Monday, May 27, 2024

Who are resource facilitators?

By Karla Ivany

            At College of the North Atlantic, Resource Facilitators (RF) play an integral part in student life. At each campus, an RF is present as a front-line support to students availing of Accessibility Services. We possess varying backgrounds and experiences enabling us to provide specialized support to students registered for academic accommodations.

            Testing accommodation is at the forefront of our responsibilities; however, we provide so much more. We are a committed and consistent presence throughout our students’ academic journey and encourage them in their quest for independence and self-advocacy. We provide quiet spaces for students to study, complete exams, carry out sessions with tutors or simply to catch their breath away from crowded hallways. Many students who avail themselves of our services come from diverse backgrounds. Their diagnoses range from learning challenges to Neurodiversity and encompass varying degrees of everything in between. On top of this, we understand that many students are struggling with increased stress during their program. We strive to build rapport and relationships with our students and remain committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all.  

With such a wide breadth of students possessing complex needs, we strive to remain knowledgeable, compassionate, and available, while providing appropriate support. We do not assume students’ abilities, but instead, allow them to present themselves authentically and gauge our responses accordingly. We encourage growth, and advancement within their chosen program of study while promoting independence in seeking assistance when required. We are equipped with adaptive technology in each campus and provide instruction when requested. Relationships with instructors are encouraged in continuing an open dialogue regarding their needs in the classroom as well as within Accessibility Services. We encourage instructors to ask questions regarding our services/supports and remain open to discussing how we can help support and advocate for their students.

Accessibility Services works together with the student, support staff, and faculty in reaching academic goals. It should not be viewed as a crutch, but rather another tool in the academic toolbox. We are here to provide support and assistance through accommodation and assistive technology, while encouraging the development and empowerment of students’ abilities.  

Karla Ivany is a Resource Facilitator at the Ridge Road Campus

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Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne is Editor of CNA Currents. Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, Ryanne moved back to Newfoundland after spending 16 years in Calgary, Alberta. Ryanne has a Journalism Diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cape Breton University. She worked for many years as a reporter and freelance writer. She is happy to be back in her hometown and working for CNA.

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