The Paul Menton Centre (PMC) for Students With Disabilities at Carleton tries to create a home away from home for approximately 150 graduate students and approximately 1450 undergrad students with disabilities.
The Centre was once described by University Affairs magazine as “the gold standard” for this kind of centre in Canada.
It was originally established “to foster equal access to the university experience for students with disabilities while maintaining academic standards through provision of academic accommodations and support services, in partnership with the Carleton community.” It is named after the late Paul Menton, the first co-ordinator of the PMC.
The Centre has grown from a one-person office with approximately 100 students, to a professional disability service centre with six disability specialists. Here is just a short list of all of the services that the PMC offers all students, including graduate students:
- Co-ordination of academic accommodations in the classroom
- Access to several adaptive workstations and specialized software
- Pre-screening for suspected Learning Disability (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Learning strategy support and peer tutoring
- Disability counselling
- Mentor Volunteer Program (MVP)
- Attendant Services Program
- Carleton Aspirations Club (for students with Asperger’s Syndrome)
The PMC has worked in conjunction with other services on campus such as the Library to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met. You can view a list of those services here.
Carleton was the first University to offer 24-hour, seven-day-a-week attendant services and responds to over 1,600 service requests a month. The program expanded to Ottawa’s Algonquin College in 2001, and Algonquin remains the only college to offer 24-hour attendant services.
“This is the only program of its kind,” says Matthew Cole, executive director Carleton University/Algonquin College Attendant Services. “Larry McCloskey came up with the original concept and started the program. Now, students from around the world from such places as Japan, South Africa, the United States, Switzerland and Botswana are coming to Carleton, specifically to take advantage of this and other services offered by the PMC.”
Larry McCloskey, who manages the PMC, was described by one of his employees as being a “visionary leader”. He notes that the attendant service program remains the only attendant program in the world that is 24 hours, 7 days a week, all year long, embedded in a university residence—and a college residence to boot.
Building on Carleton University’s well established reputation as a leader in providing access to students with disabilities, the READ Initiative showcases the level of involvement and expertise that Carleton already has in the disability/accessibility field and endeavors to propel Carleton into a global leadership role in creating a world that is accessible and inclusive. READ stands for Research, Education, Accessibility and Design. READ brings the expertise in all of Carleton’s academic disciplines and service departments into collaboration with individuals and organizations world-wide that are committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities.