Academic accommodations are not merely a courtesy - they are required by law.

You have a Right to Accommodations for your Learning Disability
As a student with learning disabilities, you have a right to a post-secondary education in an accessible environment. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Acts of each province and territory prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability, including learning disabilities. All colleges and universities across the country also have policies in place to ensure that discrimination does not occur. Educational institutions (including schools, colleges and universities) have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations that promote equity for people who have learning disabilities.

How Colleges and Universities Accommodate Students with Learning Disabilities
To adhere to their legal obligation, provincial/territorial governments provide publicly funded colleges with operating funds to set up special services for students with disabilities. However, there is no standard for disability services offices in Canada. Some colleges and universities have a special services department to assist students with disabilities. Others have a more comprehensive service for students with learning disabilities, in which there is designated staff person trained and experienced in LD.

Student Responsibilities
Student responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
  • To accept responsibility for your education, including maintaining academic levels, attending classes, maintaining appropriate behaviour and timely notification of any special needs.
  • To self-identify as a person with a disability or disabilities to the disability service office.
  • To provide up-to-date documentation of the disability or disabilities to the disability service office.
  • To request academic accommodations that will enable you to compete more fairly with your non-disabled peers.
  • To self-identify to faculty as a student with a disability or disabilities and provide them with a copy of the Individual Student Profile developed in conjunction with disability services office.
  • To remind the instructors in a timely manner of academic accommodations required for tests and assignments.
  • To contact the disability service office with ample lead time to request academic accommodations for tests and exams.
Disability Services Office Responsibilities
  • The college or university disability services office will assess the request for accommodations, using the appropriate documentation about the person’s disability based on the definition of disability as defined by the Human Rights Code.
  • Provide information regarding policies, procedures, rights and responsibilities to students with disabilities in accessible formats upon request.
  • The disability service counsellor will recommend the appropriate accommodations.
  • Provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids for students with disabilities who meet the college’s criteria for eligibility.
  • Assure confidentiality of all information pertaining to a student’s disability.
  • In appropriate circumstances, the disability service counsellor may assist students in communicating with faculty about their disability and required accommodations.
Faculty Responsibilities
Faculty is not automatically informed about services and accommodations for each of their students. However, they are required:
  • To encourage students to self-disclose their disability or disabilities in an appropriate and confidential time and place.
  • To acknowledge the rights of the student with dignity and respect.
  • To maintain the integrity of academic standards.
  • To maintain student confidentiality at all times.
  • To provide accommodations or make reasonable alternate suggestions.
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