Yacheson- formerly Accessibility Services 

PACE/ACE Program Instructors

Institutional Learning and Research-Chantale Hutchinson & Ajit Batra

Kristen Diehl- Women in Trades Training

Zoreen Nuraney- SFU

Trish Kelly- Presidents Group

Read Initiative- Carleton University


Dress for Success Kelowna

Lime Connect

Talent Forward

Neil Squire Society