Students with a Disability
Students with a disability who need assistance are encouraged to contact the Equity of Access Office upon admission to TWU to discuss their specific needs. All disabilities must be recently documented by an appropriately-certified professional and include the educational impact of the disability along with recommended accommodations.
The Equity of Access Office can also assist Canadian students with a disability to explore access to the Canada Study Grant program.
Equitable Access Policy for Students with Disabilities
Trinity Western University is committed to providing barrier-free education to students with disabilities. Given the dynamic academic and cultural environment we live in, good communication between parties must be a central part of the process. Our goal is barrier-free education. The process by which we achieve barrier-free education is through ongoing dialogue. The purpose of this policy is to outline procedures that allow for this dialogue and suggest solutions to access and/or accommodation issues, related to academically qualified students with appropriately documented disabilities.
The TWU Equity of Access Office, along with the various academic support and service departments on campus, endeavor to eliminate systemic, structural, and attitudinal barriers towards disabilities, and to promote services for students with identified disabilities. Students with disabilities, instructors, and departments need to be able to identify accommodations that assist students in accessing the campus living-learning environment.
At Trinity Western University, the responsibility to provide appropriate accommodations is decentralized. The Equity of Access Office acts as the central contact point for any student with a disability but the provision of accommodations is decentralized to the department or division that normally serves students in that capacity. For example, if the accommodation that is needed is related to class work, the responsibility for the accommodation falls to academic support personnel. If the accommodation requires an alteration to a facility, the Facilities Department provides the accommodation.
The Equity of Access Office also functions as the central contact point to document disabilities for students from schools directly affiliated with TWU. Provision of accommodations for these students is provided by each affiliate.
Academic assistance for students with a documented disability focuses on supporting them in ways that give them a level playing field. Such assistance may include note-taking, accommodated examinations, and provision of materials in alternate formats. Note: The academic standards of the University shall not be compromised by the academic accommodations provided. Students with a disability are responsible to show that they have mastered the key elements required to pass each class. What may differ is the way in which a person shows mastery of the class materials and learning outcomes.
3.1 Person with Disability:
Persons with disabilities are persons who:
- have a significant and persistent mobility, sensory, learning, or other physical or mental health impairment which may be permanent or temporary; and
- experience functional restrictions or limitations of their ability to perform the range of life’s activities; and
- may experience attitudinal and/or environmental barriers which hamper their full and self-directed participation in life.
3.2 Accommodation/Academic Accommodation:
Accommodations are alterations to existing procedures, resources, or facilities in order to provide an equitable educational experience for students with disabilities.
An academic accommodation is a specific, recommended provision designed to help students successfully reach the academic requirements of their course work.
3.3 Appropriate Documentation:
Diagnosis of a disability must be made by a professional qualified to make the diagnosis. All documentation must be current, complete, signed by an appropriately certified professional, and include the educational impact of the disability along with recommended accommodations. For more information about requirements of documentation, contact the Director of Equity of Access and Learning Resources.
Student disability documents are confidential and information related to disabilities is housed in the Equity of Access Office and the Academic Disabilities Liaison Office. Information regarding a student’s disability is only provided to other TWU professional employees on a need-to-know basis. Any person with a need to know is responsible to protect the confidentiality of the information they receive.
The University gathers and maintains information used for the purposes of registration, student assessment, grade records, and other activities related to being a member of the Trinity Western community. The information provided by applicants and students is used in compliance with the British Columbia Privacy Act. The Office of the Registrar serves as the privacy officer for student-related matters.
4.1 Equity of Access Office:
The Director of Equity of Access and Learning Resources is the central contact person for students with disabilities. The Equity of Access Office collects and processes student documentation. Once a disability is documented and appropriate accommodations are identified and agreed upon, the Equity of Access Office refers the accommodation recommendations to the appropriate parties for implementation.
4.2 Academic Support:
The Academic Disabilities Liaison (ADL) liaises with students, faculty, and other personnel/sources to provide the academic accommodations identified by the Equity of Access Office. He or she is a resource on disability issues for faculty and, when necessary, helps to facilitate the resolution of student issues or concerns pertaining to academic accommodation.
4.3 Administration and Policy:
The Vice Provost or Designate is responsible to give oversight to university governing agencies regarding broad academic policy issues directly related to issues affecting students with disabilities.
4.4 Other personnel:
When an accommodation is needed that is not of an academic nature, the request is directed to the appropriate divisional or department head by the Equity of Access Office.
Equitable Access Procedure
There is no requirement that students identify their disability to anyone; however, to access accommodations, appropriate documentation is required and the following procedure must be followed. In order to respect the right of each student to self-identify and to have an active part in determining which accommodations best circumvent or perhaps address the limitations imposed by his or her disability/disabilities, the University policy requires the student to take initial responsibility for requesting accommodations and document the same with due professional diagnostic evidence. In keeping with the desire to respect the student’s choices, the academic division shall assume that if a student does not self-identify to the Equity of Access Office, then that student does not believe that accommodations are necessary. For clarity, the steps of the equitable access procedure have been described and are as follows:
Step 1 — Submit Documentation
Students with a disability should contact the Equity of Access Office as early as possible to ensure reasonable time to process the file. The Director of Equity of Access and Learning Resources reviews documentation, verifies disabilities, and consults with the students regarding accommodations. All documentation must be current, complete, signed by an appropriately certified professional, and include the educational impact of the disability along with recommended accommodations.
Step 2 — Request Accommodations
Once a disability is verified, students request accommodations that allow for equitable access to the living-learning environment and which are in keeping with the limitations of the disability. After consulting with each student, the Director of Equity of Access and Learning Resources will provide letters of documentation to the students and, at the beginning of each semester, will send an email copy to the students’ professors verifying the documented disability and identifying accommodations that provide equitable access to the campus living-learning environment. If students add or drop classes, they must show professors the letter of documentation or request that the Equity of Access Office email a copy to the professor.
Step 3 — Provision of Accommodations
Within the first two weeks of the semester, students who wish to arrange accommodations must meet with their professors to agree on accommodations appropriate to each class. This agreement should be done in writing and professors should send a copy of the contract back to the Equity of Access Office and the Academic Disabilities Liaison (ADL) for documentation purposes. The student must contact the Academic Disabilities Liaison promptly upon receiving the instructor’s written summary of the accommodations to discuss any practical arrangements necessary. Course syllabi for each course are to be given to the ADL by the student at that time to facilitate accommodations in a timely way.
Note: Accommodations that are not academic in nature are addressed on a case-by-case basis.
6.1 Concerns with Recommendations and/or Accommodations
If a student is not satisfied with the response of the University, the Director of Equity of Access and Learning Resources may refer the matter to the Committee to Accommodate Equity of Access. This committee reviews relevant information and recommends appropriate action. If a resolution cannot be achieved, a formal, written appeal may be made to the Vice Provost or the department chair to which the request has been made.
6.2 Concerns with Provision of Academic Accommodations
Once accommodations have been agreed upon, if a student becomes dissatisfied with the provision of an accommodation, they may address their concerns through the following process:
- A student must first communicate their concern to the professor(s) involved and try to find an equitable solution;
- Should there be an ongoing concern, students should contact the department chair/division dean or an academic advisor with whom the student has developed a trust relationship. When necessary, students may contact the ADL for help or advice regarding their concerns;
- If there is still no resolution, a written appeal may be submitted to the Vice Provost or his/her equivalent at affiliated schools.
Contact the Equity of Access and Learning Resource Centre at:
This page contains official TWU academic program information.