This entry was written by Kailha Winter. She is a recent graduate of the program who lives in New Brunswick.
When thinking about what you want to do in life and where you want to go to school so many factors have to be taken into account. Whether you want to leave home or stay close or what is currently going on in your life play a role. Something else to look is whether the school is a good match for you and will help pull out your full potential. For the first 6 years of my school life I was living in Kingston Ontario and I went to St. Lawrence College then Queens University, but knew there was something more I wanted to do and that something was missing. I had the opportunity to move to New Brunswick so I took it. That is when I thought, this is my chance to do what I really want to do and pursue my degree in Disability Studies through Ryerson University. I made the choice to go to Ryerson for many reasons. First, I was able to do it online and at my own pace, second they had some of the best face’s in disability heading and teaching at the program, people that I wanted to be a part of my next journey, and finally they were open to accommodating my Learning Disability and helping me with finishing my journey and continue my dream.
I thought that doing distance education was going to be even harder as I was going to be three provinces away from where I need to be, as everyone else in my class and the program that I knew of lived in Ontario. Having the support of the faculty and staff really made it a lot easier. I still struggled with being so far away especially when it came to participating in the on campus portions of the program. The support of the program and faculty was amazing and made it a lot easier especially when I knew they were there for me and my success. Phone calls, skype and emails became my friends especially when corresponding with fellow classmates for assignments or professors. I am pretty sure that most of the individuals from the department can attest to getting many emails from me but they were always back with a response to help me with whatever I needed or to answer any questions I had.
I have to say that distant education was a journey, figuring out what worked for me and my learning styles and needs, but I would not change any of it. Distant education provinces away is not impossible, it really is not! It just takes organization, determination and passion for the program. I would encourage anyone that wants to pursue the field of Disability, no matter where you are in Canada or even the world, to take the chance. The experiences, the people and education you will receive is nothing you would ever imagine could happen. I started in this program with lots of passion and love for the field but I am leaving with more and leaving with the drive to do something with it, to take all that I learned and use it! The journey that I had the chance to experience through distance education provinces away, although never perfect or easy, was one that I will never forget and the passion I now have has grown in ways I never thought possible.
Thanks to the wonderful individuals that helped me through this journey at Ryerson University’s Disability Studies program. Although a few provinces, I away always felt like I was right there with them every step of the way.