Laurier’s Accessible Learning Centre — here to help!

Brit Kovacs, Photo Editor

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Accessible Learning Centre is one of Laurier’s most helpful resources for all students to explore. Whether you register as a student with a disability or get involved by volunteering, the ALC is an inclusive and safe space that you can be proud to be a part of.

Educational supports coordinator and learning strategist Erin Riggin describes the ALC as being committed to helping students with disabilities reach their full academic potential. “We support and encourage students’ independence and self-determination,” Riggin explained.

Located on the second floor of the newly-renovated Peters building, the ALC’s support services are available to part-time and full-time students, including graduates, who have temporary or permanent disabilities. Students registered with the ALC can find supports like learning strategies and study skills, exam accommodations, assistive technology and tutoring.

We support and encourage students’ independence and self-determination.

— Erin Riggin, Educational supports coordinator and learning strategist

The ALC also offers a note-taking service that serves as an excellent volunteer activity for a student’s co-curricular record.

“The Accessible Learning Centre provides a note-taking service for registered students who have been approved for this classroom accommodation,” Riggin noted. “All first-year students can sign up to be a note-taker. The great thing about it is that you don’t have to do anything more than you already do: go to class and take good notes!”

Riggin and the ALC staff understand that classroom settings can be distracting for differently-abled students, which makes it difficult to take comprehensive notes. “Having access to your notes means that a student with a disability is not put at a disadvantage,” Riggin emphasized. “It means they can attend and participate to the best of their ability in lectures knowing that they have access to supplementary notes and classroom information that they may have missed.”

Previous students who had volunteered their notes to ALC students have told Riggin that being a note-taker makes you feel good about helping another student, improves your own notes by being more conscious of what you’re writing down, and enables you to receive valuable references for a job well done.

The ALC needs note-takers for over 400 classes. To show appreciation for volunteers, Riggin and the Peer Support Team host fun campus pop up events with treats and giveaways for note-taking students.

“Regardless of the reason, your notes will allow another student to benefit more from class,” Riggin stated.

If you’re looking for more ways to get involved, there are paid tutor opportunities currently open for the Fall/Winter terms available on the ALC website. The ALC also takes part in the work-study program which allows students to work part-time on campus while studying. The Peer Support Volunteer Team hires in the Spring.

The Accessible Learning Centre’s website can be found here.

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