How to get academic accommodations at U of T

Accessibility Services offices help students with disabilities and health conditions

Meera Mohindra

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At U of T, each campus has a dedicated Accessibility Services office that helps students with various disability- and health-related barriers so they can navigate U of T and thrive during their university years. Once you register with your campus' office, their staff will work with you to develop an individualized plan that will address your unique needs.

Who's eligible?

Accessibility Services serves students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs alike. Visiting students, non-degree students, and those studying with the Transitional Year Programme are also eligible. In the past, Accessibility Services has provided accommodations to students living with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, chronic health conditions, concussions and head injuries, learning disabilities, mental health conditions, mobility or functional disabilities, sensory disabilities, and temporary disabilities.

Students who are unsure if they have a disability are encouraged to explore resources on campus such as academic advisors, learning strategists, and the Health and Wellness services. Academic advisors and learning strategists can help students learn about the assistance available to them. Medical professionals at Health and Wellness can diagnose certain disabilities and refer students to specialized health care providers if needed.

Registering with Accessibility Services

In order to register with Accessibility Services, you must have a certificate of disability form filled out by a licensed healthcare professional who is permitted to make diagnoses. Afterwards, you can complete Accessibility Services' online intake form, which will take about 30 minutes to complete.

Once you submit your intake package, the office will contact you to set up an appointment with an accessibility advisor. Your advisor will then review the information you provided and work with you to devise an individualized accommodations plan. This process will enable you to receive a letter of accommodation that you can provide to your course instructors.

Examples of academic accommodations

Depending on what you and your advisor decide upon during your appointment, you may be given access to a variety of accommodations. During exams, that may look like receiving your assessment in a specific format like Braille, being permitted to use a keyboard for writing, or gaining access to an alternate testing space that provides breaks and additional time. In the classroom, accommodations may include sign language interpretation, reasonable assignment extensions, and peer note-taking services.

Outside of your courses, Accessibility Services can also help with research, practicums, and placements, as well as disability-related needs in residence. Let your advisor know if you'd like to discuss those subjects.

Deadlines

Registration with Accessibility Services can be done at any time of the year; however, certain registration deadlines have to be met to receive exam accommodations for any given semester.

Deadlines and specific registration or renewal processes differ slightly by campus. All UTSG deadlines will be posted on the Student Life website. UTSC and UTM deadlines are also available online.

Accommodations expire on May 1 every year and the department will contact you to renew them. At that time, accommodations can simply be renewed with current documentation, or updated, if necessary.

Accommodations at multiple campuses

U of T students taking courses across multiple campuses can transfer their accommodations by completing the transfer of accommodationform, which can be found on the Student Life website. Just like when you first register with Accessibility Services at your home campus, you will be contacted to attend an intake appointment with the other campus's Accessibility Services. During that appointment, you will discuss any differences between accessibility processes or deadlines for the relevant campuses.

Your transferred accommodations will last only as long as the courses indicated on the transfer form, meaning that you will need to complete a newtransfer form for any future courses you take at that campus.

Disclosure and assistance

All medical information provided to Accessibility Services remains confidential. Students with mental health disabilities are not required to disclose their specific diagnosis. You are also never required to disclose your disabilities to your professors or teaching assistants.

If you are uncertain about how to discuss your needs with a course instructor or provide them with your letter of accommodation, your accessibility advisor can assist by contacting your instructor for you.

UTSG, UTM, and UTSC each offer an Accessibility Services handbook containing detailed information about all services offered by the office, including registration requirements and deadlines.

Contact details

The Accessibility Services offices at each campus are available to assist students around the year. Students can always contact their campus' Accessibility Services office with any further questions.

U of T students can contact Accessibility Services via phone or email.

Accessibility Services UTSG: 416-978-8060, or [email protected];

Accessibility Services UTM: 905-569-4699, or [email protected];

Accessibility Services UTSC: 416-287-7560, or [email protected]