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Student FAQ

What is a disability?

An individual with a disability is defined as any person who:

  1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks,
  2. Has a record of such an impairment, or
  3. Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Disabilities can include chronic medical conditions, psychological conditions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, being Deaf or hard of hearing, being blind or having low vision, physical or mobility impairments or being neurodivergent

Does SDS Offer accommodations for temporary disabilities?

  • If you have a temporary injury or medical condition that is impacting a major life activity such as learning, please reach out to your Student Disability Services Coordinator to discuss possible accommodations or services.
  • Provisional accommodations can also be offered if a student is in the process of being evaluated for a disability, but information and/or documentation is pending.

How does Student Disability Services determine accommodations

Student Disability Services facilitates an interactive process to understand your request(s) and determine accommodations.  Our coordinators work with students to discuss their needs, any recommendations provided in the documentation, experience and the barriers that the student is encountering, have shown previously to be an issue, or are anticipated to be an issue.

What documentation is required to receive accommodations?

  • There are specific guidelines concerning documentation depending on the disability. Please check the Documentation page for more details.
  • Documentation needs to be current, written by a qualified provider, name the disability, provide a clear sense of the impact of it. The documentation needs to include a report, summary of the findings, a diagnosis, and suggestions for accommodations.

What kind of disability accommodations are available?

Each student with a disability is invited to meet with their Student Disabilities Services coordinator to review their documentation and discuss accommodations based on disability and needs. Common accommodations include note taking support, reading software, reduced distraction space for exams, extra time on exams, physical access, and use of assistive technology. Accommodations and services will be determined on an individual basis.

Do I have to show my professors documentation of my disability or disclose my disability to them?

  • No. SDS is the office designated to receive and interpret documentation of the disability. SDS coordinators certify eligibility for services and determine accommodations. Disability information is confidential and students are not required to disclose this information to instructors.
  • You only need to share your accommodations with instructors.

Does working with student disability services show up on my academic record?

  • No, working with SDS does not show up on any permanent academic records.
  • Disclosure of disability is confidential and up to the student.

How do I get a note-taker?

  • Confirm you will need a note-taker in the classes you will need them.
  • SDS will work with your instructor to identify a peer note-taker in the course.
  • Notes will be uploaded into AIM within 48 hours of the end of each class session.

Can I take a reduced courseload?

  • All acccommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and reduced course loads are not approved or appropriate for every student working with SDS.
  • It is important to discuss this with an SDS Coordinator to explore whether this could be approved as an accommodation and understand the impact on both your program of study as well as any financial implications.