Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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Start-UP Transition Support Service for Students With Disabilities

Start-UP is a great opportunity for first year students who are registered with QSAS to receive individualized support on any aspect of their transition to university. The university learning environment can be very different from a high school environment and figuring out how you work best in this environment can at times be a process. When you meet with Gail (our Start-UP co-ordinator), she will help you figure out how to use your strengths to work through the aspects of the transition you are finding the most challenging in this new environment. You may have found that strategies related to studying, time management, advocacy, focus and concentration and organization that worked well in high school don't seem to work as well in university. Maybe you have questions including:

  • How do I focus in a large lecture hall?
  • How do I get from one side of campus to the other in time for class?
  • How can teaching assistants support me and should I go to the office hours that instructors post?
  • How do I find time to socialize when the textbook readings are taking up most of my free time?
  • How can I approach an instructor whose teaching style is very different from what I am used to?
  • How do I talk to my instructors about my academic accommodations?
  • How do I take notes when the instructor talks faster than I can type or write?
  • How do I adjust to a new diagnosis or a new treatment plan?

It’s your first day on the job as Queen’s Student, and you’re not quite sure what to expect. You are excited and ready to start, but also a bit anxious. Start-UP will give you an insider’s guide to University life up close with some on the job training to tip the odds in your favour for a productive first year at Queen’s.

What is Start-UP?
A support service to help you transition successfully from secondary to post-secondary education. It starts with your first questions about life as a first-year student with a disability at Queen’s, and is there for you throughout the academic year. Individual appointments, drop-ins, and small group sessions are all available to help navigate university life, adjust to a new environment, develop and strengthen core academic skills, or simply connect with peers at your home away from home in a social, stress-free environment. Topics range from maintaining a healthy life style, to stress management, time management, exam prep, and note-taking skills. We also cover important information on accommodation planning and getting the most out of technology.
Individual appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-4:30, and on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00. The appointments will focus on whatever is important to you and will offer practical strategies to work through the aspects of transition that you are finding challenging.
You can make appointments with Gail at any point in the year, as often as needed, when you feel you need to address a challenge, modify a strategy, or just to touch base on your progress. Gail does not do accommodation planning or letters of accommodations. Those will need to be done with your accessibility advisor.
Who is Start-UP for?
All first year students registered with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS), are invited to join Start-UP as part of your successful transition from high school to university.
How to register with Start-UP?
1. Contact Student Wellness Services reception (613-533-2506 or
2. Gail Eaton-Smith (613-533-6000 ext. 74206

Get a Start-UP on success … see you in September!



Coordinator, Start-UP
Queen’s Student Accessibility Services
Student Wellness Services