We’re listening to what your community is saying.

Welcome students, parents and educators to Project Accessful’s Symposia. Below you will find up-to-date information for your event. Any rescheduled events or cancellations due to weather will be found here. To contact a member of the Accessful team, e-mail us at inquiries@​accessful.​org.

2018-19 Schedule

Student Symposiums

  • Peel DSB: School Group 1
    Chinguacousy SS; Louise Arbour SS; Sandalwood SS; Castlebrooke SS

    Monday, December 10, 2018 : 9 AM to 3 PM

    Red Rose Convention Centre
    1233 Derry Road East
    Mississauga, ON
    L5T 1B6
    Tel: (905) 565‑6650
    Venue Contact: Neelam Sethi
    redrosec​on​ven​tion​cen​tre​.com

  • Peel DSB: School Group 2
    Brampton Centennial SS; David Suzuki SS; John Fraser SS; Applewood School

    Wednesday, December 12, 2018 : 9 AM to 3 PM

    Red Rose Convention Centre
    1233 Derry Road East
    Mississauga, ON
    L5T 1B6
    Tel: (905) 565‑6650
    Venue Contact: Neelam Sethi
    redrosec​on​ven​tion​cen​tre​.com

  • Peel DSB: School Group 3
    Applewood Heights SS; T.L. Kennedy SS; Rick Hansen SS; West Credit SS

    Friday, December 14, 2018 : 9 AM to 2 PM

    Red Rose Convention Centre
    1233 Derry Road East
    Mississauga, ON
    L5T 1B6
    Tel: (905) 565‑6650
    Venue Contact: Neelam Sethi
    redrosec​on​ven​tion​cen​tre​.com

Educator Symposiums

  • All Peel DSB schools participating in Project Accessful.

    Thursday, February 14, 2019 : 11 AM to 1 PM

    The Board has approved release time for you to attend our Teacher Symposium scheduled for February 14, 2019 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the OSSTF District 19 office. Lunch will be provided. It is important we hear from you and to discuss what resources will be most valuable for your school community. Please RVSP if you have not already done so. See you there!

Parent Symposiums

  • All parents or guardians of Peel DSB students participating in Project Accessful.

    Thursday, February 14, 2019 : 6 PM to 8 PM

    Accessful Parent/​Guardian Symposium will be held in the evening – from 6 – 8 PM. Teachers are reminded to send the invitation letter home with your participating students and collect the RSVP page in January. We would like to confirm numbers of parents attending by February 4th and will contact you for numbers after exams. Many thanks for your help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone participate in Accessful?

Accessful is a pilot project managed by Accessful staff and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) within selected high schools in the Peel District School Board. These schools will be identified by the school board and will invite 15 students, their parents and teachers from each school to participate. Employers and community agencies within the PDSB area will also be asked to engage in this pilot. After the pilot is complete, resources can be used by anyone in the greater community.

Why only 15 students from each school?

The pilot project is operating with funding from an Enabling Change Grant through the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The project budget can only support a sample of youth with a variety of disabilities from 15 schools at this time. All resources created will be available for use by anyone in the public.

How will students be selected to participate?

Special Education, Guidance, Civics and Co-op teachers will consider criteria to help nominate 15 students from their student body. A variety of disabilities will be represented but not limited to Learning Disabilities, Physical and Mobility, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and other mental health needs such as anxiety, Blind or Low Vision or Deaf and Hard of Hearing, etc.

What is a symposium”?

Multi-day conferences, called Symposia, will be held for each of the Accessful groups: students, parents, educators, employers and community agencies.

Students will attend their symposium during the school day, similar to a field trip, and will be supervised by school staff; Parents will be invited to attend an evening meeting to accommodate work schedules; Teachers will have their own meetings based on school locations; and employers and community agencies will attend their symposium together.

Organizers will use a method called Open Space Technology (OST) to organize and run the multi-day conferences. This may be a new experience for many.

OST is a participant-driven process. Attendees will be invited to focus on identifying Barriers to Employment for youth with disabilities.

Each Symposia will start with a short introduction by the main facilitator to explain the purpose of the day and the process that is called open space.” The facilitator helps participants to self-organize, rather than manage or direct conversations around the important issue.

Interactive icebreakers” begin each day to help participants feel more comfortable engaging in discussion topics. These activities help move people away from judgement and into a space where every individual is celebrated and is viewed as a valuable member of the group.

Why is it so important I participate?

After each Symposium, a document is created summarizing the work of the group to guide further conferences, to collect important data, and the create valuable resources for all participants.

Since each group will have different perspectives about the issue, your voice needs to be heard. Organizers want to help youth with disabilities be empowered to find summer employment opportunities. By collecting important information from the different groups, resources can be created to help all youth with disabilities — not just those participating in the pilot project.

Will I have to talk about my disability?

Talking about disabilities can be difficult for anyone.

However, when individuals are willing to share the challenges they face on a daily basis, it can help people without a disability understand the many barriers that exist. This will help them respond differently because of their greater level of awareness.

We need people with disabilities to act as leaders in our community just as much as we need acceptance of disabilities in our society.

Participating in the Accessful program will help develop self advocacy skills so talking about your disability will ultimately help you emphasize your abilities and ensure you access the support you deserve to be successful.

Without the ability to self-advocate, no one will know what you can or can’t do, or what you desire to accomplish.

Is there a cost to participate?

Students participating in the Accessful program will only need to pay a nominal fee to cover transportation costs from their school to the Symposia. There are no other costs associated with the program.

How many people in Ontario have a disability?

About 1.85 million people in Ontario have a disability. That’s one in seven people. Over the next 20 years, as the population ages, the number will rise to one in five Ontarians.

How do education rates differ between people with and without a disability?

Based on data from the 2012 Canadian Survey of Disability (CSD), people with disabilities were less likely to be high school or university graduates compared to people without a disability. Less than a high school diploma or equivalent– people with disabilities: 20%; people without disabilities: 11%.

University certificate, diploma or degree at a bachelor’s level or higher– people with disabilities: 14%; people without disabilities 27%

Are employers aware of disability rates?

In the same survey, just over a quarter (27%) of workers with disabilities indicated their employer was not aware of any limitations due to a disability.

Among those with current or recent work experience, 43% considered themselves to be disadvantaged in employment and 44% felt their current employer would likely consider them disadvantaged in employment because of their disability.