Choosing a path

Students in the Accessible Media Production graduate certificate program have the option of entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship routes

Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship skills have been built into Mohawk’s graduate certificate program in Accessible Media Production (AMP) from day one.

“Accessibility is largely an intrapreneurship endeavour,” says Jennifer Jahnke, program coordinator and co-instructor of a course called Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship and Accessibility.

“Many students come to our program with the support of their employers and they are looking to develop the skills they can use to make changes within their existing organizations.”

Students in the course are required to pitch a project and they are exposed to industry guest speakers from around the world each week.

Adam Spencer, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of document remediation firm AbleDocs, teaches the entrepreneurship side of the AMP course.

AbleDocs, founded in 2019, is now in nine countries, has 170 staff and offers 27 products and services.

As the population ages and the push for accessibility grows, demand is climbing for people with specialist skills, says Spencer. Whether students choose to be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur will depend on their risk tolerance, he says.

“There are challenges with each route but there are amazing career paths in whatever you do in accessibility.”

Lisa Syms found the program after losing her job of 15 years. “It intrigued me because I had been looking for an upgrade in my technical skills. I liked that I could choose a path to work independently or within an organization.”

She considered starting her own business but then applied to a job as an accessibility consultant at CIBC.

“The program gave me the base knowledge and the passion about accessibility. I have to be the person in the room who knows the most about accessibility and I love to be that. This is worthwhile work. What I do helps someone read their bank statement and be independent.”