For Faculty and Staff

Types of Disabilities

The term "Disability” as is defined in the Human Rights Act (2010), along with information regarding the guidelines for physical and mental disabilities, can be found in the Policy on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.

Types of physical and mental disabilities can include, but are not limited to, the following:

All students that are enrolled at Marine Institute with a documented disability are encouraged to apply for academic accommodations with Disability Services.

Types of Accommodations

The following are examples of types of accommodations that might be requested by a student with a disability. For more information, please contact Disability Services at 757-0702.

Academic Accommodations

An academic accommodation, as defined by the Policy on Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, is "a change to teaching or evaluation process, which is designed to accommodate the particular needs of a student with a Disability without compromising Academic Integrity of the course, program, or assignment."

All requests for accommodation (e.g., additional time to write a test) must be based on documented need. It is the responsibility of the individual requesting an academic accommodation to provide the necessary documentation to Student Services.

Test/In-Class Assignment Accommodations

Some examples of the test/in-class assignment accommodations that have been made by the university include:

Extended Time

Specified extended time (e.g., time and one-half) is the most common and perhaps easiest accommodation to implement. The appropriate amount of additional time will depend on the specific circumstances of each individual student.


Scribing is the process whereby a student dictates responses to a designated scribe, who does the actual writing. Details of this accommodation should be carefully explained to the student and the scribe, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation requirements.

Scribes are made aware of the rules of scribing by the Student Affairs Officer. This accommodation is commonly used, for example, by students with limited manual dexterity or certain types of learning disabilities.


A reader is a person who is designated to read the test aloud to the student. This accommodation is commonly used, for example, by students with certain types of learning disabilities and visual impairments.

Environmental Changes

Students may need to write their tests in a quieter, less distracting environment, or at a different time of day.

Alternatives to written tests

Some examples of alternative tests include:

  • The student may be able to write the answers if the test or assignment is presented orally.
  • The test may be presented on an audio tape and the student responds on another audio tape.
  • The test may be read to the student and the answers scribed.
  • The student may be interviewed on the material and asked to demonstrate their knowledge orally.

To ensure that the student has adequate time to properly prepare for the oral exam, it is important that the instructor provide an advance explanation of the test format, expectations and grading procedure.

Alternatives to oral tests

Some alternatives to oral evaluation might include:

  • replacing an oral presentation with a written presentation;
  • allow the student to tape the oral presentation in a more relaxed environment (e.g., at home);
  • permit someone else to read the student's prepared talk and
  • allow the student to give their oral presentation using adaptive technology such as the JAWS screen reading software.
Classroom Accommodations

Some examples of classroom accommodations, where possible, include:

  • assistive devices or auxiliary aids (e.g., the instructor uses an FM assistive listening device for a student who is hard of hearing);
  • oral or sign language interpreters for students who are deaf;
  • wheelchair desk and/or a preferential seating location;
  • breaks during class time (e.g., student exits room momentarily when pain becomes unmanageable). In such cases, students may wish to ask a classmate to share lecture notes with them (to be their peer note taker);
  • note-taking assistance (e.g., use of No-Carbon-Required [NCR] paper). For assistance arranging a note taker, students are advised to consult with Disability Services;
  • helping a student to obtain alternative format materials (e.g., electronic text, braille, or audiotape). Assistance is typically provided by Disability Services or by other on- or off-campus service providers such as the campus library or the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. This does not include financial assistance and
  • move classes, where practical, for wheelchair accessibility.