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Lois Adams and Astonished! Student Research

When Lois Adams completed her long and successful career at the University of Regina she developed a generous, thoughtful, forward-thinking way to direct the funds remaining in her Accountable Professional Expense Account (APEA). Lois requested that an Astonished! Student Research FOAPAL be created. FOAPAL is the acronym used to identify the Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity and Location of U of R funds.

The purpose of the Astonished! Student Research FOAPAL is to support research and develop competency in research activities that enhance knowledge specifically in the study of inclusion and diverse abilities.

At a recent Astonished! Program Advisory Committee meeting Astonished! agreed to offer partial financial support to one Astonished! Student Researcher, and one U of R Student, to co-facilitate with Dr. Randy Johner at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, October 9-11, 2017. They will be presenting the research video ‘Inclusivity Unmasked’.

This support was made possible through the Astonished! Student Research FOAPAL

When an individual leaves the University, their remaining (prorated) APEA balance is returned to a central pool of funds for APEA budgets unless Financial Services is otherwise directed. Prior to leaving the University, an employee with unused APEA funds now has the option to request their APEA balance be transferred to the Astonished! Student Research FOAPAL.

We encourage employees at the University of Regina who are close to retirement to consider directing their remaining APEA funds to the Astonished! Student Research FOAPAL, or consulting with us about  funding research opportunities.

Thank you Lois Adams, you inspire us, we are indeed Better Together!

Strengths Perspective

When I first joined the Astonished! Team in December of 2012 I was in the middle of my Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Health Studies.  I had completed all of my course work and recently proposed my research study which focused on organizational effectiveness in municipal recreation provision.  Upon starting with Astonished! I quickly became immersed in ‘all things’ Astonished! and lost interest in my original thesis work (thank goodness).

In early November 2016, Astonished! Board Chair, Dr. Brenda Rossow-Kimball and I had the opportunity to travel to Tampa, Florida to share the work of Astonished! at the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport conference.  Here we drew parallels between the work of Astonished! and the Strengths Perspective which demands a non-traditional way of working with people with disAbilities.  Instead of focusing on medical diagnosis and deficits, the Strengths Perspective encourages seeing people “in the light of their capacities, talents, competencies, possibilities, visions, values and hopes” (Saleebey, 1996).

Attending the conference and reflecting on the work of Astonished! has awakened something inside of me. We do things differently at Astonished! – something I am confident that we are all proud of. In the coming months I will be reapplying to the Faculty of Graduate Studies with the intention of changing my research project.  Under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Brenda Rossow-Kimball I hope to engage in Narrative Inquiry to co-compose narratives of strength alongside adults experiencing complex physical disAbilities.

Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous, A! Executive Director

Designing Together

What do you get when you take one Student Researcher, three Engineering students, two metal fabricators, and team them together in a design project? You get shared knowledge and expertise, you also get a remote control cup holder that works on a power wheel chair.

Fourth year Engineering students Marco Vargas, Mashari Alsulleman, and I.B. Alayyaf, and Astonished! Student Researcher Avery Ottenbreit (above photo), and Ian Matt and Mike McCormick of Anlin Welding and Steel Fabrication of Regina, created a unique remote control cup holder for Avery’s power chair.

Marco, Mashari, I.B., and Avery presented the design at the University of Regina’s annual Project Day. Click here to learn more about the process and the presentation. Thanks everyone for your shared work.