Statement on Academic Accommodation

  1. Carleton University is committed to providing access to the educational experience in order to promote academic accessibility for all individuals.
  2. Academic accommodation policies are one of the ways in which the University implements its Educational Equity Policy and its commitment to sections 11 and 17 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which requires the University in the provision of services (including education) to accommodate individuals on human rights grounds to the point of undue hardship considering the cost, outside sources of funding, if any, and health and safety requirements, if any.
  3. Academic accommodation refers to educational practices, systems and support mechanisms designed to accommodate diversity and difference. The purpose of accommodation is to enable students to perform the essential requirements of their academic programs. At no time does academic accommodation undermine or compromise the learning objectives that are established by the academic authorities of the University.
  4. Academic accommodation is assessed and provided on an individual basis. The University is committed to maintaining confidentiality to the greatest extent possible when providing academic accommodation and related support services to students.
  5. Carleton University endeavours, within the parameters of its mandate as a secular institution, to provide appropriate space for religious or spiritual observance considered integral to a holistic learning environment and, in particular, the University acknowledges the central importance of traditional, cultural and spiritual practices of Aboriginal peoples in sustaining for them the educational vitality of the institution.
  6. The University recognizes that students with infectious illnesses have the right to pursue those activities that their medical condition and public health allow, including continuing to study. The University does not tolerate discrimination, stigma or harassment on the basis of infectious illness, including HIV/AIDS. Individuals with infectious illness are encouraged to inform University Health Services in order that support and accommodation can be arranged as required.
  7. The terms of the Academic Accommodation Policies are kept under review by the Senate Committee on Educational Equity.

Part III.1.1 Academic Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities

The Academic Accommodation Policy For Students with Disabilities is excerpted (Part III, Section 1.1) from Carleton University’s Human Rights Policies and Procedures. The entire document is viewable at www.carleton.ca/equity. Please note the new appeal procedures, which are in effect Fall 2007.

Principles
    1. Carleton University is committed to providing access to the educational experience and accommodation to the point of undue hardship in order to promote academic accessibility for individuals with identified and duly assessed disabilities. The University encourages applications from students with those disabilities within the meaning of the Ontario Human Rights Code, including visual, hearing, communication and mobility impairments and learning and other non-visible disabilities.
    2. The University affirms its commitment to the physical accessibility of the Carleton campus, and to the assessment of academic accommodation for students with disabilities in order to maintain its leadership among the province’s educational institutions in implementing accessibility.
    3. The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) is the designated unit at the University for assisting the Carleton community in integrating persons with disabilities into all aspects of Carleton’s academic and community life. The PMC provides assessment of academic accommodation, advises students on strategies to open a dialogue with instructors and acts as consultant, facilitator, coordinator and advocate in this area for all members of the University community.
    4. The University promotes efforts to accommodate students with disabilities so that they can meet the learning objectives of courses they are taking and be fairly evaluated in their performance.

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Policy
    1. In order to secure appropriate academic accommodation, students with disabilities are responsible for identifying their individual needs to the PMC in such a manner as to facilitate an appropriate response from the University.
    2. Academic accommodation is assessed and provided on an individual basis. Limitations that are traditionally attributed to a particular disabling condition cannot, and should not, be generalized. The University is committed to maintaining confidentiality to the greatest extent possible when providing academic accommodation and related support services to students.
    3. Students with disabilities who request academic accommodation must provide the PMC with relevant professional supporting documentation as determined by the University, generally from a regulated health professional practitioner (e.g., a physician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist). The documentation must include a statement that the individual has an ongoing, recognized disability that requires academic accommodation. Students with learning disabilities must provide a summary of the results of a complete psycho-educational assessment conducted by an appropriate registered psychologist. All documentation must be current.
    4. Once students with disabilities identify their individual needs for academic accommodation, PMC staff members assess the appropriateness of the student’s requests, and then formally recommend appropriate means of academic accommodation by means of a “Letter of Accommodation”.
    5. A student with a “Letter of Accommodation” should meet with each of their instructors as soon as possible to discuss the academic accommodations recommended and to reach an agreement on an appropriate accommodation for that course. The instructor may contact PMC for further consultation as needed.
    6. A student suffering from a serious, disabling illness may request a period of leave from their studies, initially of up to one year or three academic sessions. The parameters and procedures to be followed are those set out in Student Parental Leave, (sec.III.3) with the necessary adjustments.

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Implementation
  1. Members of faculty and instructional staff, supported by administrative staff, share the University’s responsibility under the Ontario Human Rights Code for academic accommodation of students with disabilities. This policy encourages dialogue between instructors and students as to how the needs of individuals can be accommodated within the terms of legislation and current University guidelines in the area. All such dealings require mutual understanding and respect from the parties involved in the accommodation process.
  2. PMC is responsible for coordinating the provision of comprehensive and professional services necessary to respond to the needs of students with disabilities. It is responsible for assessing the needs for academic accommodation of students with disabilities through assessments that are carried out on an individual basis, in accordance with related legislation, and on the basis of relevant professional/medical documentation, information gathered from the student, and evaluation by PMC staff.
  3. Practices and procedures in the process of accommodation are outlined in the current Carleton University Instructors’ Information to Assist Faculty in Accommodating Students with Disabilities, available from the PMC website.

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