1. Academic Consideration for Medical or Other Extenuating Circumstances
  2. Accommodation on Basis of Disability, Religious Obligations, and Family Status
    1. I. Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
    2. II. Religious Accommodation 
    3. III. Pregnancy Accommodation
  3. Other Accommodations
    1. IV. Accommodation for Student Activities 
    2. V. Accommodation for Days of Action 

Academic Consideration for Medical or Other Extenuating Circumstances

Academic Consideration is based on the principle of good faith and is governed by the Academic Consideration Policy for Students in Medical or Other Extenuating Circumstances. Instructors should seek to provide alternate academic arrangements consistent with learning outcomes to students who may be unable to meet an academic obligation due to extenuating circumstances.  If an instructor is concerned that the learning outcome or accreditation requirements of a course can no longer be met, they should discuss options with their Chair or Director.

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances that:

  • are beyond a student’s control,
  • have a significant impact on the student’s capacity to meet their academic obligations; and
  • could not have reasonably been prevented.

Consideration may include:

  • an alternative assignment
  • re-weighting of term marks
  • modified schedule for assignments, projects, and labs
  • other options at the discretion of the instructor such that learning outcomes and accreditation requirements for professional programs are maintained.

For short-term considerations (normally 5 days or less), an instructor may request the student complete a self-declaration using the online  Academic Consideration for Coursework Form. Instructors are not permitted to request medical documentation.

For longer-term considerations and more complex situations, the instructor shall seek guidance from the Registrar’s Office.

Please review the Faculty Information Page by logging in with your MC1 credentials to review the Guidelines for Instructors and the Procedures for Students.

Accommodation on Basis of Disability, Religious Obligations, and Family Status

As an instructor, you may be asked to provide an academic accommodation for students on human rights grounds covered in the university’s three policies on academic accommodation for students. There are three types of academic accommodation:

▪ Accommodation on the basis of disability
▪ Accommodation on the basis of religious obligations
▪ Accommodation on the basis of family status (e.g., pregnancy accommodation).

Details on each of these accommodations are described below, and also on the EIC website.

The purpose of any academic accommodation is to enable students to perform the essential requirements of their academic programs. At no time should an academic accommodation undermine or compromise the learning objectives established by the academic authorities of the university. All accommodations must be assessed and provided on an individual basis.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure that the Course Outline Information on Academic Accommodation is added to your respective course outlines. You should read this statement at the beginning of your first few classes to remind students of their obligations when requesting any form of academic accommodation.

Note also that all new hires, including continuing, term, casual, and contract course instructors, are required to complete the online AODA training within their first month of employment with Carleton University. Completion of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Customer Service Training is a requirement for all probationary periods and all employees of any contract type. Information on accessing the training can be found on the Equity and Inclusive Communities website.

I. Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides evaluations of academic accommodation requests based on relevant medical documentation from registered health care professionals. PMC determines accommodations that are appropriate to the student’s disability-related needs while maintaining academic standards on a course-by-course basis. A student’s accommodation needs are formally communicated through an electronic Letter of Accommodation. A student with a disability requiring academic accommodation in your course must contact his or her PMC coordinator early each term, and request a Letter of Accommodation be sent to you through the Ventus Student Portal. As the Instructor, you are required to:

  1. Engage in constructive dialogue with the student and, if necessary, consult with his or her PMC coordinator, regarding the best ways to facilitate the implementation of accommodation requests as specified in the Letter of Accommodation.
  2. Work with the student and/or the PMC to coordinate classroom accommodations (e.g. volunteer note-takers, sign language interpreters, captioning of multi-media materials in the classroom).
  3. Make accommodation arrangements for in-class scheduled tests, quizzes, midterms, or end-of-term final exams that are not formally scheduled. PLEASE NOTE: Instructors may choose to make these accommodation arrangements within their department, or use the services of the McIntyre Exam Centre (MEC) located in 133 UC. If you wish to use MEC services, use the Ventus Faculty Portal to submit an online booking for each quiz, test, midterm or exam early in the term or at least 10 business days before the date of the quiz/test/midterm/exam in order to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet your students’ accommodation needs. 
  4. When Scheduling & Examination Services (SES) or the McIntyre Exam Centre (MEC) are involved in assisting you with accommodating students with disabilities for in-class tests, midterms or formally scheduled examinations, please ensure the appropriate office has a copy of the test or exam in the format required within the timeframe specified by SES or MEC.

For more information, please consult the “Information to Assist Faculty in Accommodating Students with Disabilities” webpage at www.carleton.ca/pmc/faculty/. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact PMC at 613-520-6608 or pmc@carleton.ca.

II. Religious Accommodation 

Students requiring accommodation on the grounds of religious observance must submit to their instructors a formal written request with suggestions for alternate dates and/or means of satisfying any academic requirements involved. Such requests should be made during the first two weeks of any given academic term, or as soon as possible after a need for accommodation is known to exist, but in no case later than the second-last week of classes in that term.

Upon receipt of a request for religious accommodation, you are required to:

  1. Assess the eligibility of the event for accommodation. If you are not familiar with the religious obligation, ask the student to clarify the actual obligation of the religious event. Note: Commonly cited religious observances are posted at http://www.carleton.ca/equity/ and more information is available at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org/. If you or the student still have questions, please contact equity@carleton.ca or call (613) 520-5622 to speak to an Equity Advisor.
  2. Determine an appropriate accommodation in consultation with the student in a way that avoids academic disadvantage to the student. Send an email confirming the agreed religious accommodation for the final exam to Exam Services at examinations@carleton.ca.

III. Pregnancy Accommodation

Pregnancy accommodation may involve a temporary modification of the elements of the student’s academic program (e.g., laboratory, tutorial, assignment, mid term, final exam, or fieldwork).

Upon receipt of a request for accommodation, you are required to determine an appropriate accommodation in consultation with the student in a way that avoids academic disadvantage to the student.

  • For in-class and mid-term accommodation, discuss directly with the student any request for an in-class accommodation.
  • For final exam accommodation, discuss with the student any request for accommodation for final examinations. When you have reached an agreement regarding the most appropriate form of accommodation, if needed, please contact Scheduling and Examination Services (SES) Office to coordinate the accommodation.

If you or the student have further questions or need clarification within the University’s accommodation policy, please contact Equity and Inclusive Communities (EIC) at equity@carleton.ca or by calling (613) 520-5622 to speak to an Equity Advisor.

Other Accommodations

In addition to accommodating human rights, the University also requests that instructors provide all reasonable accommodation to students engaged in certain extracurricular activities and who participate in National or Provincial Days of Action.

IV. Accommodation for Student Activities 

The following Senate Policy was adopted in 2019:

“The University recognizes the substantial benefits, both to the individual student and for the university, that result from a student participating in activities beyond the classroom experience. For example, student athletes competing at a national level can serve as role models, balancing an active, healthy lifestyle with academic pursuits. Students who compete or perform at a high level represent the university in a positive light and can serve as ambassadors for the university.”

“Carleton University strongly supports these activities. Faculty members must provide all reasonable accommodation to students who compete or perform at the national or international level. In particular, this includes varsity athletes, students participating in recognized international academic competitions or student artists performing internationally. When it is unclear if the nature of the activity warrants accommodation, faculty members are guided to discuss the issue with their Chair or Director. The Dean, when required, will make a final determination regarding the accommodation after making sufficient consultations to ensure a consistent application of this policy across the university. The Director of Athletics may be contacted to determine the acceptability of an athletic accommodation. Students who feel a faculty member has denied the accommodation required under this policy or who feel that the accommodation provided by the faculty member is not appropriate should contact the Dean responsible for their program.

This accommodation may involve rescheduling of academic deadlines, providing alternate means of assessment or facilitating off-campus examinations. Support in coordinating off-campus examinations is available from Scheduling and Examination Services.”

V. Accommodation for Days of Action 

The Senate has adopted a policy in 2010 that encourages all instructors to accommodate students who participate in a National or Provincial (Ontario) Day of Action subject to the following conditions:

  1. The issue addressed by the Day of Action is included within the issue of government support for education and accessibility.
  2. Notice of the Day of Action is given to the Provost, by the executive of GSA or CUSA, by August 1 before the academic year of the Day of Action.
  3. As in all cases of accommodation, students remain responsible for all academic obligations.

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