The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Aboriginal engagement is a strategic priority.

Notetaking Program Coordinator

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Department:  Disability Services for Students

FTE: 1.0

Status:  Term, maternity leave, up to 14 months.  Start date of June 5, 2017.

Competition No.:  17205-M

Salary Information: The salary range is $60,410 to $94,391 (Specialist Professional, Phase 2) per annum.  The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Primary Purpose: To direct and advance innovative, effective and coordinated notetaking provision services that ensure the vision and the goals of the Notetaking Program within Disability Services for Students are determined and supported according to the Saskatchewan Human Rights definition of the Duty to Accommodate. The coordinator must administer the program in such a way that students receive equal opportunities for academic success and personal development at the University of Saskatchewan. This position ensures appropriate academic accommodations for each individual student registered with DSS to receive notetaking services, taking into consideration the accommodations specified by the student’s documentation, available resources, and academic integrity.  In some circumstances, the nature of the disability means that having a volunteer classmate sharing a copy of their notes is paramount to a student’s academic success and without the provision of this service; the student’s right to equal academic access is impeded.

This position is responsible for the development, advancement and administration of the Notetaking program to ensure that student needs and accommodations are met to enable an equal opportunity. This is facilitated through the operation of a student volunteer program and involves the recruitment, screening, selection, orientation supervision of approximately 600 volunteers a year. Risk management areas must be identified and procedures created and maintained within the program to prevent harm and minimize risk to both students and volunteers.

In addition to meeting the needs of students registered with DSS, the needs of volunteers must be met through the delivery of appropriate and effective volunteer supervision. This involves the development and maintenance of recruitment, engagement and recognition strategies that ensure the effective mobilization of volunteers in an increasingly demanding role due to time requirements, complexity of notes and a shift in classroom teaching techniques. Evaluation of program policy and procedure is required to ensure that volunteers are appropriately, safely, and productively engaged in the program. Due to the confidential nature of the program, the provision of services between users and providers is channeled through the program coordinator, requiring experience with volunteer management, especially in atypical volunteer situations such as online and independent volunteer, which can lead to reduced motivations on the part of the volunteer, as there are no easily identifiable outcomes of their work. The development and evaluation of recognition strategies is fundamental in maintaining a pool of recurring volunteers while attracting new participants to the program.

This position is responsible for the development of new projects and initiatives to further the strategic goals of the program and new technologies.

Nature of Work: This position reports to the manager of Disability Services for Students. The incumbent works independently to identify and facilitate the goals and direction of the Notetaking Program.  This is a high volume position in a fast-paced environment with high traffic and frequent interruptions. Unexpected situations and problems occur frequently and must be resolved on the spot using specialized knowledge of disability issues, U of S Policies and Procedures and Human Rights Legislation.

There is frequent interaction with students who have complex physical, psychological, permanent and temporary disabilities. Considerable discretion is required as the position works with highly confidential medical information and all situations must be handled in accordance to the Health Information Privacy Act.

Due to the confidential nature of the Notetaking Program, mediation and conflict resolution between note users and volunteers is an essential part of the position.  The incumbent must act as a liaison between parties and independent discretionary decision-making is required to create, adapt or suspend program policy and procedures. The coordinator must continually be aware of and balance the needs and expectations of the students with the abilities of the volunteer population, demonstrating sound and consistent judgement.

The incumbent requires expertise with various applications including Blackboard Learn 9 and requires basic troubleshooting skills within PAWS, the Disability Services for Students database and knowledge on current and upcoming technology such as the Smart Pen and various notetaking applications. This position works collaboratively with ICT and the PAWS Announcement team to carry out daily tasks.

Accountabilities:

  • Ensuring the needs of students registered with DSS are met through the administration of the Notetaking Program. This involves a knowledge of disabilities including types, symptoms, impact and role of accommodations necessary to assist students in accessing the program and to advise note takers and faculty who require more information.
  • On-going recruitment, screening, hiring, training, supervision/coaching and possible termination of volunteer program personnel.
  • Conducting on-going development and evaluation of an effective notetaking program, which includes but is not limited to the recruitment, training, and supervision and coaching of a large body of student volunteers. 
  • Create a climate in the program that welcomes the input of volunteers and students, implements their suggestions when appropriate and makes the note takers feel as though they are a part of the team.
  • Develop and maintain productive and problem- solving relationships with student volunteers to encourage returnee participants to the program.
  • Appropriately, communication with student volunteers to ensure understanding of the programs expectations and their role in meeting the Duty to Accommodate.
  • -Evaluation of current program practices in relation to changing technologies, classroom practices and online confidentiality. This requires staying up to date with evolving technological trends and their impact on the policies and procedures of the notetaking program’s adherence to the Health Information Privacy Act.
  • Developing and maintenance of a working partnership with other University departments and units about the implementation and certain aspects of the program.
  • This position requires a strong working and specialized knowledge regarding best practices at post-secondary disability services offices and of Human Rights legislation across Canada to ensure that appropriate advice and information is given to stakeholders regarding the Saskatchewan Human Right’s definition of the Duty to Accommodate.
  • Cultivation of professional relationships in order to develop notetaking opportunities on satellite campuses that maintain a cohesive standard of program delivery across locations.
  • Advise current and potential students, U of S staff and faculty, and outside organizations with regard to U of S and DSS policies and procedures.

Qualifications
Education: Undergraduate and/or graduate degree in Social Sciences, Education, the Humanities or Social Work. Coursework in Volunteer Management would be preferred. On-going professional development is required.  An equivalent combination of education and directly related experience may be considered. Certification in VTRA Level 1 and Mental Health First Aid for Adults who interact with Youth would be considered an asset

Experience: Five to ten years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities with a preference to those with working experience in a disability setting in a post-secondary institution. A strong understanding of human rights legislation and policy around the accommodation of Individuals with disabilities. Experience with large group volunteer management. An excellent working knowledge in a wide variety of adult disability related issues (including academic issues) and a sound working knowledge of the University of Saskatchewan; Experience working in settings that may require dealing with upset and agitated individuals and individuals with communication difficulties is required. 

Skills:

  • Highly effective interpersonal skills and well- demonstrated problem solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Must possess an understanding of and sensitivity to the needs of students with disabilities
  • Efficient, productive and innovative work in a dynamic and fast passed working environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse group of individuals while demonstrating tact, diplomacy and professionalism
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and nurture relationships with student volunteers; creative thinking skills
  • Demonstrated expertise in student management
  • Demonstrated responsiveness and innovation in addressing program user and provider needs in a timely manner
  • Highly effective computer skills
  • High level of proficiency with computers and software applications including Blackboard Learn 9, PAWS, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office Applications (Word, Excel)  and an openness to training on new systems.
  • The incumbent must possess a strong working knowledge of the following:
    • Human Rights Legislation
    • The Health Information Protection Act
    • University’s policy respecting the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
    • The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

This position is in scope of the Administrative and Supervisory Personnel Association.

Please apply no later than Tuesday May 2, 2017 at 4:30pm.

Inquiries regarding this position can be directed to Maxine Kinakin at 306.966.5673.  

Be sure to apply online as emailed applications will not be accepted.

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The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

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