Participation House Support Services and the Community Engaged Learning program at Western University have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership for several years, with students from various departments and programs. As a non-profit, we are often limited in our time and resources to dedicate toward brainstorming and implementing new processes, and we value the opportunity to bring students into an environment where they can learn while exercising their new skills. We appreciate the incredible work that students deliver because students bring creativity and new perspectives to solve challenges and contribute positively to our mission. The outcomes are endless when everyone is engaged!
Students have delivered comprehensive solutions, ensuring their deliverables are high quality, realistic, and within the scope of their project. They are able to put into practice the theories and skills learned in the classroom, allowing them to build real-world experience with projects that make an impact on people’s lives and the community.
In addition to their project, we ensure that every student has the opportunity to participate in a “Possibilities in Paint” workshop so they can work directly alongside the people we support. Many students have valued this opportunity and typically finish their projects with a new appreciation for and understanding of people with disabilities. We believe this experience will stay with them throughout their lives and influence how they view and interact with people with disabilities going forward.
It has been an exciting learning curve with each group of students as we strive to balance our needs with the scope of their course or program to optimize the opportunity for students to gain valuable experience. We continue to be a partner with the CEL program because while we are teaching students and allowing them to develop their skills, we are learning from them and broadening our own horizons.
Discover the learning of the students during this experience:
- Enabling Peer Mentorship for Adult Learners at Participation House, Aman Garg, Alexandra Lowes, Celine Pitre, Sharukh Rahman, and Andrea Singer
- Participation House Community Mapping: Not disabled, Differently Abled, Graham Donen, Kathy Liu, Emily Taft