Making York University more disability friendly

Universities have made progress in becoming accessible to students with a variety of disabilities, but there’s still a lot to be done. Marc Wilchesky is helping to make change happen. He’s executive director of counselling and disability services at York University. Tomorrow, he’s being honoured for his efforts, reported CBC News online, with a Local Hero award. Read full story.

Two big wins for writers with Saskatchewan links
And on Tuesday, Ross King – raised in North Portal – received the Governor general’s literary award for nonfiction for Leonardo and the Last Supper. King’s book covers very different non-fiction terrain. He tells the story of artistic late bloomer Leonardo da Vinci and The Last Supper, arguably the most famous painting in history. Done on the wall of a mausoleum in Milan, it won over observers with what King calls its “translucence” and remarkable detail, and slowly led to research into da Vinci’s engineering and artistic work. No painting, no research – and da Vinci would be unknown today. The judges called King’s book, “a combination of brilliant storytelling and superlative writing” that portrays “the towering genius of Leonardo in a way that will engage experts and delight a general audience. Impeccable research delivered with a novelist’s panache.”Pretty good for a guy who – after doing his bachelor’s and master’s degree in English at the University of Regina, his doctorate at York University and post-doctoral work at the University of London – found himself in the early 1990s unemployed in Britain, where he and his then-wife lived, reported the Star Phoenix Nov. 14.  Read full story.

Self-regulation seen as key to early learning
Dr. Stuart Shanker, a distinguished research professor of philosophy and psychology at York University, discussed the nature of self-regulation, the experiences that promote the development of self-regulation, and the factors that can impede its development. Shanker said self-regulation is the ability to manage your own energy states, emotions, behaviours, and attention in ways that are socially-acceptable and help achieve positive goals, such as maintaining good relationships, learning, and maintaining well-being. “Self-regulation is not self-control. Self-regulation makes self-control possible,” he stressed, explaining self-regulation is being able to deal effectively and efficiently with stressors, such as noise, light, and movement, that can result in a chronic state of energy-depletion. Shanker added children need to master the ability to find the appropriate level of arousal for the situation they are experiencing, reported the Fort Frances Times Nov. 14. Read full story.