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Diana Burchell

Episode #18: Sharing Experiences

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Diana Burchell, MA, OCT, joins us to discuss her transition from a teaching career to a doctoral research program, her personal experiences with disability and accessibility services, her involvement in starting a virtual peer support community amidst COVID-19, and so much more!


Diana is the project coordinator for the International Bilingual Education project at the University of Toronto, which is developing new interventions and assessments in four different languages. Her current research focuses on assessing at-risk and multilingual learners in French as a Second Language programs using dynamic assessment methods. Diana is a certified teacher in French (Immersion, Extended and Core), English and Special Education. She also has experience working with the exceptionality community. Diana is highly passionate about the intersection of French as a Second Language, Exceptionalities and Mental Health as a marginalized population. She previously obtained her International Bachelor of Arts in French Studies and English Studies at Glendon College (York University) as well as her teaching degree in French.



  • Diana’s research on learning and multilingualism

  • Transitioning from teaching to research

  • Diana’s experience of navigating graduate school with a disability

  • Taking time off from graduate school: balancing short-term and long-term gratification

  • Stigma around disability and mental health

  • The assumptions around graduate student functioning and resulting lack of support/ accommodations

  • Graduate student support group to talk about accessibility

  • Becoming a positive agent for change

  • Facts and myths about accessibility services

  • Diana’s involvement in the ‘caremongering’ initiative

  • The value in getting a diversity of experiences



Full episode transcript coming soon.