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Working with SAS

Each class at Ontario Tech has a wide diversity of students – from different educational backgrounds, language, culture and ability. As a faculty member, it is your role to ensure each student has the opportunity to learn. This includes students who have a disability.

Your relationship with your student with a disability usually begins before the student enters your classroom. In most cases before classes have begun, the student has contacted the university through the Student Accessibility Services office and s/he has identified difficulties in certain areas that require accommodation.

The student may require access to alternate formats of textbooks and other materials, so having the information ready and available as far in advance as possible of the course start date can be extremely beneficial. Students who have disabilities may face additional difficulties if they have to wait to have course materials converted after the course has already begun.

Student Accessibility Services at Ontario Tech provides services to students who are blind or have low vision, who are deaf or hard of hearing and who have physical, medical, psychiatric, and learning disabilities. These services are designed to ensure that we have the supports in place to allow students with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of the academic environment.

In post-secondary education, Student Accessibility Services accommodates students’ needs – it does not modify the required learning objectives of the program. Services are identified on an individual student basis and are based on the review of the medical or psychoeducational documentation completed by the appropriate specialist. The student is responsible for self-identifying and submitting documentation to the Student Accessibility Services Office.

The student has the opportunity to provide each faculty member with an accommodation letter from SAS. This letter lets the faculty member know that the noted accommodations are approved based on the documentation that has been provided. The accessibility counsellor or advisor’s name and extension number is on the letter and we encourage faculty to contact SAS with any questions or concerns.

It is a requirement of the law that each student is accommodated as set out in the accommodation letter. If you are not sure how best to meet the accommodation(s), you may discuss it with the counsellor/advisor or with the student.

It is important that the faculty member speak to the student directly about the student’s individual requirements. It is not appropriate to probe the student about his/her disability, rather only about the accommodation(s) required. The student has the legal right to keep the nature of his/her disability private.