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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).