Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Member of the New Brunswick Union receives National Inclusive Education award

*From left : Mr. Wayne Milner, NBCC, Krista Carr, executive director of New Brunswick Association for Community Living, Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick

There are many unsung heroes in the history of Inclusive Education in New Brunswick. They are the people who have worked quietly yet diligently to foster relationships, with the goal of creating a level playing field for students with a disability. Wayne Milner, a counsellor at the New Brunswick Community College’s Moncton Campus, is one such person. Wayne Milner received an inclusive education award from the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL). The New Brunswick Union wishes to congratulate Mr. Milner on this award.

The certificate was presented at a ceremony organized by the New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL), at Government House in Fredericton. A focal point of NBACL’s celebrations marking National Inclusive Education Month in New Brunswick, the ceremony was hosted by the Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick and the association’s patron, who was joined the Honourable Marie-Claude Blais, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and Joy Bacon, president of NBACL, in making the presentations. A total of ten awards were given to individuals and groups for their efforts for inclusive education.

“This is a true testament of the impact Mr. Milner has had on the lives of many” said Susie Proulx-Daigle, New Brunswick Union President. “I’ve had the opportunity of working closely with Wayne as a member of the executive of the New Brunswick Union, and consider him to be a true activist and leader.”

“Known as a trail blazer, Wayne Milner has worked for almost a quarter century helping to ensure the inclusion of students with a disability who make their way through the Community College system,” Krista Carr, executive director of NBACL, said in her introduction of Mr. Milner for his award. “He was the first to work on individualized plans for students with a disability to ensure their success in their chosen field.”

Kim Schaschl, another counsellor at NBCC Moncton, has worked alongside Mr. Milner for more than 23 years. During this time, she has witnessed his passion, dedication and commitment to inspiring a culture of inclusion on campus.

“I can recall many times when he worked with staff to review program delivery and assessment methods in order to assist and accommodate students,” said Ms. Schaschl.

“This was at a time when such practices were not a common occurrence. Even though he was sometimes met with resistance, he was determined to pave the way and forge new ground upon which many of our inclusion practices and policies are built today. Leveraging his good name and using his charm, he advocated for inclusion with grace, treating all the players with dignity and kindness.”

Mr. Milner is known to many as a well-respected counsellor and a consummate professional who helped guide the college into practices that respected all students while maintaining the integrity of the programs. He inspired students to achieve great heights, even in the face of doubt. It was through his strengths-based approach that students were able to graduate, and to grow in so many other ways.

A testimony to the impact Wayne Milner has had on these students is the fact that many of them return to campus just to visit him to say “Hello,” and “Thank you.”

Founded in 1957 by parents whose children were not legally allowed an education in our public schools, NBACL has evolved over the past 57 years and now works on initiatives that touch almost every aspect of the lives of people who have an intellectual disability.