Guide to Academic Accommodation for Instructors

Academic accommodation refers to educational practices, systems, and support mechanisms designed to accommodate diversity and difference within the meaning of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The purpose of accommodation is to enable students to perform the essential requirements of their academic programs. At no time should academic accommodation undermine or compromise the learning objectives that are established by the academic authorities of the University. Under the Code accommodation is assessed and provided on an individual basis, up to the point of undue hardship.

Quick Reference Guide to Academic Accommodation for Instructors – Word Document
Quick Reference Guide to Academic Accommodation for Instructors – PDF

There are three types of accommodations typically made by the university: accommodations for disabilities, religious observance, and pregnancy. A statement about accommodations must be included on each of your course outlines.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides evaluation 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.

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 MacIntyre Exam Centre (MEC) located in 133 UC. If you wish to use MEC services, please submit an online booking for each quiz, test, midterm or exam early in the term or at least two weeks before the date of the quiz/test/midterm/exam in order to ensure they have the necessary resources to meet your students’ accommodation needs. For more information about MEC services, please visit:

4. When Scheduling & Examination Services (SES), the McIntyre Exam Centre (MEC) or the COUL Office are involved in assisting you with accommodating students with disabilities for in-class tests, CUOL 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, MEC, and CUOL.

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


Religious/Spiritual Accommodation

Students requiring accommodation on the grounds of religious/spiritual observance must submit to their instructors a formal 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 online and more information is available at the Interfaith Calendar website. If you or the student still have questions, please contact an Equity Advisor in Equity Services at (613) 520-5622.
  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

Pregnancy Accommodation

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

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

  1. In-class and mid-term accommodation: Discuss directly with the student any request for an in-class accommodation. For clarification please contact or call (613) 520-5622 to speak to an Equity Advisor.
  2. 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, have the student fill out and submit the online Pregnancy Accommodation Final Exam Request Form at: Equity Services will forward the request to Exam Services to coordinate the accommodation. For clarification please contact or call (613) 520-5622 to speak to an Equity Advisor.

To read directly from Carleton University Academic Accommodation Policy click here.