Campus for All program breaks down barriers to success
President Vianne Timmons congratulates Campus for All students Roxanne Cherpin (left) and Jana Friel at spring convocation. Alumni Association President Charlene Banjac is in the background. -Photo by U of R Photography Dep't

Spring convocation 2010 marked the first time that students received certificates in the University of Regina's Inclusive Post-Secondary Education program.

Roxanne Cherpin and Jana Friel were part of the first class in the Campus for All program. It was started in 2006 in association with the Faculty of Education and the Regina and District Association for Community Living. The idea is to give adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities opportunities to experience being on campus. The nine students in the Campus for All program are given equal access to campus facilities, as they join other Education students and audit classes. They can improve their literacy skills and make social connections with other students. Students and professors act as mentors, and learn to work with people with disabilities.

"We are constantly amazed at the growth of our Campus for All students. Quite often, the abilities of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are simply underestimated by both themselves and others, and the Campus for All Program helps to break down this barrier to success," says Professor Denise Morstad, Campus for All Faculty of Education liaison.

The concept of inclusive education is near and dear to the heart of President Vianne Timmons. Earlier this year she received the National Inclusive Education Award because of her work as one of Canada's leading advocates and experts in the field of inclusive education.

"The Campus for All program is a wonderful example of how inclusive education can be part of our university. It clearly demonstrates the benefits for the students who otherwise would not be able to take part in campus life. And it's also beneficial for students and professors who develop a better understanding of the issues faced by others," says President Timmons.

"An important part of the University's strategic plan is making our campus more inclusive, and my hope is that over the long term Campus for All will have a positive impact in other faculties and benefit even more students," President Timmons adds.

The Campus for All program is becoming more popular, and next year the Faculty of Kinesiology will also take part in the program.