Students with Different Abilities Policy
OF: The Royal Alberta College (hereinafter shall be referred to as “the college” and/or as “college” and/or The “Royal Alberta College”)
The College shall take all reasonable measures, short of undue hardship, to provide accommodation to students with Different Abilities. The reasonable accommodation of students with Different Abilities shall not require the College to lower its standards, academic or otherwise, nor shall it relieve a student of the responsibility to develop and demonstrate the essential skills and competencies expected of all students pursuing post-secondary studies.
2.0 RATIONALE AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES:
This policy is intended to support MacEwan’s mission and the provision of an accessible environment in support of teaching and learning excellence, as
well as judicious stewardship of resources, respecting the importance of a consultative learning community. This policy is guided by federal and provincial human rights legislation and by the following principles:
2.1 The Royal Alberta College is committed to the principles of equality and inclusion.
2.2 Members of the college’s community are required to act in compliance with federal and provincial legislation regarding the accommodation of persons with Different Abilities and the regulations and rules set out in this policy.
2.3 Students with Different Abilities have an equal right to access all College programs and services subject only to the College policies, regulations and procedures that provide for admission to College programs and those which regulate student conduct.
2.4 Students with Different Abilities are responsible for identifying all need(s) for academic accommodation to the College’s Office of the Registrar in accordance with this policy. A student’s responsibility to identify the need for accommodation is an on-going responsibility that may begin at the admission stage and continue throughout the student’s enrolment at the College.
2.5 Upon admission to a College program in accordance with this policy, students with Different Abilities are presumed to be capable of fulfilling
the academic requirements of their program with the provision of reasonable accommodation.
3.0 SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS:
This policy pertains to students with Different Abilities who apply to and, having satisfied admission criteria, are enrolled in College programs and courses including off campus activities such as clinical and practicum placements. Academic activities undertaken off campus are addressed by agreement with the third party involved.
Accessibility – refers to the extent to which services and facilities can be used by all regardless of disability. Accommodation means the process of making alterations to the delivery of services to become more accessible to students with Different Abilities with the goal to ensure full participation in all aspects of their educational experience (Alberta Human Rights Duty to Accommodate Students with Different Abilities in Post-Secondary Institutions, interpretive bulletin, August, 2004, pp. 2-5). Disability encompasses the definitions of the terms “physical disability” and “mental disability” that are included in provincial human rights legislation (Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act, Section 44).
Duty to Accommodate- refers to the requirement under federal and provincial legislation to make arrangements, adjustments and alterations in the educational environment to ensure that it does not have a discriminatory effect on a student because of the student’s disability.
Reasonable Accommodation- under provincial legislation and the Supreme Court of Canada, refers to the requirement of educational institutions to provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship, that is, the provision of accommodation to a standard that overcomes a discriminatory effect, but does not require the institution to choose the most expensive or comprehensive level of accommodation.
Shared Responsibility – refers to the expectation that accommodation is a shared responsibility between the student and the institution, and that arriving at accommodation is an iterative, consultative process.
Undue Hardship- under both provincial and federal legislation, is deemed to have a very high standard and would include, but is not limited to, the following: financial cost that hurts the viability of the service, program or institution; a situation in which students cannot meet the requirements for entering or completing a program; significant interference with the rights of other students; and health and safety concerns. The institutional responsibility requires due diligence and may require adjudication under legislation.
Services to Students with Different Abilities department- means the College department responsible for coordination of reasonable accommodation for students with Different Abilities.
4.1 The Alberta Licensee shall be responsible for the overall management of this policy.
4.2 The College acknowledges and accepts its duty to accommodate students with Different Abilities up to the point of undue hardship.
4.3 The College shall foster and support positive relationships between itself and students with Different Abilities through open communication regarding the duty to accommodate. To this end, communication between the College and its students with Different Abilities will be made accessible to all such students from the time of inquiry.
4.4 Where deemed by the College to be reasonably necessary, the College shall retain qualified and knowledgeable consultants to facilitate the assessment and coordination of accommodation to students with Different Abilities.
4.5 The College shall educate all members of its community, including faculty, staff, students and contractors, on the duty to accommodate students with Different Abilities and the existence of this policy.
4.6 The Services to Students with Different Abilities department shall publish procedures for students with Different Abilities in accordance with this policy.
Responsibilities of Students with Different Abilities to the College
4.7 In addition to the responsibilities of all students as indicated in this Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, students with Different Abilities who
seek accommodation are also responsible for the following:
4.7.1 To provide all required documentation in support of the request for accommodation in a timely manner to the Services to Students with Different Abilities department in accordance with published procedures (4.8).
4.7.2 To abide by all recommendations and procedures for accommodation developed or coordinated by the Services to
Students with Different Abilities department. Documentation in Support of a Request for Accommodation
4.8 Documentation in support of a request for accommodation must meet guidelines as developed and published by the Services to Students
with Different Abilities department and as noted below:
-be completed by a licensed professional with specific training and expertise in the diagnosis and description of the condition(s) for which accommodation is being requested.
-describe the nature of the disability and provide an explanation of the functional impact(s) of the disability.
-describe the student’s current functioning.
4.9 In exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Services to Students with Different Abilities department, a student will be provided accommodations on an interim basis without documentation.
4.10 A student is not required to reveal the specific details of his or her disability to anyone other than the Services to Students with Different Abilities department.
4.11 All information obtained by the Services to Students with Different Abilities department will be treated as confidential and according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. Personal documentation held by the Services to Students with Different Abilities department will be destroyed consistent with the institution’s Records and Information Management policy and any relevant professional body’s regulations (e.g. College of Alberta Psychologists). Decisions Regarding Recommended Accommodations
4.12 The Services to Students with Different Abilities department will review the documentation submitted by a student with a disability and conduct an assessment of the individual’s need for accommodation.
4.13 To determine the appropriate reasonable accommodations, consultation will take place between the student and the Services to Students with Different Abilities department, and, where necessary, the appropriate academic personnel. The student and/or the Services to Students with Different Abilities department will document the recommended accommodations in writing. The student will deliver this documentation to each instructor. Efforts will be made to provide timely notice to instructors of the needs of students with Different Abilities in their classes.
4.14 The determination of reasonable accommodations for an individual may vary between courses, including required off campus components of programs, and/or over time depending upon individual circumstances. The College reserves the right to alter or discontinue the provision of accommodation upon review of individual needs and relevant course or program demands.
4.15 If an instructor does not agree with the recommendations of the Services to Students with Different Abilities department, he or she will communicate this disagreement to the Services to Students with Different Abilities department in an attempt to reach a resolution that meets the duty to accommodate.
4.16 If a resolution is not reached in 4.15, the Students with Different Abilities department shall discuss the matter with the lead of the program. If necessary, the matter may then be referred to the Alberta Licensee who will consult with the stakeholders and may seek the advice of from legal and/or human rights counsel to facilitate a resolution that meets the duty to accommodate.
4.19 Students wishing to appeal matters pertaining to this policy must follow the regulations as set out in Student Appeals.