Process for Accessing Student Learning Accommodations

Communication and co-operation between the student, his/her course instructors, and the staff of the University’s Accessibility Services office are necessary to enable the University to make reasonable accommodations for students with “disabilities” as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Services are provided to students with a documented disability, which can be physical, sensory, a learning disability or a mental health disorder. Students with temporary disability (e.g. broken arm) are also eligible for this service.
U of T – St. George Accessibility Office >>
UTM Accessibility Office >>
 
The Department of OS & OT has a Request for Special Consideration form that students with accommodations must utilize in conjunction with documentation from the Accessibility Services office. This form allows students to specifically tailor their request to Department-specific activities.
 
According to Accessibility Services, the term “accommodation” refers to any service, equipment or special arrangement that is put in place to support students with a disability in the university setting.  In general, Accessibility Services considers any medical condition or disorder that affects functionality to be a condition which could require accommodation.  Some of these may include:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mobility Impairments
  • Functional / Fine Motor Disabilities
  • Acquired Brain Injuries
  • Blindness & Low Vision
  • Chronic Health Conditions
  • Deafness & Hearing Loss
  • Psychiatric Disabilities (including eating disorders, acute or chronic depression, etc.)
  • Communication Disorders
  • Temporary conditions: such as fractures and severe sprains, recovery from an operation, serious infections or pregnancy complications

 
As a professional faculty, it is the responsibility of the Occupational Therapy Department to graduate students who are able to practice in a clinical capacity.  If a student’s disability is of a nature that could compromise (client) safety and well-being in any area of practice, the student may be denied accommodation in accordance to the Department’s Essential Competencies policy printed previously in this section.
 
Student Responsibilities – Steps to Complete
 
Students requiring special accommodations of any kind are asked to register with Accessibility Services. Accessibility Services will assign the student a Counsellor, and will provide an assessment to identify the needs and accommodations required for the student.  Accessibility Services staff will not disclose the student’s disability to anyone outside of the Service without his/her permission.
 
Any student registering with Accessibility Services must notify the Graduate Coordinator to ensure they have correct and up-to-date information on required accommodations as recommended by Accessibility Services. The Department’s Request for Special Consideration form should be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator in order to process accommodation requests in advance. Students will be notified via email as to whether their request has been approved.
 
Note: All accommodations are subject to annual renewal. Fall Session accommodation for returning students, including Test/Exam & Notes, will not be put in place until the Annual Renewal has been completed. Students must book an appointment between May and September to meet with their disability advisor to ensure that his/her accommodations are renewed for the upcoming academic year.
 
Students must speak with each of his or her course instructors at the beginning of each term, and discuss any specific requirements that may be needed in his or her courses.  Exam and assignment schedules should be reviewed in case modifications will be necessary (e.g. moving the date of an exam or assignment, writing the exam in a different location). The Request for Special Consideration Form is the best method to document your requests for accommodation.
 
Students will review their specific needs with their Counsellor at Accessibility Services, and make arrangements with their Counsellor for any necessary accommodations (e.g. writing exams separately).  Students should note that Accessibility Services has deadlines for the registration of these arrangements.
 
Students will notify each course instructor of any accommodations relevant to each course.
Course Instructor’s Responsibilities
 
Course Instructors will do their best to accommodate all requirements for special needs identified by the Accessibility Services Counsellor (e.g. moving the date of an assignment or test).  In the event that certain needs are unable to be met or are difficult to meet, the student, the Course Instructor, the Graduate Coordinator will meet to address these needs on a case-by-case basis.
 
When a separate exam space is required, the Course Instructor will submit the exam to the Counsellor at Accessibility Services upon request.
 
Accessibility Services Responsibilities
 
U of T – St. George Accessibility Office >>
UTM Accessibility Office >>
 
Accessibility Services Counsellors will provide an assessment to identify the needs and accommodations required for each individual student registered.
 
Accessibility Services Counsellors will organize alternate exam-writing facilities and invigilators at Accessibility Services when necessary.  This information will be communicated directly with individual Course Instructors.
 
All accommodation arrangements will be copied to the Graduate Coordinator and the Program Manager to ensure all parties are aware of any special needs and accommodations.
 
The Department strongly recommends that all accommodations are arranged through and provided by Accessibility Services, in order to ensure that all requirements are met.  However, if students choose to opt for modified arrangements (i.e. tests written at 500 University Avenue), and Accessibility Services is able to accommodate these requests, students are responsible for this coordination and room allocation.
 
The Graduate Coordinator will be able to advise any of the above parties in regards to meeting the responsibilities outlined, as necessary.  They will maintain a database listing the accommodations required for individual students as recommended by Accessibility Services.
 
Exceptional Circumstances to Defer Academic Work
 
 

A) Students with health problems or other personal circumstances, which might adversely affect their performance in, or ability to complete course work, tests, examinations, or other departmental assessments, may request special consideration. The student should complete the departmental Request for Special Consideration form which can be downloaded from the department’s website (under Current Students, Student Forms)attach appropriate evidence such as the U of T Verification of Student Illness and Student Injury Form, and submit it to the Course Instructor as early as possible before or within 48 hours following the test, examination, or due date of assessment.  The onus is on the student to ensure their physician has filled out the Illness or Injury Verification Form in full. The instructor will inform the student of his/her decision, record this decision on the form, and forward the form to the Program Manager to be placed in the student’s academic file.  This form is available online at http://illnessverification.utoronto.ca.

 

B) U of T policy on religious observances states that no student shall be seriously disadvantaged because of his or her religious beliefs. If this policy is relevant to a student’s circumstance, he/she must complete the Request for Special Consideration form in advance of the date(s) in question, and submit it to their Course Instructor, so alternative arrangements can be made.

 

C) (i) U of T policy requires that accommodations will be provided to any student with a documented disability that affects their ability to function in an academic setting. If this policy is relevant to a student’s circumstance, he/she should refer to the Guidelines for Student Accommodations below.

 

(ii) For items (a) to (c) (i) above: if a deferral of a test or exam is being requested, and permission is granted, the student may be required to sign a non-disclosure form by the Course Instructor.

 

D) Students in this program are registered full-time and are expected to be committed to full-time studies. Requests for special consideration for personal circumstances are strongly discouraged (e.g., taking care of domestic business, leaving early for reading week, attending a wedding, going on a vacation, employment, participating in sports events, preoccupation with other courses, etc.).  Requests for special consideration will only be considered if:

    • the request is made in advance
    • the situation is entirely out of the control of the student
    • the student has made every effort to find an alternative solution
    • the student makes a strong case for the issue to be considered exceptional
    • explanations of each of the above points are included on the Request form along with supporting documentation

 

If a deferral of a test or exam is being requested under item (d) above, and permission is granted , the student will be required to pay a fee of $70.00 according to the University Schedule of Administrative User Fees and Fines, prior  to the test or exam being written.  The student must download the Deferred Examinations Payment form from the OT website as he/she will be required to show their receipt to the Course Instructor at the time if the exam.  The student may also be required to sign a non-disclosure form by the Course Instructor.

 

Remedial Work

 

Students are responsible for self-study, if they experience a lack of background knowledge in a particular area, or difficulty with a particular aspect of a course.  The student can choose a self-study program of his/her own, or ask the Course Instructor or his/her Faculty Advisor for advice on how to improve understanding of certain material or competence in skills.

 

Remedial work will only be allowed for serious health problems or exceptional personal circumstances which may adversely affect the student’s performance in the program.