A fund from the Boland Foundation is helping more students with disabilities attain their personal goals

By Sarah Janes, October 2, 2017

“As a student, the team of people at Student Accessibility Services, and specifically Tim Nolan’s mentoring, were all a large part of why I was able to successfully get through university.”

Cavan Boland, Bachelor of Commerce ‘14 and Board Member of the Boland Foundation, was enrolled with McMaster’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and Library Services for Students with Disabilities after losing much of his vision going into his second year.

SAS provides academic accommodation assistance and related supports to undergraduate, graduate, students with disabilities at McMaster.

Boland never forgot what SAS did for him as a student. Now, in his role with the Boland Foundation, the organization has established a fund to support the department.

“I couldn’t have asked for better support and I wanted to help in any small way I could to make sure others continue to have the same experience I did,” said Boland on behalf of the organization.  

“McMaster as an institution gives students with disabilities the opportunity to attain their personal goals which puts them in a better position for lifelong learning,” said Tim Nolan, SAS Director, Disability Services and University Advisor on Disability Issues.

The funds are being used to have the greatest impact for those who require the services provided by SAS. To date, the donation has been used to fund a student work position making ongoing updates to the SAS website in order to maximize outreach to campus audiences.

Nolan said, “It’s important that the university is, and continues to be, an accessible place for all students.”

During the 2016/2017 academic school term, SAS accommodated 1,884 students with disabilities, a 14% increase from the previous year.

“My hope for this gift on behalf of the Boland Foundation is to help make a difference in any one or many students get through what can be a challenging time when dealing with a disability,” said Boland. “As Tim always says, it’s about evening the playing field for everyone.”