Jamie L. Goodfellow and Janice Galloway
Sheridan College is a diploma and degree granting institution with three campuses in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada, with an estimated population of 21,000 full-time students.
During each academic year, Sheridan Library participates in a variety of orientation sessions for specific faculties, programs and departments. In 2014 the library’s approach to orientation programming changed when it sought to increase its focus on the quality of the first year experience and introduced a First Year Experience Librarian. A ‘First Year Library Team’ was created with representatives from various student-centered departments across the college with the goal of supporting academic skills development. The Accessible Learning department, which works with students who have disabilities, became an active partner in the Library’s creation and re-design of orientation programming.
At Sheridan, approximately 2,500 students with disabilities are registered with Accessible Learning. Due to their specific needs, they are offered a unique orientation program called Summer Transition Experience Program at Sheridan (STEPS). STEPS programming includes sessions offered by a variety of services and partners across Sheridan and typically has approximately 60 students attend.
This chapter will address the evolution of the partnership between the Library and Accessible Learning, the design of new orientation programming for students with disabilities, as well as successes, challenges and future plans.