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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Supported education

Increasing literacies through supported education and policies of inclusion

The objectives of this research project are to:

  • Explore the impact of supported education (SE) programs for persons living with mental illness in Canada in terms of social supports, labour market integration, and quality of life.
  • Better understand how the different structures of existing SE programs afford participants’ opportunities to develop their learning, meet their educational goals, and integrate into their communities.
  • Develop and mobilize a best practices model for Canadian SE programs in hospitals and in communities that will allow the creation of new learning spaces and innovative practice such as digital and non-traditional teaching and support techniques.
  • Develop policy recommendations that create relevant integrative social and economic supports for students living with mental illness.

Satisfying these objectives will help support the literacy and skills development of people with psychiatric disabilities, who are amongst the most vulnerable learners and members of our communities, to build and recover their social and human capital (McIntyre 2012; McCowan 2011; Taylor, Trumpower & Pavic 2012).

This project expands on previous research (funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant) done at an Ontario mental health hospital to include supported education programs run by hospitals in other parts of Canada.

Research team:

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

  • Shanti Fernando, PhD (Principal Investigator)
  • Alyson E. King, PhD
  • Tyler Frederick, PhD

Faculty of Education, UOIT

  • Allyson Eamer, PhD
  • Laura Pinto, PhD

This project is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant.

This study has been approved by the UOIT Research Ethics Board (REB Protocol# 15-126 on June 13, 2016).