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Core Service Guidelines

CADSPPE - Core Service Guidelines

Disability Services to registered students should ensure equal access and also meet the requirements as required by current provincial human rights legislation and institutional policy. The actual services provided will vary among institutions based on the specific disability and on the location of services provided by other campus offices or the community. Disability Services offices facilitate the accommodations that assist persons with disabilities in the accomplishment of educational, personal, social and career goals.

Disability Services should:

  • Ensure that students with disabilities receive reasonable and appropriate academic accommodations so as to have equal access to all institutional programs and services regardless of the type and extent of the disabilities;
  • Possess a clear set of policies and procedures;
  • Inform the campus community about the location of disability services, the availability of adaptive technology helpful to students with disabilities, and identification of key individuals within the institution who can provide services to students with disabilities;
  • Define and describe the procedures for obtaining services and accommodations;
  • Provide guidance and training for the postsecondary university community in the understanding of disability issues;
  • Advocate for equal access, accommodations, and respect for students with disabilities within the campus community by assisting other offices in meeting those needs;
  • Be structured purposefully and managed effectively to achieve stated goals. Evidence of appropriate structure may include current and accessible policies and procedures, functional organizational charts, and clearly stated service delivery expectations;
  • Have suitably located facilities, technology, and equipment to support its mission and goals efficiently and effectively;
  • Recruit and retain staff members who possess an appropriate combination of educational credentials and related experience;
  • Have technical and support staff to accomplish its mission. Staff must be technologically proficient and qualified to perform their job functions, be knowledgeable of ethical and legal uses of technology, and have access to training;
  • Work to ensure that institutional policies are in keeping with the tenets of current (federal and) provincial human rights policy;
  • Provide continued professional development opportunities for staff members.

Student Development and Learning - Core Guidelines

Disability Services assists students to identify strategies for transition to and success in postsecondary education.

The following are a list of services that may be offered: 

Transition Support Services (Secondary to Postsecondary, Postsecondary to Work)

  • Prospective student information
  • First year orientation for students with disabilities
  • Outreach to secondary schools
  • Transition workshops

Academic Accommodation Advising Services

  • Review documentation of disability to determine reasonable academic accommodations and other necessary supports
  • Information and advice re: course selection and course load
  • Information about and support in accessing general institutional services
  • Communication support services
  • Coordination of assistive services
  • Accommodation related mediation and conflict resolution
  • Support of obtaining accessible research and course materials

Adaptive Technology Services

  • Adaptive technology assessment and training
  • Information about and assistance accessing resources to purchase adaptive technology
  • Provision of accessible adaptive technology

Learning Disability Assessment Services

  • Assistance accessing appropriate assessment services
  • Referrals to internal/external assessment professionals
  • Review documentation of learning disability to determine reasonable academic accommodations and other necessary supports
  • Determination of reasonable academic accommodations and support in accessing other supports

Learning Strategy Support Services

  • Assistance accessing appropriate learning strategies support
  • Assessment of learning skills
  • Recommendation of appropriate learning strategies/supports
  • Provision of learning strategy resources
  • Specialized tutoring

Disability Related Student Counselling-Coaching Services

  • Disability related career and other counselling
  • Training re: workplace transition issues
  • Social skills awareness
  • Referrals to other internal and external professionals
  • Information/assistance accessing general institutional services
  • Programs for disability related skill development

Student Development Services

  • Self advocacy support training
  • Promote peer advocacy, ombuds office or SWD organization

Exam Accommodation Services

  • Testing and accommodation service 

Accessibility and Equity - Core Service Elements

Disability Services should act as a consultant and advocate to the campus community in ensuring physical, programmatic and co-curricular (ex. e-learning, distance education, social) access to all institutional resources. This should include collaboration with all campus stakeholders about teaching and testing techniques for academic departments. Disability services should work to ensure equitable access to electronic communication and distance learning materials as well as access to print.

Disability Services should:

  • Offer training and educational activities to faculty members, staff, and students and other community members that promotes understanding, awareness, and advocacy.
  • Recruit and retain staff members who are knowledgeable about and responsive to the legislation that relates to their respective responsibilities. Staff members must inform users of programs and services and officials, as appropriate of legal obligation to accommodate students with disabilities.
  • Establish, maintain, and promote effective relations with campus stake holders and external agencies that provide direct support to persons with disabilities.

The following are a listing of the services that may be offered:

Physical Accessibility Services

  • Work towards Universal Design access to all campus facilities and events
  • Assistance with transportation

Supports for Instructional Accessibility

  • Advocacy for and provision of alternate format perspective
  • Promote instructional development from a disability perspective
  • Promotion of inclusive teaching and evaluation strategies
  • Promote/Design of accessible courseware and web pages

Mediation, Facilitation & Disability Awareness Services

  • Advocacy;
  • Facilitation of faculty support;
  • Informed admission decisions (taking student info and inform admission decisions);
  • Awareness training for students, faculty and staff;
  • Facilitate instructor relationships through training for new faculty and provision of information regarding particular disabilities;
  • Advocacy for reasonable academic accommodation.


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