For Faculty and Staff

Providing Accommodations to Students with Disabilities

Purpose:

To maximize every student’s academic development by providing and coordinating the appropriate academic accommodations and services.

Scope:

All students who self-identify with a disability, whether temporary or permanent, in accordance with Memorial University’s policy on Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.

Procedure:

1. To request an Accommodation, students must first contact the Student Affairs Office.

2. Self-identifying with a Disability and requesting an Accommodation sufficiently early will assist with providing any Accommodation. Although exceptions based on individual circumstances will be considered, Accommodation cannot be guaranteed for the current semester, session, course, work placement, event or activity, if students do not identify themselves in a timely manner as follows:

a. At least six weeks before semester course registration in the case of new students

b. At the start of each semester or session in the case of returning students.

c. As soon as possible, in the case of students who develop a disability, either permanently or temporarily, and students with a Disability whose health status changes significantly during their time at the University.

d. Normally, at least two months in advance of a course, presentation, event or activity requiring sign language interpretation.

e. Normally, at least six months in advance of requiring special or additional resources not regularly available within the University.

f. Normally, at least six months in advance of required structural changes to existing premises.

g. At least two weeks before a scheduled in-class assignment or test.

h. Upon release of the final examination schedule.

i. At least one semester before convocation, for graduating students.

j. At least one semester before commencement of a work placement.

3. Students requesting an Accommodation must provide documentation to Student Affairs in accordance with the Procedure for Documentation Regarding a Student’s Accommodation Request.

4. Student Affairs staff will conduct an initial interview with the student and/or applicants to discuss his/her individual Accommodation requests. As part of this process, documentation will be reviewed to ensure that recommendations and decisions about Accommodations are based on appropriate medical and/or psycho-educational information and diagnostic assessment. Where necessary, and with the student’s or applicant’s written consent, Student Affairs staff may seek further information from or consult with professionals or experts, either internal or external, to the University. The initial intake interview form is included here.

Accessibility Services Student Affairs Marine InstituteTopics to be covered include:

  • Campus physical accessibility
  • Assistance with accessing funding sources for students with Disabilities
  • Classroom accommodations
  • Accommodations for transitions to Marine Institute
  • Accommodation for work placements
  • On-campus housing Accommodations
  • Availability of assistive technology and alternative format materials
  • Process for booking testing Accommodations
  • Emergency evacuation guidelines
  • Accommodations for orientation
  • Any other on-campus and community resourcesor services

5. Student Affairs staff will prepare any documentation notifying the student's Instructors and other individuals in the applicable Units at his/her request. Relevant forms include a consent form and Information Release form. Documentation will include a recommendation for reasonable Accommodations relevant to the student’s disability.

6.  Following contact with Student Affairs, students must discuss their Academic Accommodation needs with their Instructors, and any others, in light of the nature and requirements of the particular course, program or assignment.  For Non-academic Accommodation needs, Student Affairs staff will contact the applicable Unit(s) on behalf of the student for any necessary modifications to campus building(s), with student consent.

7.  In the case of semester tests, normally, Student Affairs staff will assist the Instructor and student in making arrangements. To guarantee approved Accommodations, students must schedule in-class assignments or tests at least one week in advance. Students are asked to inform Student Affairs staff of any upcoming tests or assignments for which Accommodations are needed.

8. In the case of final examinations, Student Affairs staff will notify the Registrar’s Office of the students requiring arrangement, and the Registrar's Office will assist the student and the Instructor in making the arrangements. To guarantee approved Accommodation students must schedule final examinations upon release of the final examination schedule.

9.  Decisions regarding Academic Accommodations must be dealt with expeditiously because they may affect a student's admission, re-admission, or progress, in an ongoing course, program, work placement, or access to on campus housing or an activity. When an Accommodation request cannot be arranged, the Procedure when a Student Accommodation Request Cannot be Arranged may be followed.

 Student Affairs staff will check with the student at regular intervals throughout the term to ensure academic needs are being met.

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.

Scribe

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.

Reader

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.