Georgian grad shows how to achieve success your own way

International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on Dec. 3, is a crucial reminder of the importance of fostering disability inclusion. At Georgian, we acknowledge the individual strengths and specific support requirements of each student. The college, along with our Accessibility and Well-being or Accessibility Services departments, are dedicated to ensuring your success both in and out of the classroom.

Whether you’re currently enrolled or thinking about coming to Georgian for your studies, our accessibility advisors are ready to offer information, and discuss possible accommodations, support and advocacy. This assistance is particularly valuable if you encounter challenges related to physical, medical, sensory, mental health, or learning barriers to education.

Donna Paré, a Georgian alumna, graduated from the Law Clerk Diploma program in June 2023 to follow her passion for law. We spoke with Donna about her experience with Accessibility Services, entering the workforce post-graduation and not letting her disability stop her from achieving success – her own way.

Don’t let anyone dismiss your needs. Everyone is different and we all achieve our goals in different ways. When you enter the workforce, don’t let anyone disrespect you. Keep your head up and keep going. Don’t be afraid of failure, let it be a lesson and it will lead you to your success.

Georgian alumna looking at the landscape in Ireland.
Donna in Ireland on a Global Skills trip.
Georgian President and CEO Kevin Weaver with alumna Donna and her family at convocation.
Donna Paré at convocation in June 2023 with her family and Georgian President and CEO Kevin Weaver.

Why did you choose the Law Clerk program at Georgian?

I’m very passionate about law and even thought about law school and becoming a lawyer. But first I wanted to gain some experience in the law field to see how I liked it before I decide if I want to further my education in law.

Currently, my goal is to be a civil litigation law clerk to continue learning and gaining experience.

What accommodations or supports were most helpful for you at Georgian?

My accessibility advisor was very helpful in my final year. Staying on top of the support I needed, my advisor planned ahead of time and we both made sure interpreters were present during my courses and for my graduation.

Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help with your accessibility needs.

Are there any misconceptions about your disability that you’d like to clarify?

Just because I can’t hear does NOT mean I am incapable.

Being a recent grad and entering the workforce, what advice would you give to other students who may require accessibility accommodations?

Don’t let anyone underestimate you. Show you’re more than capable and have the skills to do your job, and don’t let anyone judge you based on your disability.

Donna’s openness to share her experiences earned her an invitation to participate in a Global Skills Trip to Ireland. She has also been a panelist on multiple discussions to share her story in hopes of encouraging others to keep going and achieve success – in their own way.

It was an amazing experience meeting people there and seeing how they value their community was invaluable to me. Not one person in Ireland had apologized to me for being deaf and that was very refreshing.

You can reach out for support at any time in your academic journey but if you know you’ll need support before you begin at Georgian, it’s recommended you start the process up to six months before your first semester.

Learn more about Accessibility Services and start enhancing your Georgian experience today.

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