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Steps to Access Services

You are an equal partner in your education and you are responsible for meeting deadlines and following the procedures prescribed by Accessibility Services in order to access the accommodations and services you will require. For on-campus students, completing the following steps will help you on your path to success at Thompson Rivers University.

For your convenience, download a handout version of these steps here. If preferred, a plain text version is also available here.

On-Campus Students

1

Meet with an Advisor

Three Months Before Start of Semester

Book an appointment with an A.S. Advisor to discuss your needs and which services you are eligible for, preferably three months before the start of the semester.

2

Get Necessary Documentation

One Month Before Start of Semester

After the initial appointment, acquire the documentation necessary for accessing the accommodations and/or funding that you discussed with your Advisor.

3

Request Accommodation Letter(s)

First Week of Classes

Log on to the Student Services Portal to send out your accommodation letter(s).

4

Follow Up

Second Week of Classes

Once you receive your course outlines from your instructors please book your midterms and tests with the A.S. Test Centre.

Please book your midterms and tests one week in advance and adhere to the final exam booking deadline - three weeks before the last day of classes.

5

Access Accommodations

During Semester

Make use of the accommodations for which you have been approved. Connect with the Learning Specialist and/or Assistive Technology Specialist.

6

Continue Accessing

Start of Every Semester

Remember to send out your accommodation letter(s) each semester using the Student Services Portal.

Open Learning Students

1

Get Necessary Documentation

Before Start of Semester

Provide the appropriate documentation to A.S. Advisor

2

Ask for Accommodation

When Registering in a Course

Indicate you are a student who may require academic accommodations due to a health condition/disability.

3

Meet with an Advisor

After Registration in a Course

Book a telephone appointment with an A.S. Advisor to discuss your individual needs, so that, if eligible, accommodations can be set up before the course begins.

4

Obtain Accommodation Letter

After Meeting with an Advisor

Please request your letter to be sent to the Open Learning Exams Department, not to individual instructors.

5

Get Necessary Documentation

Upon Receipt of Accommodation Letter

Share the accommodation letter with your instructors.

Please book your final exams accommodation with Open Learning Exams Department at least two weeks in advance and register with Accessibility Services at least six weeks prior to your final examinations.

Temporary disabilities

Students with a temporary disability (e.g. a broken arm, concussion, etc.) should first contact instructors to discuss temporary and reasonable accommodations and whether the instructors can provide them. If instructors are unable to provide the accommodations or if the prognosis for the temporary disability proves to be longer than expected (more than one semester), the student should contact Accessibility Services.

Changes to accommodations and deadline to register

Requests for new accommodations or changes or continuation to current accommodations must be made at the beginning of each term, to allow for sufficient processing time. You must contact your A.S. Advisor with updated documentation so adjustments to service levels and a new accommodation letter can be prepared for you if necessary. Requests for new accommodations or changes to existing accommodations will be considered up to 5 weeks before the last day of classes. For Open Learning students, the deadline to register with Accessibility Services is six weeks before the Open Learning final exam booking deadline.

Accommodation letters

Accommodation letters give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to your instructors and develop a good working relationship with them, as well as provide them with information about your accommodations. Your accommodation letter will be e-mailed to your instructors at the beginning of each semester at your request. Please note: You must inform your A.S. Advisor if you drop or add any courses so that a new letter can be prepared. Please note that your accommodation letter expires at the end of each semester. You must contact your A.S. Advisor to advise them of your new course schedule well before the end of the semester.

Transition Planning

Accessibility Service provision is a key element of transition planning for students with disabilities/health conditions but is only one piece of a much larger transition process into the university environment. The transition to the post-secondary environment signals a significant shift in the student's academic life whereby the student becomes an equal partner in their education as a self-directed, independent learner.

For students with disabilities/health conditions that require additional arrangements and who are registered with TRU, it is crucial that they contact Accessibility Services a minimum of three months prior to the start of their semester or course(s). In addition to our receipt and verification of medical documentation, some services, such as interpreting, alternate format texts, and external funding, require sufficient lead time to arrange.

Transition to university: information for parents and high school students

There are differences between services and accommodations provided at high school compared to services and accommodations provided at university for students with disabilities/health conditions. Please see the table below as well as the frequently asked questions that follow.

What are the main differences between services and accommodations for students in university compared to services and accommodations for students in high school?

 High SchoolCollege/University
Access to education for students with disabilities/health conditions is regulated by... The School Act in BC BC Human Right’s Code, University Policy BRD 10-0, Academic Accommodation
To show that a student has a disability/health condition, they must... Have an IEP that is based on a formal diagnosis Have recent documentation of their disability/health condition. For students with a learning disability, a psycho-educational assessment completed in the last five years or with adult measures required
The decision to disclose the nature of one’s disability/health condition is made by… A parent or guardian The student
Communication regarding planning and accommodations/adaptations is... With parent(s) or guardian With the student
If students don't tell their teachers/professors directly that they require academic accommodations/adaptations.... Teachers will find out anyways, from students' LART or parent The instructors/professors won’t know
To inform teachers/professors of accommodations/adaptations…. The LART provides each classroom teacher with IEPs for all designated students Students must register with Accessibility Services. Once registered, students must request that an accommodation letter is emailed to their professor(s) each semester
Teachers/professors may know students’ specific disability/diagnosis… In each class - students’ identification/diagnosis is written right on their IEP beside their list of adaptations Only if students specifically tell them—otherwise they will only know which accommodations students receive, but not why (diagnosis)
The cost of assessments and assistive technology is provided by… The school district The student (unless the student qualifies for provincial grants for technology or learning disability assessments)

Documentation

If you wish to access services and/or academic accommodations you are required to provide Accessibility Services with current documentation (within the last five years) on the nature and degree of your disability.

Acceptable documentation must be obtained from a certified health care professional who has specific training, appropriate professional designation, and expertise in the diagnosis of the conditions for which the accommodation is being requested. Examples of appropriate health care professionals include the following:

  • Physician or medical specialist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Certified audiologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Registered clinical psychologist
  • Certified school psychologist (BCASP registered if in BC)
  • Neurologist
  • Neuro-psychologist

The documentation we require for a learning disability must include a psychological-educational assessment from a registered clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist. The psychological-educational assessment must have been completed in the last five years, or the assessment must have been made after age 18.

The documentation must speak to the degree and extent of the functional impact of the disability. It must also provide recommendations on what would be deemed appropriate and reasonable accommodations and/or services. An A.S. Advisor and, when consulted, the Director, Student Access & Academic Supports, will review the documentation and discuss with the student the appropriateness and reasonableness of the recommendations in relation to the university's academic standards and the essential requirements of the course and/or program.

Documentation can be dropped off at Accessibility Services in person (Old Main room 1631), emailed from your myTRU email account, faxed directly to Accessibility Services at 1-250-371-5772 (please call after transmission to ensure prompt pick up, phone 250-828-5023) or mailed to Accessibility Services (Accessibility Services, Thompson Rivers University, 805 TRU Way, Kamloops BC V2C 0C8). Please write “confidential” on the envelope. This is in keeping with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

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