Pathways16 Online: Strengthening the Future for Staff and Students
Held: 29th Nov to 1st December 2023, 12 - 5 pm AEDT
Dear Esteemed Colleagues,
We extend a warm welcome to the Pathways16 Hybrid Online Conference, where we will delve into the pivotal theme of "Strengthening the Future for Staff and Students with Disabilities: The Conversation Conference on Disability in Tertiary Education." Unlike our previous online conference, this edition introduces an exciting twist by incorporating regional Hubs into the mix.
The lingering effects of the global pandemic, COVID-19, continue to influence our landscape. As a result, not all state networks have managed to return to their pre-COVID levels of engagement. This circumstance necessitates the inclusion of hubs in our approach. If I continue as President, this is an aspect I'm committed to addressing in 2024 by venturing to the states to rebuild our teams. It is fitting that our conference addresses the needs of both staff and students, considering the challenges they face.
ATEND is a voluntary organization, and the Pathways Conference has been a monumental voluntary effort this year, with little to no assistance from our trusted colleagues in the NDCO and ADCET networks. We understand that they have faced their own challenges. It is indeed disheartening to witness the conclusion of the NDCO network, and we are actively advocating to ensure that the ADCET network not only endures but also receives more appropriate funding.
I encourage you to seize the opportunity to engage with your colleagues, gain fresh insights, and revisit your knowledge of the subjects you are already familiar with. Our workloads have grown, and each of you is making remarkable contributions to your respective institutions. Therefore, take a moment to connect with your colleagues, whether online or in person, and reflect on your achievements, reinvigorate, and share in this experience together.
We are immensely fortunate and deeply appreciative of the invaluable support provided by our exclusive sponsors for this conference. Auslan Services, in their provision of Auslan Interpreting, and Ai Media, through their Closed Captioning services, have made this event accessible to all. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their unwavering commitment.
Additionally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to our Platinum sponsor, TextHelp. Working with them has been an absolute delight, and their exceptional team has been instrumental in making this event possible. We are also pleased to have Simplicity as a sponsor, and we encourage you to visit their stalls if you are attending a hub and engage with them to learn more about the valuable services they offer. Our sponsors have played a vital role in making this conference a reality, and we are immensely grateful for their support and partnership.
2023 is the year of the Accord, and we anticipate greater challenges in the coming year. This is all the more reason for us to unite, collaborate, and hopefully witness substantial improvements for both staff and students. We hope you will derive new perspectives and ideas from the wealth of knowledge Pathways 16 has to offer and celebrate all that has been accomplished in the past three years. (Please note that the conference date was rescheduled due to conflicts in conference schedules resulting from the impacts of COVID-19.)
President of ATEND