Sandra Latchford   2007 President's Medal Recipient

Associate Professor Sandra Latchford is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities and accessibility challenges.  Because sufficient funding to address needs is always a challenge, she has taken the initiative to seek funding for her student clients wherever she could find it.  Sandra’s writing ability, coupled with her innovative ideas has garnered program resources for UNB’s Centre for Students with Disabilities.  The HRSDC grant (see below) has given UNB the ability to assist students in their transition from post-secondary study to the working environment.  This transitional program would not have been possible without the innovation of Sandra and her ability to be forward-thinking in her approach to education and sustainable employment for students with disabilities.

Another innovation program, developed by Sandra and a Student Affairs and Services Colleague, was the NB Training and Employment Support Services (TESS) funding proposal entitled the “Centre for Excellence” (see below).  The vision of this Centre was to provide support for students with disabilities to ensure their successful progression through post-secondary studies.  TESS provided resources totaling $249,000.00 in 2002-2005 thereby offering UNB the ability to develop and hire the following positions: Technical Advisor; Exam Supervisors; Study Skills/Test Taking Skills/Proofreader/Tutors; Coaches/Mentors and; Psychomotrist.  Sandra also successfully spearheaded UNBF’s accessibility audit entitled “Looking to the Future” resulting in many positive recommendations for improvement in reference to staff/faculty/student accessibility.

2005-07   Partnered with the Easter Seals March of Dimes to develop the Successful Transition to Employment Program (STEP) for Persons with Disabilities which will provide UNBF with $390,000.00 in funding from HRSDC. Training materials that can be used by other post-secondary institutions will be developed for distribution.

2002-05   A three year grant from NB Training and Employment Support Services (TESS) for $249,000 to deliver specialized services to students with disabilities enrolled at UNBF.

Sandra’s career at UNB has spanned close to 21 years.  Originally hired as Coordinator of the UNB Learning Centre on July 1, 1984; transitioned to Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities in 1995 until her retirement in the summer of 2005.  It would be hard to quantify her lasting impact, as she has been significantly involved in students’ lives and in developing awareness in the field of disabilities.  She has worked just as tirelessly on behalf of faculty and staff with needs, raising awareness at every turn.

Sandra is the type of individual who works countless hours to ensure student success, from arranging accommodations in classes, to taking food to an ill student, to attending every graduation where her shouts can be heard the loudest as her students successfully graduate from UNB.  Sandra is a tour de force; she has been at the forefront of advocating for the support of students with disabilities in being able to successfully complete post-secondary education and find rewarding employment.

I give her my highest recommendation for this award.

Shelley Clayton

Director, Financial Aid
April 10, 2007