Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11
24 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Campus Accessibility heading in right direction Aly Beach The Chronicle Douglas Howard, a Durham College broadcast student. “At Durham College, when they say ‘success matters,’ I’d have to say that is very true but there’s room for improvement. Always,” says Durham College (DC) student Douglas Howard. Howard, 39, is a second-year student in the broadcast-radio and contemporary media program. Howard is legally blind and has difficulties hearing. He cannot see with his right eye, and has limited vision in his left eye. “I’m visually impaired but I also have a hearing impairment… and I have a bit of a learning disability where I’m slower at learning so it takes more time and things have to be adjusted,” says Howard. One in seven people, aged 15 or older, has a disability in Canada. Those numbers are reflected at DC. DC has an Access and Support Centre (ASC) which offers a variety of services to students with disabilities. It is located next to Vendor’s Alley in the Gordon Willey Building. Services include accommodations, extra test time, third-party note takers, educational assistants (EA), counselling services, assistive technology and more. In order for a student to use these services, they must submit forms related to their exceptionality such as an Independent Education Plan (IEP) from high school or medical documentation. Then they have an intake appointment with one of the accessibility coaches. Some accessibility coaches specialize in certain areas such as working with the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Christine Gibson, an accessibility coach at the ASC, says the services students receive are based on the student’s needs and concerns, not just the paperwork. “It’s certainly based on that documentation provided but it’s also based on that initial intake appointment and the discussion with the student and what concerns they bring forward,” says Gibson. “Often the documentation won’t explicitly describe those concerns.” Howard uses the ASC for a variety of services, primarily for assistive technology. He also has in-class and out-of-class EAs to assist him. He has used note takers provided by the ASC in the past. “I use the ASC a lot, for many things like technology,” says Howard, “I’m not bad at typing but I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but I also use scripts that go along with JAWS called J-Say.” JAWS is a screen reading software that reads digital text aloud, while Dragon NaturallySpeaking and J-Say are software that transcribe spoken word into text. J-Say also repeats back what was said. He also uses a program called Kurzweil, an assistive learning technology. Howard has recently found a program called Gold Wave that allows him to edit audio for his classes, as Adobe Audition is not accessible to him. Software like these can be expensive, but according to Gibson the school can help. “There’s no fee for the students. These are services that are provided to students by Durham College,” says Gibson. She says that there are occasionally costs, usually for assistive devices and equipment, but the ASC can help students find funding. Photograph by Aly Beach “It was expensive, that’s why I’m glad the college helped me cover it, or rather, covered it for me under the student grant for services and equipment for persons with permanent disabilities,” says Howard. Howard says some classes he is taking are very visual, and as he has poor vision he feels like some programs may have to change the ways they are teaching. He says most power points are not accessible for screen readers. Howard also says he would like to see more descriptive audio on video, as text-on-video is not accessible for him. He says this would be helpful in his classes and at Riot Radio. “I think, for a lot of the classes, if there’s any video stuff, they should have an option of… descriptive audio. I also feel that power points may need to be done away with,” he says. Howard says he occasionally feels overwhelmed in his classes, as he sometimes takes longer than his classmates to learn things and complete tasks. “I sometimes get frustrated on things like, ‘am I cut out for this?’ because there’s so much. Because at certain times it’s hard,” says Howard, “The team is doing this, this and this, so sometimes I’m telling them ‘hey guys, slow down, you need to slow it down a bit so I can catch up’.” However, Howard took “A short history of the world” in the Global Classroom and had a positive experience despite the visual nature of the class. Professor Lon Appleby allowed him to audio record the classes. “He [Appleby] worked with me, he’s awesome…he tried to be as open to being accessible as possible,” says Howard. As for how the school is doing in terms of accessibility, Howard is content. “I do [think the school is doing enough for students with disabilities] but I think there is severe room for improvement. There is always room for improvement,” says Howard. Gibson agrees with Howard, adding that things have improved for people with disabilities with the introduction of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 2005. “I think there is definitely an increased awareness for the responsibility of society as a whole to provide accommodations and to provide equal access to…people in general,” says Gibson. “There’s always room for improvement on that but I think we’ve definitely taken a step in the right direction." MADD teaches students about pot Shana Fillatrau The Chronicle Both Sarah Harper and Trisha Dosaj Makarov lost loved ones in impaired driving crashes. Makarov lost her sister and her niece, and Harper lost her 19-year-old daughter. The impact of these loses will never be fully healed, so they want to help make sure no one else feels their pain. Part of their tactic is to change their wording. With cannabis set to be legalized later this year, it’s a big topic of discussion. A question on the minds of Canadians is, what about being high and driving? Harper, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Durham, says the organization is doing many things to combat this issue. MADD has commercials aimed at deterring young people from being impaired while driving. “Youth tend to be the highest users of cannabis, but they’re the least likely to drive while impaired, which is great,” says Harper. Though, she says when young people do drive, “they’re going to get into crashes.” Harper says many people feel driving high is not dangerous. Harper says many people think driving high, specifically with cannabis, makes them a better driver. “It’s not true,” she says. “So, we just need to continue educating people about how driving impaired by cannabis specifically affects them.” MADD educates young people anywhere from Grade 4 to Grade 12. The Durham chapter has its own initiative called Project Safe Prom, where upcoming-prom attendees are shown a video on the importance of not driving impaired that night. “I think that young people, they don’t have the maturity to understand that these things can happen to them. They think that they’re invincible. So, when they’re drinking or doing drugs, they don’t things anything will happen,” says Harper. In terms of the law, she says laws may be changed to go along with cannabis legalization, as well as possible mandatory roadside testing and oral fluid testing. Right now, she says, police use drug recognition experts to do roadside sobriety tests. She feels there are not enough trained officers, and more will help to keep impaired drivers off the road. Dosaj Makarov, MADD Durham’s director of victim services, says the organization has changed its wording to keep up with the times. “Even though it’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving, it’s impaired,” she says. “So, the messaging we’re putting out now is specifically combatting impaired driving. So, it’s going to take a lot. It’s going to take a lot of that constant messaging out there to recognize that impaired means both through drugs and alcohol.” Harper says many people think driving high, specifically with cannabis, makes them a better driver. Photograph by Shana Fillatrau Sarah Harper and Trisha Dosaj Makarov from MADD. “It’s not true,” she says. “So, we just need to continue educating people about how driving impaired by cannabis specifically affects them.” If you can afford to consume drugs and alcohol, Harper says you can afford to take a taxi or an Uber. “When these crashes happen, real people hurt. Real families are affected. Our lives are forever changed, and we miss the people who have been taking from us,” she says.
Community The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca 25 African cuisine comes to the GTA Catering and delivery service offers African food Shanelle Somers The Chronicle Ola-Dotun Olorunisola craved the taste of African cuisine after arriving in Toronto four years ago to study business management at Humber College. The 24-year-old Nigerian native struggled to find that ‘taste of home’ nearby. He and his friends would take the bus from the Lakeshore to North York just to get a taste of the food they craved. This got Olorunisola thinking, and inspired his new start-up company PotBrood, a catering/delivery business. Olorunisola describes PotBrood as the most convenient African catering site which connects people with African caterers close to them - kind of like ubereats but for African caterers. Olorunisola emphasizes Pot- Brood is focused on remaining as a catering delivery service not a fast food delivery service. “We are not trying to bring you five-minute fries or a Big Mac,” says Olorunisola. PotBrood specializes in catering to large groups of people in search of fine African cuisine. “African food takes a while to cook and good things take time,” says Olorunisola. There are currently three restaurants available to order from: Mercy Kitchen, Rotsum Events Bar and Tshika’s Place. The PotBrood team takes care of delivery. Customers can choose from dishes like fried plantain, jollof rice, puff puff, pondu, golden rum cake among many other choices. Olorunisola says the main challenges are in getting the word out and signing a variety of African restaurants as partners. He hopes to expand PotBrood within the next year and can find ways to cut down the time it takes to prepare the food and deliver it to their customers. “It takes a lot of work to bring an idea to life and I think it’s a big boost for me to see after graduating,” he says. Olorunisola says PotBrood is excited to ‘put Africa right there’. He says he wants Canada to know that Africa is more than what they see on the news. “There is so much goodness to being African and black in general. I think connecting Canadians to African food will help better share and connect them to our culture.” This article was written by Chronicle reporter Shanelle Somers and originally published by ByBlacks.com. The logo of PotBrood, a catering company that serves African cuisine. Courtesy of PotBrood Providing the 'wheels' for the 'meals' Brooklin's Cornell pleased to volunteer to help his community Claudia Latino The Chronicle A local volunteer is more than a free offer of help. Volunteers have one job: to deliver work for free. One Brooklin man’s volunteer work is not just a weekly routine, it’s an essential part of his life. Steve Cornell, 65, volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program at Community Care Durham. Since 1977, the organization has treated clients for aging, physical, or mental health needs. It also serves people who need transportation, assisted living, and home-cooked meals. Cornell joined the Rotary Club of Whitby in 2015. As an active member, he encouraged himself to contribute to other services that involved helping others. Meals on Wheels sparked his interest. Steve Cornell, 65, who volunteers for Meals on Wheels at Community Care Durham. “When I understood what they were doing, such as golf committees, bingo committees, and Meals on Wheels, I thought, ‘OK what do I want to be involved in, what makes sense to me, and where do I get personal satisfaction out of it?’” said Cornell. “That’s really why I went for Meals on Wheels.” Every Tuesday, he and eight volunteers pick up meals at Photograph by Claudia Latino Fairview Lodge, a nursing home in Whitby, and they deliver food to the clients’ homes. Cornell is happy to be part of the organization’s focus of helping people who need it. “I think this organization serves that type of need for these people that become homebound and need that little bit of social interaction and bringing them nutritious meals,” he said. His favourite part about volunteering is connecting with the people he sees weekly. “Even though you don’t completely know them because you’re only there for a few minutes delivering their meal, you develop this relationship with them,” he said. “I try and take some time to say, ‘Hi, how’s your day going?’” Each meal costs $7.25 and is delivered between 11 a.m. and one p.m. with no delivery charge. The provincial government funds Community Care Durham. Mental health care, supported living, and assisted transportation is free through the organization. Cornell continues to serve his community as an active member through the Rotary Club of Whitby and Meals on Wheels. “When I joined Rotary I thought, any club, you’re either involved or you’re not involved. I didn’t just want to be a fence-sitter I wanted to be actively involved,” he said. “I was interested in Meals on Wheels and this service is a good way to give back to the community.”