Although the responsibility to provide appropriate accommodations is decentralized, with accommodations being handled by various appropriate departments (i.e. Faculty, the Exam Centre), the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) acts as the central contact point for any TWU student with a disability. If you are a student applying to schools directly affiliated with TWU, you would also contact TWU’s Director of Accessible Learning to begin the process of attaining disability services.
If you are a student with a disability and would like to determine whether or not you are eligible to receive academic accommodations, please work through the following steps:
- In order to allow time for processing, as early as possible contact the Director of Accessible Learning to discuss your disability as it relates to academics and physical access.
- Clarify with the Centre for Accessible Learning the documentation requirements for your particular circumstances.
- Determine if financial assistance is available through the Canada Study Grant (Canadian students only) https://studentaidbc.ca/
- Complete the Disability Information Form
- Ensure necessary documentation is acquired and sent to the Centre for Accessible Learning for documentation review and verification of disability.
- The following professionals can diagnose and provide medical documentation as recognized by the Ministry of Advanced Education:
- Learning disability: a registered clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist.
- Physical or mobility: a physician.
- Visual impairment: an opthalmologist, optometrist or orthopist.
- Hard of hearing or Deaf: a certified audiologist.
- Neurological: a neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist or physician.
- Psychiatric/mental health condition: a clinical pyschologist, psychiatrist, or physician with an expertise in that area.
- Meet with Director of Accessible Learning to request accommodations that reduce barriers related to the disability.
- Work with Director of Accessible Learning to identify and agree upon appropriate accommodations that will allow for equitable access to the living-learning environment.
Once Class Begins
Though you have reached agreement with the CAL as to appropriate accommodations, there are still a few more steps you need to complete:
- The CAL will email a letter to your professors at the beginning of each semester, verifying the documented disability and identifying agreed upon accommodations.
- If you add a class after the semester begins, you must email the Centre for Accessible Learning and request that CAL e-mail a copy to the professor.
- Within the first two weeks of the semester, if you wish to use any of your accommodations in a particular course, you must meet with your professor to agree on accommodations appropriate to that specific class. A Course Accommodation Agreement should be completed in writing with your professor. The professor then sends a copy of the contract to the CAL and to the Accessibility Specialist for their files.
- After you receive a copy of your professor’s written summary of agreed upon accommodations, you must contact the Accessibility Specialist promptly to discuss any practical arrangements necessary (i.e. Class notes, alternate text forms, exams written in the Centre for Accessible Learning).
Throughout the Semester
University life is dynamic and exciting. It can also be fast-paced and challenging. In order to ensure your educational endeavours are as successful as possible, please be in communication with your professors and, as needed, the Centre of Accessible Learning. In particular:
- If one of your accommodations is to have texts in alternate form, please make note of the textbooks you will require as soon as the information is available. Contact an Accessibility Specialist regarding: the information she/he needs to procure your text in a timely fashion.
- If one of your accommodations is to write exams in the CAL, please make note of exam guidelines and ensure they are followed so you have space in the centre on the date/time you require.
Note that even if you have a disability, you are not required to self-identify with the CAL. In keeping with the desire to both follow a self-advocacy model and to respect student choice, TWU assumes that if you have a disability and do not self-identify to the CAL, that you have decided not to pursue academic accommodations.