In just its third year, the Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) scholarship has drawn considerable interest from students across Canada.
There were over 1,600 applicants this year – an increase of 30 per cent from 2013 – for the two awards offered annually to students planning to enroll or are already in a diploma or degree program at a post-secondary institution.
To be considered for the scholarship, one of which is reserved for a student with a permanent disability, candidates are required to submit a 500-word essay on a topic related to accessibility. This year’s topic focused on the importance of making television more accessible and enjoyable for the blind and partially sighted community.
Judith Oluwatosin Jubril, who is enrolled in York University’s Disaster & Emergency Management Master’s program, is one of the recipients of the $5,000 award.
“When you look at the large number of applicants for this award, it’s quite an honour to be selected,” said Jubril, who was awarded a Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (DRIE) scholarship this year. “This means a lot.”
AMI is a non-profit multi-media organization operating two broadcast services for Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing and mobility or print restricted.
“We launched the scholarship program to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Canadians who experience issues accessing media on a daily basis,” said Peter Burke, the organization’s vice-president of marketing and communications. “Our winners truly took the time to consider the issues at hand and produced thought-provoking and intelligent essays. Some of the ideas they put forth could easily be implemented and have a very positive impact on the industry. Both recipients are highly deserving of this award and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
A recipient of several community scholarships, including the United Achievers Club of Brampton, the Kingdom Covenant Centre and the Canadian Congress of Black Women awards, Jubril graduated with an undergraduate degree in public administration and an emergency management certificate from York University last year.
She also completed emergency services independent course work at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and was an intern with the City of Brampton emergency management department.
With an increase in man-made and natural disasters, Jubril said emergency management planning to ensure an adequate response is vital.
“While it’s important to make plans and preparations, making emergency management material accessible is important,” she said. “We can make all the plans and preparations we want, but it’s useless if people are not able to access critical information.”
The other winner was legally blind five-time Paralympian, Courtney Knight, who is pursuing a therapeutic recreation degree at Douglas University in British Columbia.
By Ron Fanfair