Promoting inclusion and mental well-being | Promouvoir l’inclusion et le mieux-être mental
Inspirations Articles

Ometz, Concordia team up for autistic students

Photo caption: The Summer 2023 cohort of L’Annexe’s accès:succès students gather for a photo. Photo courtesy of Agence Ometz
Photo caption: The Summer 2023 cohort of L’Annexe’s accès:succès students gather for a photo. Photo courtesy of Agence Ometz
Montreal - Saturday, November 18, 2023

By Sue Montgomery

The Ometz Centre for Young Adults (known as L’Annexe), is partnering with Concordia University’s Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) to help overcome the challenges of communication and time management – which can be particularly challenging for students on the autism spectrum.

Up to nine students from Concordia’s Access Centre meet for an hour and a half once a week for six weeks to work on specific skills needed in a classroom setting, such as communication with peers on a group project or working with a professor.

Participants also learn what is appropriate information to share, how to read social cues and how to advocate for themselves.

Time management and an ability to focus, crucial for any student, is also addressed in the class.

“Concordia reached out to us and said they wanted to offer workshops specifically geared towards students on the autism spectrum who were registered with the Access Centre,” said L’Annexe manager, Lanya McClintock. “We were really excited for this opportunity that allowed us to offer programs outside of our physical space, connect with new audiences and build more partnerships in the city.”

Adelina Feo, ACSD manager, said the workshop content is tailored to the needs of autistic students. “This collaboration allows students to become acquainted with resources in the community, which they might be interested in accessing even after they graduate,” she said.

ACSD’s expertise in navigating university requirements meshes well with L’Annexe’s initiative, called accès:succès, whose aim is to help neurodiverse young adults build the skills needed to get an education and land a job. McClintock said that given the success of the partnership so far (they are in the midst of their third cohort), it’s hoped they can extend the service to other CEGEPs and universities. “It helps us, it helps them and that’s how we are both able to meet our missions,” she said.

L’Annexe is a diverse, LGBTQ-affirming Jewish social service and community space open to everyone aged 16 to 35.

For more information: L’Annexe’s Instagram page @lannexemtl or its Facebook page.