Frequently Asked Questions

  • determine course content and methods of instruction
  • ensure that the academic integrity and standards of the course are not compromised
  • fail any student who has not passed or mastered course content
  • discuss any particular accommodations with SAS if you feel that the accommodations compromise the integrity of the course
  • determine the appropriate method of adapting your teaching style to meet accommodation requests
  • consult with SAS staff and other professionals, on or off campus, to determine how best to accommodate students with disabilities in your course
  • ensure that any audio-taping of lectures done by students is in accordance with policy
  • enlist the help of SAS to gain knowledge of specific disabilities and appropriate accommodations for the disability
  • ensure that the student's rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code are upheld
  • provide accommodations recommended by SAS without compromising the academic integrity of your course
  • grade the work of a student receiving accommodations fairly and accurately, neither too leniently nor too harshly
  • maintain the student's dignity and privacy in relation to the disability
  • announce in class your willingness to meet with students with disabilities
  • accept and acknowledge that accommodations are based on appropriate documentation from a certified and qualified professional, which the student has supplied to SDS
  • work with students and SAS to resolve disagreements regarding accommodations
  • encourage students to pursue their chosen field of study if they meet admission requirements, maintain the appropriate grades and are otherwise qualified

Student Accessibility Services cannot divulge specific information regarding a student's disability because of a human rights obligation to maintain confidentiality.

Students are not obligated to disclose specific information about their disability.

From our experience, we find that most students will freely disclose to their instructors; however, there are some who are uncomfortable doing so.

As an instructor, it is important that you be “in the loop” regarding the accommodations which are being provided to the student.

The student may require classroom accommodations which you are entitled to know about, or for which we may be requesting minimal assistance. If you have questions or concerns about specific accommodation recommendations, you are encouraged to contact the SAS Advisor indicated on the Letter of Accommodation.

The letter is simply for your information; however, you will be asked by the student to sign an acknowledgment that the letter was delivered to you.

The rationale for academic accommodation is based on the concept of "equity".

This means levelling the playing field so that students with disabilities can compete on an equal footing with their non-disabled peers. Therefore, equity necessitates differential treatment.

Sometimes, people confuse equity with "equality", which refers to non-discriminatory (hence similar) treatment on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, creed, religion, sex orientation or disability.

Academic accommodation is intended to allow students to compete equitably, without sacrificing essential course requirements.

If it is a request that you feel does not compromise the academic standards of your course and that you can easily accommodate, it is your right as an instructor to grant it.

Students with disabilities should receive at least the same teaching supports you would provide to any other students.

If however, support is being offered to a student based on your knowledge of a disability when it would not normally be provided to any student, it is recommended that you check with the SAS Advisor indicated on the Letter of Accommodation to verify that the student has appropriate documentation to support such a request.

No, however you may be asked to consider allowing students to provide evidence of what they have learned in different but equally challenging formats (i.e. oral, instead of in written form, or vice versa).

The opportunity to write tests and examinations outside of the regular format is a fairly typical accommodation granted to students with disabilities.

However, the completed work should be treated no differently from that of other students in your class, and the essential elements of the course should not be compromised.

To obtain a desk copy of Courseware for an interpreter, instructors are asked to contact Document Imaging and make the request as early in the term as possible so that interpreters can receive a copy in a timely manner. To obtain a desk copy of a textbook, instructors are required to contact the book publisher.