Post Secondary Q&A with AT-BC

On Friday, June 19, 2020, Vince Tomassetti, Program Manager at Assistive Technology - British Columbia (AT-BC), joined PRCVI for a discussion on what students should know about getting assistive technology in place in post-secondary education. This informative one-hour session was attended remotely by students and TSVIs from across the province. The conversation was not recorded and so this post summarizes our discussion and contains links to the resources mentioned by Vince.

Vince opened with a description of AT-BC service delivery, including both grant- and loan-driven solutions:

  1. Students entering post-secondary education who also qualify for financial aid can also apply for the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities. AT-BC will work with the student, in partnership with an advisor at the post-secondary institution's accessibility services centre, to use grant funds to purchase assistive technology.
  2. Students who do not qualify for financial aid can request assistive technology on loan from AT-BC. Students who do qualify and may eventually received the Canada Student Grant can receive technology on loan to try it before purchasing with grant funds. 

Regardless of how a student intends to request assistive technology for post-secondary studies, Vince emphasized the importance of students contacting the accessibility resource centre of their intended institution ASAP to speak with an advisor about the process of getting technology in place. Connections to AT-BC services, much like those services offered by CAPER-BC, are made through advisors at the college or university. 

Vince recommended that students check out the StudentAidBC website for more information:

For more information, students can contact AT-BC. 

About the author

Adam Wilton

I have been fortunate to learn and grow with students with visual impairments since 2007, working as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI), Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and most recently as the Program Manager of PRCVI and ARC-BC. I completed a PhD in Special Education at the University of British Columbia in 2017 where my research focused on the administrative determinants of workloads for itinerant TSVIs.   

One of my favourite aspects of my current role is delivering outreach support to my colleagues and their students from across British Columbia. I've been fortunate to have many exciting adventures in schools and communities across the province and I hope you enjoy following along through #outreaching!

When I'm not on the road, I enjoy learning to play the violin, collecting antique books, and spending time surrounded by trees. 

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