Accommodations: A Shared Responsibility
TMU is committed to fostering an inclusive, collaborative educational environment for students with disabilities while preserving academic standards. Academic accommodations are designed to reduce or eliminate disability-related academic barriers and ensure students can more fully participate in their studies, while upholding the academic integrity and essential learning objectives of a course or program.
Academic accommodation is a shared responsibility and a collaborative process between students, faculty and instructors, university administration, and AAS.
Instructors are responsible for reviewing the accommodation plan and ensuring the student’s accommodation needs are met within the context of their course. This includes communicating with students and AAS as needed, such as to discuss applying accommodations while preserving essential course requirements.
Use our secure AAS Faculty Portal to view student accommodation plans and acknowledge that you are aware of each student’s accommodations and test requests.
Accommodation plans outline an individual student’s needs for an equitable experience in your course.
Accommodation plans include:
- A list of the student’s accommodations.
- The contact information for their Student Accommodation Facilitator.
Students are responsible for sending their accommodation plans to you through the AAS Student Portal. We encourage students to send their plans as soon as possible after registration with AAS (and at the start of subsequent semesters). As students register with AAS throughout the academic year, you may receive accommodation plans at any point in the semester.
Once the student has sent the plan:
- You will receive an email prompting you to review their accommodation plan on the AAS Faculty Portal.
- To review the plan: click on the link provided and log in with your credentials.
- Consider how the accommodations fit with your course/program delivery, as well as the essential requirements, as identified on your course outline. If needed, contact the Student Accommodation Facilitator listed on the plan to discuss the accommodations in more detail.
- Using the online system, confirm that you have read the plan, including the student’s required accommodations for your course.
Registration with AAS is strictly confidential. Please ensure that the accommodation plan document is kept in a secure location and the student’s information is not discussed or otherwise disclosed with anyone beyond the course’s assigned instructor(s), teaching assistant(s), or other administrators or staff who are involved in the provision of the listed academic accommodations without the student’s consent.
Including this (google doc) Course Outline Statement (external link, opens in new window) directing students with disabilities to connect with AAS is a first step. Also consider adding a sentence in your syllabus that encourages students to talk privately with you about their accommodation plans. Remember to focus on the accommodations and not the nature of their disability.
Finding the balance between essential academic requirements and reasonable, appropriate accommodation is a central practice for providing accessible education.
Essential requirements are “the knowledge and skills that a student must acquire and demonstrate to meet successfully the learning objectives of a course or program.” (Senate Policy 159). A student with accommodations is not exempt from meeting essential academic requirements, as stated in the program curriculum and/or the course outline.
Accommodations should not alter the core requirements of what a student must learn and demonstrate, but instead shift how a student “receives course curriculum and materials, participates in course activities, or demonstrates mastery of course content and skills” (Policy 159).
Consult with us if you identify an accommodation that is incompatible with the essential requirements of your course.
Contact the Student Accommodation Facilitator identified in a student’s accommodation plan with any questions or concerns.
You can also visit the Accommodation Guide for more detailed information about implementing common accommodations.
Learning and Inclusion Education Developers can meet with you 1:1 or as a group for training and support in inclusive course design and understanding your responsibilities under Policy 159. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*“Instructor” refers to all teaching staff, including faculty and part-time/sessional contract lecturers.
Students are responsible for sending their accommodation plan to their instructors every semester.
Students are responsible for informing their instructors when they need to make use of their accommodations, with as much notice as possible, participating in the accommodation process, and meeting relevant deadlines.
In order to receive their evaulation accommodations, students are required to book their exams, midterms, tests, and quizzes with the Test Centre by the posted deadlines.
Students are to book for the same date and time the class is writing, unless otherwise arranged.
AAS Staff are responsible for creating individualized accommodation plans based on thorough assessment and documentation from a regulated healthcare provider and to help facilitate the implementation and administration of these accommodations as needed.