Inclusive Education

By Miranda Orth

I had a personal goal to become an assistant bookkeeper. This is my story about my experiences taking a bookkeeping course at Vancouver Island University (VIU).

At a self-advocacy meeting, I heard about STEPS Forward, an organization that provides support for people with intellectual disabilities to attend post-secondary education. I contacted them and STEPS Forward connected me with a VIU facilitator and helped me apply for a bursary.

I was in school from September 2022 to June 2023.  I liked that I could do my course online, as it’s the best way I can learn.  Having email contact with the instructor and having the resources needed relating to my work, kept me on track with my assignments.  Besides the course, I really liked participating in weekly VIU fitness sessions.

The course itself was challenging and rewarding.  A few of the challenges I had were that I was doing it online to accommodate my learning needs. I also had to ask my instructor for an extension for more time and support to understand and complete an assignment. Another challenge I faced was a household emergency that required my attention while trying to keep up with my coursework.  The rewarding part was that I completed my course with an 80 % grade. I now have a framed certificate on the wall in my office.

I am currently working as an Assistant Bookkeeper and working at the reception at a local agency.  My task for the next few weeks will be auditing. The agency provides an inclusive and supportive work environment, which I appreciate.

I encourage other people to follow their passions and go to university.


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