The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Niagara College’s Centre for Students with Disabilities ensures all students with disabilities have access to the services, opportunity and information they need. With about 1,000 students utilizing the disabilities services, they also have access to counsellors to assist them with specific needs.
Jay Burdon, 38, is a counsellor at Niagara College, in SE102, in the Centre for Students with Disabilities.
Burdon says he completed his studies at the University of Windsor and then continued his education at the University of Calgary.
"I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Windsor and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree. I then completed my graduate studies at the University of Calgary in 2008 with a Master’s of Education degree."
After Burdon graduated from the University of Windsor, he says his first career job was as a kinesiologist.
"I started in kinesiology then slowly got into vocational rehabilitation, which paved the path to get into my current job, but I thought getting my master’s would help," says Burdon.
As Burdon was working as a vocational rehabilitation consultant, he says he then began his job at Niagara College.
"I started doing this job at the college on a part-time basis and just went to full-time this year."
One of the most rewarding things for many counsellors is the self-satisfaction of helping students be successful.
"The best part of my job is helping students realize their goals and pursue their dreams," says Burdon.
Burdon says there aren’t many unpleasant moments on the job site.
"I actually love my job and love coming to work every day. Every day there’s going to be different challenges.
"I never know who’s walking through the door next and what problems or issues they might have."
Burdon says this keeps his job exciting yet challenging as he tries help students solve those problems or issues.
Burdon says accommodations for students with disabilities are tailored to the student’s individual needs.
"For example, students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) may get distracted writing a test in a classroom full of people, so, instead, we give them a quiet place to write their test."
Burdon says his objective as a counsellor is to assist students with success and to help students realize their goals.