The "Access Us" Peer Mentorship Program provides academic and social support to students registered with Accessibility Services. By joining the program, whether as a mentor or a mentee, you can help create a safe and comfortable community where you and your peers can navigate disability-related barriers, get support and encouragement, and find various academic and social opportunities.

 

The Social Association for Students with Autism (SASA) brings students together and facilitates shared group activities and discussions.Similarities in terms of the nature and intensity of interests, as well as shared communication styles provide a foundation for social connection, and ultimately, friendship.

group of peer mentors with random guitar player taking a selfie together

Contents

Access Us Join "Access Us" to connect with students and navigate U of T!
Daily Drop-Ins with a Peer Mentor You don't have to be part of the program to access peer drop in hours!
Join Access US Students at any level of study registered with Accessibility Services are welcome to request a mentor
SASA Social Association for Students with Autism (SASA)
Contact us Questions? Contact Rouya Botlani, Coordinator of the Peer Mentorship Program

Access Us Program details

Join "Access Us" Peer Mentorship Program to become part of a supportive community that includes:

  • Being mentored by an upper-year student (3rd and 4th year or graduate)
  • Weekly Program Sessions (Tuesdays, 3-5 p.m., in the Baldwin Room)
  • Monthly social events (e.g. visiting the AGO, ROM, movie nights, game nights, etc.)
  • Academic workshops led by a Learning Strategist or other professionals (e.g. time management, exam preparation, effective note-taking, etc.)
  • Leadership, Professional & Career Development Opportunities

The group now meets weekly, on Tuesdays 3 - 5 p.m. in the Baldwin Room at CIE (MAP).

Our program will launch Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

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Access Us Drop-in hours

The Peer Mentors will be holding drop-in hours daily at Accessibility Services, for students to ask quick and brief questions regarding navigating the University!

Drop-in hours are open to all students. You can access drop-in hours even if you are not enrolled in the Access Us program.

You can meet with a mentor at Accessibility Services  daily, 1-3 .pm., Tuesdays Weekly Program Sessions, and Drop-ins run all year (Fall semester: September 19 – December 5, Winter semester: January 16 – April 3).

On Wednesdays, we host weekly programming 2-4 p.m. at the CIE Baldwin Room.

Daily Drop-Ins run January 16th-April 7th.

Join the Access US program

Students at any level who are registered with Accessibility Services, are able to be connected with a peer mentor!

Mentor Request Form: Access Us Peer Mentorship Program 2017-18 

Social Association for Students with Autism (SASA)

Challenges Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including high-functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, face a number of challenges related to their sensory experience, difficulty with pragmatic communication and a heightened need for routine.

Many individuals with ASD have few or no friends, and do not participate in social activities because of their highly specialized interests and difficulty interpreting conventional social cues. The ASD population at the University of Toronto is unique because making it this far reflects considerable intellectual abilities and advanced coping mechanisms. At the same time, the experience of students with ASD is often limited because of social challenges.

Why the Group Exists

The formation of the group is premised on the idea that individuals with ASD understand and relate to each other better than others understand them. The goal of the group is to bring students together and facilitate shared group activities and discussions. Similarities in terms of the nature and intensity of interests, as well as shared communication styles provide a foundation for social connection, and ultimately, friendship.

The group exists because students with ASD deserve to have friends and participate in enjoyable activities. The group is also useful because it is a forum for addressing academic and social challenges associated with being at university while providing opportunities for social interaction in a safe setting. It is particularly useful for new students since they can interact with others who understand and can help with the transition from high school to university.

Examples of Activities

  • Weekly Group Meetings
  • Visiting the Royal Ontario Museum
  • Visiting the Science Center
  • Visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Going bowling
  • Visiting High Park
  • Going to the Movies

For more information, please contact: Rouya Botlani at: rouya.botlani.esfahani@utoronto.ca

Contact

Rouya Botlani, Coordinator of the Peer Mentorship Program at 416-978-1497 or rouya.botlani.esfahani@utoronto.ca.