Current and Returning Students
Returning Student Re-activation
- Academic accommodations expire at the end of every semester.
- In order to receive academic accommodations for the subsequent semester, students need to re-activate their registration with Accessibility Services.
- Students who need to discuss possible changes, updates or just needing to re-activate their registration with Accessibility Services can set up an appointment to meet with our Accessibility & Student Support Coordinator.
Part of your role each semester as a student registered with Accessibility Services is setting up one-to-one appointments with each of your professors to discuss, in a confidential setting, your academic accommodations. The purpose of meeting with your professors is to inform them of your registration with Accessibility Services and that you are approved for specific academic accommodations. It is important to note that only classroom and exam accommodations are shared and no mention of your diagnosis or disability. This meeting is meant to give you an opportunity to establish a relationship with each of your professors early on, to clearly convey your particular accommodation needs, and to work out with them the logistics of your accommodations. You are encouraged to use this meeting time as an opportunity to discuss with your professors any other ways they can help further support your success as a learner in their class. This is an interactive process and the more knowledgeable you are about your disability and your needs, the more you will be able to bring to this conversation.
Self-advocacy is a key skill for university students with disabilities. It involves understanding the impact of your disability, being able to communicate your needs, understanding your rights and responsibilities in the accommodation process, problem-solving, and utilizing support systems. Self-advocacy is about self-determination.
It is your responsibility to meet with your professors early in the semester and discuss how your accommodation(s) relate to the design of the course.
Here are some tips to help guide these conversations:
Know Yourself and how your Disability Affects You
Although you do not have to disclose your disability when talking to your professor, it is helpful for him or her to know how it affects you in the classroom. Do you have trouble concentrating? Is it hard to follow the professor while taking notes? Can you see information presented in class? If a professor has this information, he or she may have a better idea of how to appropriately accommodate your disability.
Your Right to Academic Accommodations
You will find that at Ambrose, most professors/instructors are accustomed to and interested in working with students to appropriately accommodate disabilities. However, if you find that you need to educate a faculty member about disability legislation and Ambrose’s procedures, here is a reminder of how things work.
You are entitled to receive academic accommodations under the Alberta Human Rights Duty to Accommodate Interpretive Bulletin and the Alberta Human Rights Act. Ambrose will promote and protect the rights and dignity of students with disabilities and will create and maintain a safe, respectful and supportive learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Ambrose recognizes its legal duty to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities, that this duty arises from human rights legislation and that failure to provide reasonable accommodation to a student with a documented disability may amount to discrimination under the Act.
At Ambrose, the Accessibility and Support Services Office determines what accommodations are needed for a student by reviewing documentation provided by qualified professionals and by discussing your particular needs with you. Let your professor/instructor know that you met with the Accessibility Office when you meet with them to discuss your accommodations. Be ready to explain how and why an accommodation is appropriate. Having this knowledge and being able to articulate it to the professor/instructor adds to your credibility. If you don't know why you are receiving an accommodation, speak with the Accessibility & Student Support Coordinator.
Choosing a Time to Meet
It is important that you meet with your professor as close to the start of the semester as possible to ensure that accommodations are put in place swiftly. Although it might seem convenient, the time immediately after class is usually not a good time to talk with your instructors. This is often the time when everybody with a question bombards the professor and the instructor's attention is diffused. Also, many instructors have other obligations directly after class so they are unable to give you the time necessary to adequately discuss your needs. Most importantly, the environment directly after a class does not provide the privacy to insure confidentiality. When discussing your accommodations or any other issue with an professor/instructor, you need their full attention, so your best bet is to make an appointment to see a professor during his or her office hours or at another time that suits you both.
Be Prepared for your Appointment
When you arrive at your scheduled meeting time, have an idea of what you want to discuss. You look (and are) more organized when you have questions written down and notes highlighted. If you are going over classroom accommodations, know what they are; if you are going over a graded test, have some idea of what went wrong and discuss ways for improvement; if you are having trouble understanding lecture material, present some options that will work for you.
Those approved for exam accommodations can fill out this form to request an exam accommodation.
On campus: If you need a brief conversation with Accessibility Services to troubleshoot a specific problem, consider using our drop-in service. We will do our best to see you as soon as we are available to do so. Our office is on the second floor just off the atrium in the Student Life/Student Academic Success area; we are available Monday-Friday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Online: Appointments can be facilitated by booking with the Accessibility & Student Support Coordinator.
If you meet with a professor who is unwilling to work with you on providing accommodations, or with whom other difficulties arise, please contact the Accessibility & Student Support Coordinator, immediately. While it is important that you develop self-advocacy skills, we are here to help you in this process.