Accessibility fees to be optional on some campuses

Eli Ridder | Report

Fees to support students with disabilities and accessibility issues will now be deemed optional on some campuses across Ontario, Global News exclusively reported on Thursday.

It marks a new development for what is known about the optional student fees coming into effect this fall. Previously, the government only revealed protections for health and dental funding.

In January, the provincial education minister Merrilee Fullerton announced the Student Choice Initiative, a new fee model which allows students to choose what they want to pay for and how that money will be allocated.

At the time, the government said fees for “essential” campus health and safety initiatives would continue to be mandatory, though they have yet to give specifics on the compulsory fees.

In an interview with Global News on Thursday, Fullerton said colleges and universities have been given “parameters” for essential student fees but did not explain why accessibility and disability services are not included.

Fullerton did not say whether the parameters she is talking about are different then the initial set of instructions post-secondary institutions received earlier this year. IGNITE and student unions across the province have been waiting on more details.

The Avro Post has reached out to Humber College, IGNITE, the University of Guelph Central Student Association and the province for any information confirming that these are new parameters with more specifics than previously known.

Margarita Bader, who sits on the Board of Directors as one of the Lakeshore Campus representatives, indicated that these were not a new set of details Fullerton is referring to.

Central Student Association Vice President Kayla Weiler, at the University of Guelph, told The Avro Post that she does not believe these are the new, more specific parameters expected from the provincial government ahead of the fall semester.

Image of Merrilee Fullterton from files.

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