Post-Secondary Education Award Recipient
New Brunswick Community College
Postsecondary education for people who have a disability is important for the same reasons as it is for non-disabled people; it helps to fulfill personal goals, allows for effective competition in the job market and contributes to independence and financial security. In fact, a college education is more important for people who have a disability.
That’s a quote from a leader in inclusive education at the college level, Catherine Fichten of the Adaptech Project at Dawson College in Quebec.
It’s also the philosophy upon which NBCC’s inclusion program was built. One of the architects of that program is Richard Corey. Corey, former Executive Director of the New Brunswick Community College system, was honoured for his work in establishing and encouraging inclusive education in the province’s English community colleges
According to his nominator and colleague, Hélène L. Martin, “Richard Corey believes that students with disabilities should be afforded an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals and as competent and worthwhile employees in the workplace.”
It is this belief that drove Richard to participate in a working group that recommended inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities in community college. That was in 1996. By 2001, NBCC Connections, a pilot project to provide job training for persons with intellectual disabilities, had been implemented in three community colleges across the province. Richard Corey was part of the Management Team of the College when this pilot project was implemented.
In 2005, when the Connections pilot project was completed, Mr. Corey took inclusion to the next step and was instrumental in the establishment of a Disability Unit for NBCC. The first mandate of that Unit was to incorporate Connections into the College’s regular business processes. The result was the development of Special Admissions. In September 2008, 19 students were accepted under Special Admissions to six NBCC campuses.
Richard Corey believes that NBCC needs to build capacity within the organization in order to establish long lasting inclusion. His vision is based on training and professional development opportunities for all staff. So, to assure the ongoing success of inclusive practices, NBCC, under Richard Corey’s leadership, has succeeded in securing multi-year funding to support the work of the Disability Unit.