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Award puts focus on students with disabilities

The award is named after Paralympian Rick Hansen, who advocated for persons with disabilities.
Angela Regush with her recognition as a Difference Maker of Year from the Rick Hansen Foundation.

SASKATOON — Angela Regush is committed to continuing to provide the help her students need to succeed in their studies and life goals, and won’t let the pressure of winning a national award get in her way.

Regush is an educator at the Constable Robin Cameron Education Complex in Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation. Her dedication to creating an inclusive educational environment earned her the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Difference Maker of the Year Award.

The award is given to students, educators and other community leaders who have made a positive impact on accessibility and inclusion while working for people with physical abilities either in a school or in their communities.

She said that the award is significant for her since a lot of things happen behind the scenes whenever they work with students with disabilities, adding that most of the time resources for them are lacking.

“Often there are not enough services for those students that need help. One of the reasons I was nominated was because of the after-hours work I do with the students that do not get enough funding to meet their needs during the school day,” Regush told SASKTODAY.

“I can help those students with moderate to severe needs during the day, but those with learning disabilities continue to struggle. These students come to me and ask for assistance to catch up on missed work or when they do not understand.”

Regush helps students with scribing, reading, understanding concepts and using technology to assist them during the day. She said being one of the Difference Maker of the Year Award recipients focus was given to her students.

“Through this award, attention has been brought to those students that have invisible disabilities such as mental health concerns or learning disabilities. I am glad these students and their hard work are also getting recognition,” she said.

Regush said she has no idea that her name was submitted as a nominee for the prestigious award, named after Canadian Paralympian Rick Hansen, but everyone — her colleagues and students — was excited.

“I was shocked that I had won the award. Some so many deserving people work hard for those that have additional needs. I received an email that said I was a recipient. Then I got a text from the person who nominated me congratulating me, and I was very surprised,” added Regush.

“They were glad I got recognition for my work at Constable Robin Cameron Education Complex, and I was grateful that it brought attention to the students and their hard work. Our students are very motivated and take advantage of programs that will help them academically.”