Accessibility for and during these orientation events is extensive and woven into their planning so students with disabilities can participate and enjoy their Queen's experience.
There are nine different undergraduate Orientation Weeks (Frosh) on campus during September. Each incoming student receives a "Frosh Handbook" that contains information regarding the week and available resources on campus - a common list of resources for each orientation Handbook prepared by The Orientation Round Table (ORT). Each Handbook also includes an "Accessibility and Inclusivity Form" where a student is encouraged to list and describe any concerns he or she may have with regards to participating in Orientation Week events. Filling out this form is completely voluntary and confidential. The handbook is both distributed in the mail to all incoming students, and is posted on the Orientation websites, depending on which Orientation Week the student plans to attend. The handbooks generally go out to students in the beginning of August.
Planning for Orientation Week is extensive and takes many months to complete (usually beginning in January).
The ORT Systems and Support Director, who oversees Accessibility and Sustainability throughout all of the Orientation groups, works to improve the accessibility of each event so that it can be more accessible for all students. Any thoughts and ideas around accessibility are communicated to the planning committees throughout the summer months. The planning committees must also include thoughtful responses on how they are accommodating to make each event they plan to be as accessible as possible. They include these with their event planning forms, which are reviewed by their Faculty Society Presidents, Faculty Deans or Designates, as well the ORT Coordinator.
The ORT Coordinator trains all of the Orientation leaders so that they are equipped with the knowledge and resources of how to properly adjust to the needs of their incoming students. Each Orientation Leader must complete the Online Accessibility Training Modules in order to continue in their roles as leaders. An Accessibility Program provides more in-depth accessibility training where Orientation leaders are encouraged to attend. Students with disabilities who identify on the "Accessibility and Inclusivity Form" are paired with these Leaders during orientation.
The ORT ensures that the committees are planning their events to be as accessible as possible, that each Orientation Week adheres to Queen's Senate policy, and accomplishes the goals of Orientation Week through their events.
Students living in residence take part in an orientation that begins on "Move In" day (on a Sunday) and ends the following Tuesday which includes activities and events. During the orientation you can settle into your room and meet other students on your floor. Residence Orientation helps facilitate the smooth transition of incoming first-year students to the learning environment at Queen's. Its activities are intended to develop a sense of community and belonging, to encourage student involvement in all aspects of campus life, to enhance personal health and wellness, and to promote a sense of respect for diversity. Events include: a welcome event, series of floor meetings, carnival and dance, casino night, parent orientation, movie night, Queen's Reads discussion groups, and campus tours.
If you are a student with a disability and require accommodations during Residence Orientation, make sure to discuss your needs with your residence don as soon as you can – they will know how to help.
The "Residence" section has a complete listing of accessible residence rooms categorized by building, room number, room type, and accessibility feature available.
SOAR (Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources) is a first-year transition program held on the Queen’s campus in July each year. Incoming students and their family members are invited to attend a full day of activities and information sessions, which include opportunities to connect with upper-year students, faculty, and staff. The program aims to prepare students for new academic expectations, address questions or concerns, and introduce them to on-campus resources and support services.
Each year, we strive to create a SOAR experience that is accessible and accommodates the unique needs of those with disabilities. If you, or one of your family members, identifies with having a disability, you will have an opportunity to indicate any accommodation requirements when you sign up for SOAR using our online registration system. Please also feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can better enhance your SOAR experience.