Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities (PDAD&C #13)

From:   Sandy Welsh, Vice Provost, Students
Date:  September 12, 2019
Re: Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities (PDAD&C #13)

I am writing to remind you of the University’s broader policies and obligations regarding the provision of academic accommodations for students with disabilities, and to share the University’s accommodation measures relating specifically to a mental health needs disability.

University of Toronto Statement on Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities

The University is committed to developing an accessible learning environment that provides reasonable accommodations that enable students with disabilities to meet the essential academic requirements of the University’s courses and programs.

Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are provided in accordance with the statutory duty arising from the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Some reasonable accommodations are outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Guidelines on Accessible Education

The University’s Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities provides that “the University will strive to provide support for, and facilitate the accommodation of individuals with disabilities so that all may share the same level of access to opportunities, participate in the full range of activities that the University offers, and achieve their full potential as members of the University community.”

Tri-Campus Accessibility Offices

The University of Toronto has an accessibility services office on each campus to assist students and faculty with academic accommodations. The role of these offices is to:

  • Receive and review the student’s medical documentation on a confidential basis;
  • Verify the student’s disability on behalf of the University;
  • Based on the documentation provided, determine whether accommodations are required and, if so, what accommodations would be effective;
  • Adjust accommodations as needed; and
  • Act as a resource for faculty in assisting with the implementation of accommodations in the classroom, for practicums, labs, graduate programs, and with respect to multiple forms of assessment.

If applicable, the accessibility office will provide the student with a Letter of Academic Accommodation, to be presented to the faculty member.  This letter verifies that the accessibility office has received and reviewed documentation of a bona fide disability and provides details on the proposed accommodation. Letters of Academic Accommodation may be issued at any time during the year. 

If a faculty member has a concern regarding the proposed accommodation, the instructor should contact the student’s disability counselor/advisor listed on the Letter of Academic Accommodation.   Information should only be shared with others on a need to know basis to implement accommodations. Examples could include a teaching assistant, lab coordinator or preceptor.