Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Accessibility Services FAQs

 What does Accessibility Services (AS) do?
  • As an institution TRU has a responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities in accordance with the Human Rights Code (BC).
  • DS provides service to both F2F and on campus and open learning students.
  • Our primary role is to review documentation, determine academic accommodations and facilitate the provision of those accommodations. We also develop and provide awareness events and educational sessions.
  • As a department, we operate according to the University’s academic policies.
 What is a disability?

According to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development, a disability is defined as a "permanent disability." Which means: "a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary school level or labour force and is expected to remain with the person for the person's expected life." However, we do provide accommodations to those students who experience longer term but likely temporary disabling issues: i.e. recovery from an injury or surgery.

 What is an accommodation?
  • An accommodation involves the removal of barriers (physical or instructional).
  • An accommodation may involve an adaptation or alteration to the physical and/or instructional environment.
  • An accommodation may include alternate formats and methods of communication, the use of adaptive technology and/or adaptations to the examination environment.
  • An accommodation does not usually involve modification of curriculum or evaluation; a student must still meet the learning objectives and essential requirements of the course.
 Are there limitations to accommodations?

Yes, there are.

  • The University has an obligation to make the necessary efforts to reasonably accommodate a student with a disability but, at times, due to the nature and degree of the disability, no reasonable accommodation would enable a student to fulfill the essential requirements and therefore they cannot be accommodated.
  • Accommodations are designed to level the playing field so a student can meet the essential requirements and succeed on their own merits. Accommodations do not guarantee success.
 What are reasonable accommodations?

"A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, programme, service, job, facility or activity that enables a qualified person with a disability to have an equal opportunity. Institutions are obligated to make reasonable accommodations only to known limitations of an otherwise qualified individual. Reasonable accommodations should not alter a course's essential components or in any way ‘water down the curriculum or standards of the institution." From the University of Minnesota.

 Who can access services?
  • Students with a diagnosed permanent disability and who require academic accommodations and/or services in order to pursue their education.
  • Types of disabilities include: LD, ADHD, other neurological disorders, physical, mental health, sensory, chronic medical, autism spectrum disorders
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