Scotiabank donates $500,000 to assist students with disabilities and enhance diversity at Wilfrid Laurier University

    WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Scotiabank's donation of $500,000 to Wilfrid
Laurier University is helping to improve campus diversity by enhancing
services for students with disabilities and increasing support for
international students and those students participating in international
    "Scotiabank believes in creating opportunities that will help students
achieve their full potential," said Pat Krajewski, Scotiabank Senior
Vice-President of Human Resources International Banking, and a Laurier alumna.
"By supporting a diverse range of educational programs, and assisting with
educational accessibility, Scotiabank hopes to help give students the skills,
tools and experiences to develop their potential, ultimately enriching
themselves and the broader community around them."
    Thanks to Scotiabank's generosity, Laurier is now better able to
accommodate the academic needs of its students with disabilities through the
creation of both the Scotiabank Assistive Technology Lab and the Scotiabank
Exam Lab within Laurier's Accessible Learning Centre, which assists students
with disabilities in reaching their full academic potential.
    Supported through a portion of the $500,000 donation, the two labs will
provide Laurier students with the proper atmosphere and resources to learn,
study and write exams. New resources available to students include computers
loaded with accessible software, a lending library of assistive technology
resources, accessible workstations and an environment that limits
distractions. Additionally, Laurier has been able to enhance the available
equipment, including hearing impairment devices and a Braille Lite.
    Janelle Gordon is one of the Laurier students who will benefit from the
Scotiabank donation. Before a portion of the donation helped create a new
learning lab for students with disabilities, Gordon could spend up to two
hours to read through half a chapter in one of her textbooks. Thanks to the
equipment funded by Scotiabank, Gordon can now read the same chapter in its
entirety in just half an hour.
    "It means a lot to me that Scotiabank has ensured that I have these
resources available. Now I'm not faced with as much of a hindrance," Gordon
said, explaining that she has a central auditory processing disorder. "I have
used a number of the different technologies available and they're very
helpful. I am able to read faster and process information easier. It has
helped to cut down on the time I need to spend reading and studying, and has
really helped me to understand what I'm learning."
    International students are being helped through the creation of the
Scotiabank International Entrance Scholarship. One of only a few scholarship
opportunities available to international students at Laurier, the scholarship
has already had a significant impact by funding Laurier students from
international destinations.
    Finally, Scotiabank's pledge was also used to establish the Scotiabank
International Student Exchange Award Endowment, which is to be used to help
fund international exchanges for Laurier students interested in furthering
their education abroad.
    "As a longstanding supporter of Laurier, Scotiabank has proven itself to
be a true champion of higher education," said David McMurray, dean of students
at Laurier. "This generous gift has gone a long way toward helping to increase
diversity at Laurier, in turn making the university experience richer for

For further information:

For further information: Kevin Crowley, Associate Director, News &
Editorial Services, (519) 884-0710 ext. 3070; Livy Feldgajer, Public Affairs,
Scotiabank, (416) 866-6203

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