Page 1

What Art Students with Disabilities Think of Art Colleges in Canada A parent narrates the experiences of her child who has Cerebral Palsy with the different art colleges in Canada. A must read for students with disabilities.

Karen Kesteloot


A while back, PortPrep.com owner Karen Kesteloot exchanged e-mails with a parent of a child named Mark who has Cerebral Palsy and wishes to apply to an art program in college. Mark was treated with daily acupuncture and physical therapy, which helped stave off surgery until he reached 13 years old, whereas children with Cerebral Palsy without proper treatment and medication undergo surgery as early as 7-9 years of age. One of the main side effects of Cerebral Palsy is their inability to take control of their motor skills. As a result, Mark has shaky hands, which makes hand drawing tasks difficult for him compared to computer aided work. He also has an irreparable dent in his optical nerves. Karen provided helpful information that guided the parent through her child’s college admissions. You can view Karen’s advice that we’ve turned into blog posts by clicking on the links below. 

How to Select the Perfect College Art Program for Your Child

How Can Parents Help Their Teens Prepare for College in an Art or Design Program?


The parent took Karen’s advice of going around different campuses with great art programs and talk to the professors there to get a better idea on how each program approach their curriculum. By the end of their exchanges, the parent was kind enough to compile all her findings to the art schools she and her child visited to get more information. Below is a list of pros and cons from the top art schools in Canada – Conestoga College, Ryerson University, Sheridan College, Humber College, and Georgian College. NOTE: The opinions expressed below are from the parent and in no way reflect the beliefs of PortPrep.com and Karen Kesteloot. Also, what you will be reading below is an edited version of the e-mail for readability purposes.

Conestoga College Pros: We found the campus friendly, easy to get around and easy to get questions answered. The students taking the course seemed happy there. The building was bright and seemed like a well-organized place. Mark liked the way the


studio was set up for ease of working and storage (each student has their own locker at their station). The campus is small and he liked that, but easy to go somewhere for some fun – he felt safe to go off campus. He liked the gym and extracurricular sports offered. The program was more designed to his liking, in what they focused on and also with the electives seemed much more applied. He liked taking a course that was useful rather than filling a spot. It is close to home for Mark and that was a bonus for him. The rooms are big and has large desks, which are better for art students. All degree students automatically get into residency. You may not get you preferred style of room, but you do get in. Also, there are lots of housing for the future when you want to be out of residence. Con’s: No meal plan, not easy to get from studio to residence after hours, and not many rooms in residence. It’s also difficult to meet other people if you are not a resident during your first year.


Ryerson University Pros: We found the place very friendly (the most of all places) My daughter has applied there for her PhD, and she has been very impressed. Of all (eight) university’s it was the only one who held an open house for students applying ahead of admissions and have kept in touch mentioning jobs for her to apply to with hopes she will apply again next year (she was first on the professors list, but turned down by the committee because they decided on a student in a slightly different discipline). She has received many emails, Skype interactions, and phone calls from three of the professors throughout the process as well. Mark’s friend, who is in Photography, loves Ryerson. He loves the city life, the food, how friendly everyone is and the program. The resident Is great. He likes that there is a huge selection of stores, restaurants and pubs to choose from. He is a guy with a positive attitude about everything so that helps. However, Mark didn’t like the busy city life and the congestion downtown. Also with Ryerson, we liked that they had such a connection with the community for work experience and mentorship. Throughout the


programs, students have senior students as their mentors along with business opportunities in the community. Cons: In his friend’s mind, the only bad thing was the 2-hour drive home from the school. The greyhound bus is handy though unless you are lugging a lot of art supplies/laundry etc. Mark did not like that the electives were not applied and doesn’t see the point of some of those courses at this stage in his life. He is a practical sort. Click here for the complete article! Or visit http://bit.ly/16KNYMK

What Art Students with Disabilities Think of Art Colleges in Canada  

A parent narrates the experiences of her child who has Cerebral Palsy with the different art colleges in Canada. A must read for students wi...