Carleton plans to reopen the Attendant Services Program in January

A person is seen with a sign on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at Carleton University during a CU Care Walkout in support of students with disabilities. Students protested the university’s decision to cancel escort services due to COVID-19 [Photo by Spencer Colby/The Charlatan].

Following the cancellation of the fall semester, Carleton has announced its plans to reopen the Attendant Services Program (ASP) in January.

In an email sent to ASP clients, CEO Matthew Cole said students will be required to apply for service through an online portal that opens next week. Cole also said more information will be sent out in the coming days.

The announcement comes one month after the students went out of their classes in September to protest the cancellation. Without the program, some Carleton students with disabilities could not back to campus and lives in housing.

Kimberley Chiasson is a fourth year journalism student, ASP client and one of the creators of @ CUCare.Act, an Instagram account that provides information on why the cancellation matters. She said that even though the circumstances are different for everyone, she believes the reopening will mean most customers will try to take the trip back to Ottawa.

Chiasson said ASP clients will see the terms of the new contract to see if it includes COVID-19 guidelines that could change the program’s services.

“It simply came to our notice then [Carleton] really spent the time they have had free to re-evaluate the standards and do it as best they can, ”she said.

Jay Baldwin, another ASP client on their third year of women and gender studies at Carleton, said they are “cautiously optimistic” about the announcement.

“Honestly, I’ve been burned so many times by the society we live in. People can say anything they want, but [change comes from] actions, “Baldwin said.

Chiasson said she wants ASP clients to be directly informed of the changes being made as more information is released.

“We want to maintain the small groups that we have established and ensure that Carleton is truly held to a standard where disabled students are included in the conversation instead of just being told what to do through various policy changes,” he said. Chiasson.

The charlatan will provide updates as this story unfolds.

Kimberley Chiasson has previously contributed to Charlatan.


Featured image of Spencer Colby.

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