Accessibility Services & the Accessibility Resource Centre
The University of Winnipeg is committed to providing access for students with disabilities while maintaining academic standards. Because the provision of academic accommodations can be complex given the range of possible instructional/exam formats, this goal is often best accomplished through collaborations between you, the student and a Accessibility Services professional. Each partner in the collaboration brings an important perspective: the student has a unique, personal knowledge of his/her disability; the faculty member has content knowledge and an understanding of the required outcomes; the AS professional has a broad-based knowledge of disabilities and their impact on academic performance.
In particular you have a responsibility to:
- ensure that your courses or programs are accessible to students with disabilities. Example: vocalize overhead information for blind, visually disabled and other students with disabilities.
- discuss the range of recommended academic accommodations with the student within 10 days of notification of a request for the academic accommodation. Example: arrange a meeting with a student to discuss the academic accommodations.
- implement reasonable academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Example: permit audio taping of lectures for those students who require the same.
- facilitate test / exam accommodations in accordance with the student's disability. Example: permit the student additional time for tests / exams or, where this is not possible (as in the case of students with needs that surpass your resources) assist Accessibility Services in providing these accommodations on your behalf by providing timely and accurate communication with and information to our office.
- inform yourself about different types of disabilities.
Your responsibilities apply to students who have self-identified themselves to you. The student needs to inform you of their disability and required academic accommodations in advance. Students registered with AS are encouraged to, where possible, introduce themselves to their instructors (either:
- via a Letter of Introduction to Faculty from AS)
within the first two weeks of lectures/labs of each term.
The Letter of Introduction specifies any approved academic accommodations that require faculty assistance. In the event that you do not receive a Letter of Introduction to Faculty, feel free to contact AS directly should you have any questions.
Who Do I Contact If I Think A Student May Have A Disability?
Contact an AS professional. Frequently faculty members refer students to AS. It is quite appropriate to do so. However, it is important that any discussion with a student is conducted in a completely private and confidential venue and that you refrain from making a diagnosis of the student. There may be several explanations for a discrepant academic performance, and frequently this subject is a sensitive one so it must be handled with care and discretion. At the same time, it is important to refer students to resources whom they may otherwise not be aware exist.
Test / Exam Accommodations
Faculty, with the agreement of the student, should feel free to make their own arrangements for test/exam accommodations, particularly in the case of lab tests/exams or other tests that may require a format not conducive to the student writing with our office (ie. group work). In these cases, AS staff are available to offer support and/or recommendations. However, our services are available if you or the student would feel more comfortable using AS or an alternate format of testing may be arranged.
Procedures Regarding Arrangements for Students Writing Tests/Exams with Accessibility Services
Student Responsibilities:The student should inform you of their AS registration and any academic accommodations that require your assistance, preferably within the first two weeks of lectures/labs, but as far in advance as possible.
If the student intends to write tests/exams in the ARC, the student must inform AS of these dates at least two weeks prior to the date (one month in advance for December/April exams). Changes to these bookings, if any, may only be made up to one week in advance of the term test date (one month in advance for December/April exams, where possible).
The student should remind you to provide AS with a copy of the required test/exam.
Please e-mail the test/exam to email@example.com for secure storage at least the day prior to the student writing where possible. E-mailing a text document of the text/exam is the preferred method of delivery in the case of students who need electronic text for adaptive software or Large Print test questions. If your student requires a Large Print test, please try to provide the test up to two days earlier to give AS extra time to enlarge and re-format it.
In the case of final exams, if you provide your exam to Debbie Machula (Exam Assistant) in Student Records for photocopying, you DO NOT also have to provide a copy to AS unless AS or your student requires an electronic text copy of the exam.
Test/Exam Instructions/Particulars Information
Instructors of students in evening sections (ie. Sections 050+) are asked to inform the test/exam scheduler at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance, if possible, of the standard duration of the test/exam and if their student must return to class by a certain time for the remainder of the class. This helps us to schedule staff and space accurately.
In addition to the test/exam, please provide particulars such as the test's standard duration/materials allowed (ie. Calculator/textbook use) as they apply for each test/exam. We provide a Particulars Form for you to complete and specify any instructions not already stated on the test itself.
Within 24 hours of having been written, all tests/exams may be picked up (between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM, Monday through Friday) from the ARC front desk receptionist in 1M35 who keeps a locked test filing cabinet. If no front desk staff is available, you may contact us at email@example.com to arrange for delivery of the response package(s) to your department assistant's office or to be sent by courier to an off-campus workplace (if you are sessional staff or have an off-campus office). You may also see our Exam Assistant (between 10:30AM and 2:30PM) or one of our Invigilators in the room 1M45 Test Centre and they can also have you sign the log sheet and release the test/exam response package(s) to you.
Alternatively, you may arrange for either your department secretary or Teaching Assistant to pick up the exam(s) on your behalf - if so, please e-mail us in advance with the full name(s) of these individuals so that we may ensure the release of the exam(s) to the proper person. For security reasons, tests/exams will not be sent through interdepartmental mail.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 786-9771 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input into the services of AS would be invaluable to our planning.