For Faculty and Staff

How to accommodate students

UBCO is committed to providing access for students with disabilities while maintaining academic standards. Because the provision of academic accommodations can be complex – given the range of possible instructional and exam formats – this goal is best accomplished through collaborations between you, the student, and the DRC Coordinator. 

Each partner in this collaboration brings an important perspective: the student has a unique, personal knowledge of their disability, the instructor has content knowledge and an understanding of the required learning outcomes, and the coordinator has a broad knowledge of disabilities and their impact on academic performance.

Your responsibilities

  • Ensure that your courses and programs are accessible to students with disabilities. For example: Read out overhead content for students who are blind or have visual impairments.

  • Discuss the range of recommended accommodations with the student within 10 days of notification. For example: Arrange a meeting with the student to discuss their accommodations.

  • For each course, students must communicate their requirements for alternate format materials to you in advance. It is important that you provide your student with a syllabus of the course reading timelines and ensure that the texts are available for purchase in advance of the outset of the term.

  • Implement reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. For example: Allow the recording of lectures for students requiring an audio record of the content.

  • Facilitate exam accommodations in accordance with the student's disability. For example: Give the student additional time for exams.

  • Inform yourself about the different types of disabilities.

  • Treat any disability-related information about a student as confidential according to BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (download below). Any discussion should be held in private to ensure that confidentiality is maintained.

Students' responsibilities

The student's responsibility is to provide you with a letter from the DRC that identifies the academic accommodations they are eligible for in an academic setting.

Students may choose to share information about their disability with you. However, students are not required to present documentation to you. They will provide the DRC with disability documentation. It is not appropriate for you to request disability documentation from students.

Receiving requests for academic accommodations

The student's Academic Accommodation Letter from the DRC recommends academic accommodations based on the student's documented requirements. 

When you are provided with an Academic Accommodation Letter, you should discuss the recommended accommodations with the student to determine which of them are appropriate for the course or program. In considering a request for an academic accommodation, please ask yourself the following:

  • Can the student meet all essential requirements, despite their disability, if given the recommended accommodation?

  • Would the provision of this accommodation allow the student to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in the subject without changing the outcome variable and the academic standard of the course?

Balancing academic accommodations with academic standards

You are not expected to alter the University's academic standards when providing accommodations. At the same time, you will need to undertake an evaluation to ensure that the standard is an essential one. The DRC Coordinator can assist you with the evaluation or you may contact the Disability Liaison for your faculty.

In any evaluation, requirements for a subsequent purpose, such as those of a licensing body or for the workplace, should not be considered. The focus must be on meeting the requirements of a specific class or University program.

Types of accommodations that may be requested

Assignment and classroom:

  • Audio record lectures
  • Preferred seating
  • In-class ASL interpreters 
  • Use of FM system for hard of hearing students
  • Assignment extension for medical reasons
  • Syllabus and/or reading materials available before beginning of term for alternate format production
    • Alternate format includes: audio, PDF, Braille, large font, e-text, etc
  • Large font for in-class handouts 
  • Use of scribe for assignments

Exam Accommodations:

  • Extended time
  • Quiet or private space
  • Use of a computer (with or without grammar and spell-check)
  • Use of a calculator 
  • Use of a scribe
  • Oral presentation of questions or audio recorded questions

    Last reviewed shim5/30/2012 11:52:27 AM