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Director, Accessible Learning Services
Date: Jan 11, 2021
Location: All locations, CA
Company: Wilfrid Laurier University
Department: Office of the VP Teaching&Learning
Job Type: Continuing
Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year)
Campus: All locations
Reports to: Mary Wilson
Employee Group: Management
Application Deadline: 01/24/2021
Requisition ID: 960
Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.
Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.
Working in a multi-campus environment, the Director is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of Accessible Learning. The Director ensures the effective management of services for students, faculty and staff of the university and develops and implements policies and procedures to ensure students with disabilities have fair and equitable access to required academic accommodations as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. The incumbent provides leadership and guidance to the university community with respect to navigating complexities and interpreting legislation with respect to the policies defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Director leads the development of senate approved accommodation policies, such as the Academic Accommodation for Undergraduate and Graduate Students with Disabilities. The Director consults and collaborates with stakeholders (e.g., faculty and educational developers) to support the development and implementation of universal design best practices.
The Director is responsible for the development of service and programmatic partnerships and initiatives that support student academic success for students with disabilities at all campus site locations (Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener and Toronto) utilizing the existing resource base. The incumbent is responsible for efficient and effective use of the operating and donor budgets and the preparation of the annual accountability reports including the Ministry of Colleges and University; for the funds allocated to support students with disabilities. This position requires a creative approach to resource allocation and the creation of opportunities to centralize service delivery where possible.
The Director will take a leadership role in fostering a collaborative environment with staff, faculty and students through which effective accommodations are developed. This role ensures the provision of strategic planning, oversight and leadership of all programs within Accessible Learning. This role ensures accountable and transparent human and financial resource management; ensuring liaison with faculty and administration on the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities; and acts as the principal expert/resource on matters pertaining to supporting academic accommodation for students with disabilities within the post-secondary environment.
Strategic Planning, Oversight (Management) and Leadership
- Provides strategic leadership, program direction, and oversight of all program and service development related to Accessible Learning.
- Ensures the design, promotion and delivery of new and innovative programming; develops and implements comprehensive plans and alternative models for program and service expansion and delivery.
- Innovates and motivates all units in Accessible Learning to improve efficiency and economy while providing the best possible students experience.
- Ensures all programs and services are developed from best practices based on research, within the resources available.
- Innovates and motivates internal stakeholders to create a framework for inclusive practice and universal design; provides education on the university’s accountability under the Human Rights Code; takes an active approach in leading and educating the community on the development and negotiations of effective accommodations.
- Identifies opportunities for improvement of programs and services based on knowledge of specialized student, staff and faculty needs and available resources.
- Ensures legislative compliance is adhered to as determined by the Ontario Human Rights Code for students with disabilities requiring academic accommodations.
- Leads the development of policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure students with disabilities receive the appropriate academic accommodations.
- Benchmarks and projects service demands, seeks funds or resources to ensure services requirements are met, in accordance with legislation requirements.
- Generates an analysis of the data on registered students and their accommodations to determine if more effective responses (to accommodation need), can be determined and implemented by Accessible Learning and its university partners.
- Evaluates all programs and services, and implements appropriate change.
- Acts in an educational and leadership capacity in discussions with internal stakeholders as well as external partners, and in developing new partnerships.
- Member of various committees and provides guidance and interpretation with respect to impact of disability on academic performance; represents the university on provincial accessibility committees (IDIA)
Human and Financial Resource Management
- Develops and leads departmental procedures and processes to ensure efficiencies and equity of services
- Supports the work of management staff responsible for the daily operations of Accessible Learning programs.
- Plan strategically for and define the organizational structure for the department in collaboration with management staff. Implement changes to the organizational structure, including organizational change, hiring, layoff, demotions, creating and eliminating positions.
- Consult with Human Resources when dealing with serious issues that affect employment relationships
- Strategically manage labour relations implications of business disruptions; participate as representative of department in broader strategic management initiatives.
- Determine appropriate disposition of grievances in consultant with Human Resources and Labour Relations, based on knowledge of collective agreements and labour relations procedures.
- Responsible for providing professional leadership to staff and paraprofessional students, ensures appropriate training and supports are in place.
- Ensures space requirements are appropriate for services and leads the appropriate modifications.
- Ensures appropriate IT infrastructure is in place to support the ALC services
- Responsible for the preparation, management and accountability of the budgets
- Accountable for monitoring expenditures, completing/retaining appropriate documentation and ensuring that established budgets are adhered to, and utilizing millennium reconcile and manage budgets
- Prepares annual accountability report to the Ministry of Colleges and University for the funds allocated to support students with disabilities.
- Prepares accountability reports for donor sponsored funds.
- Liaises with administrators, faculty, staff, community partners, parents and provides guidance with respect to interpretation of implementation of academic accommodations; acts as a resource to University departments, providing information on disability related barriers, the accommodation process and advice on all disability related issues.
- Outreach to internal stakeholders who need to be educated around best practices for universal design and the university’s accountability under the Human Rights Code; takes an active approach in leading and educating on accessibility
- Ensures that communication tools are developed for faculty, staff and students to collaboratively navigate the development and negotiation of effective accommodations; recognizing the differing needs between undergraduates and graduate students, as well as accommodating students in professional programs, practicums and labs.
- Reporting trends and issues that impact the facilitation of academic accommodations.
- Works closely with several collateral supports/administrators/offices to ensure appropriate accommodations are in place (Wellness,
- Associate Deans, Faculty, Residence, Special Constable Services).
- Facilitates presentations that builds awareness of disability issues and fosters a culture of inclusive and universal practice.
- Works with campus partners to ensure complex issues related to the academic accommodations of students with disabilities are effectively, equitably and fairly managed.
- Acts as the principal advisor/expert for interpreting and responding to litigation or legislation challenges that encompass academic accessibility matters for students with disabilities (publishers, parents/guardians, faculty, students, and community service providers etc.).
- Informs Senior Administration where there are concerns about the fair and effective management of student accommodations. Consults with university legal counsel and privacy officer as appropriate regarding the release of student information or issues management.
- Provides leadership, advice and coordinates consultation on the University’s commitment to removing barriers for students with disabilities
- Resolves a variety of sensitive and complex problems that are escalated by management staff and require intervention at the executive level including customer service complaints, student, community and staff/faculty related issues.
This is a multi-campus position with responsibility of overseeing staff at multiple site locations with the responsibility for service provision at all physical and virtual campus locations. In addition to staff positions, there are several limited-term contract staff and student positions employed throughout the year to support various functions; the numbers fluctuate based on demand. There are seven service components that interact and deliver functions and services to support the Centre. Delivery of the functions and services is complex because they are distinct and inter-connected across the campus locations.
Academic accommodations: A team of accommodation consultants serves as the first line of response to issues of concern regarding accommodation formulation from registered students, undertaking assessment and accommodation planning through caseload management.
Reception and administration. First line of response to all inquiries/registrations from students, faculty, parents and administration; management of all student appointments within all program areas.
Intake and referral: Assess all requests for support, vet documentation, respond to all prospective inquiries and facilitate referrals to appropriate collateral supports on campus.
Learning strategy support: one to one support and workshop series that develop meta-cognitive skills in study, memory, organization and exam preparation for students registered with the Centre.
Examinations: scheduling and invigilation of all exams, management of specialized accommodation and integrity of all processes and reporting procedures (e.g. Integrity violations)
Assistive Technology and transcription services: assistive technology assessment and formulation of recommendations for student equipment purchase; alternate formatting of course materials and maintenance of 24/7 AT lab
Educational Planning: note taking, tutoring, peer helping and student support
- Completion of a Master’s degree in Psychology, Education, Social Work, or related discipline required. PhD in Psychology, Education, Social Work or related discipline preferred.
- Minimum 5 years of demonstrated experience leading and managing in a complex organization that provides service to students.
- Experience within a university or college setting a strong asset.
- A well-developed understanding of the post-secondary environment, and an ability to understand and relate well to students, faculty and staff in a broad range of programs.
- A clear understanding of human rights and human rights law, equity, and the role of accommodation.
- Demonstrated ability to provide vision and leadership.
- Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience with organizational, program and strategic planning.
- Proven ability to develop, monitor and evaluate organizational plans.
- Demonstrated project management skills.
- Experience planning and managing operating budgets.
- Extensive service and systems development experience and demonstrated ability to build strategic partnerships with on- and off-campus constituent groups.
- Ability to make complex decisions under pressure.
- Experience in facilitation and negotiation of consultative decision-making. processes, including those with clients, partners and other constituent groups.
- Experience in program development, service delivery and evaluation of those activities.
- Considerable experience working with people with disabilities in a service context.
- Effective participation in committee work in a variety of setting
- Strong organizational, administrative and managerial skills including the ability to lead and supervise staff from diverse professional backgrounds in a multi-union working environment.
- Excellent communication, interpersonal and facilitation skills.
- Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience with policy and procedure development.
- Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience with program evaluation methods.
- Excellent presentation skills.
- Ability to communicate clearly, convincingly and professionally.
- Ability to negotiate complex situations in a calm and persuasive manner.
- Capacity to work in a constantly evolving area
- Strong analytical ability, experienced with conflict resolution, strong budget/business knowledge.
- Ability to deal with sensitive and confidential issues in compliance with privacy requirements.
- Ability to interpret and apply a broad range of institutional policies and procedures.
- Ability to interpret and apply institutional, provincial and other policies as they impact programs and services.
- Awareness of and commitment to principles of health & safety and risk management.
- Strong dedication to promotion of diversity and inclusion in both the service and learning environment.
- Understanding of accounting principles and effective budget management skills. Strong interpersonal relations skills including
- patience, compassion and tact, maturity of judgement, and sensitivity.
Position Grade: MG-3A
Rate of Pay: $95,711- $131,662
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