Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the College of their needs at the beginning of the term and provide relevant, and current medical, psycho-educational or psychological documentation to the Counselling and Accessibility Services office. Students who do not have current documentation will be strongly encouraged to undergo assessment in order to demonstrate eligibility for accommodation(s) and service(s) at the postsecondary level. If applicable, the student has the responsibility to apply for funding for assistive services and technology as identified by the Assistive Technologist and/or the Counsellor as appropriate.
The provision of all academic accommodations is individualized and based upon the impact of a student’s disability on current academic performance. To set up initial accommodations, a student must have current medical documentation based on functional limitations or an updated ADHD or LD assessment. Assessments completed after the student reaches the age of 18 are considered current. Students may be encouraged to engage in a partial or full reassessment where more information is needed to understand the student’s learning needs within the current post-secondary environment or if the student’s health or other circumstances have changed. Full re-assessments are required when assessments provided are out of date for reasons of age of the assessments or change of circumstances. Updated assessments are required if past assessments were completed five or more years prior to the student's initial request for disability-related services at Seneca College (i.e., if the student is now 19 years of age and the assessment was completed at age 14) or as required by specific program licensing bodies or funders (e.g., Nursing, Accounting, Employment and Immigration).
Seneca College is committed to a learning environment that is free of discrimination and harassment on the grounds of a disability and stresses all students and employees be afforded an inclusive teaching, learning and working environment that acknowledges and promotes equal rights for all persons with disabilities as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005).
Students with Physical/Sensory Disabilities
Physical disabilities are considered to be in the medical domain and require the diagnosis by a physician with expertise in the area of the particular disability. The clinician must be a neutral, unrelated, and non-biased professional. For students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, an audiology report by an audiologist confirming hearing loss, which may include an audiogram indicating the hearing loss measured in decibel loss is the preferred documentation. For students who are blind or have low vision, a report or letter from an Ophthalmologist is preferred.
Documentation must include:
- Clinician's name, letterhead or stamp, title, phone number, and address and date(s) of examination.
- A clear statement of the physical disability or functional limitation, a summary of present symptoms, and a statement of the treatment, where relevant.
- Medical information relating to the student’s needs, including the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.
- Description of how the disability and treatment, if applicable, impact the student’s functioning in an academic setting.
Students with LD, ADHD or ADD
Each student seeking disability-related academic accommodations and services from Seneca College’s Counselling and Accessibility Services department or funding for assistive services and technology is responsible for providing a written, comprehensive psychological and/or medical evaluation verifying a diagnosis of Learning Disability (LD), ADD or ADHD. Ideally, the student should provide a psychoeducational assessment report, but a letter from a physician may suffice on a temporary basis.
Psychoeducational assessments are considered acceptable if they have used adult norms or were completed within the previous 5 years. Student’s may be encouraged to engage in a partial or full reassessment where more information is needed to understand the student’s learning needs within the current post-secondary environment or other circumstances have changed.
Students must have their disabilities verified by a clinician with expertise in the diagnosis of LD, ADD or ADHD. The clinician must be a registered educational and/or clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or neuropsychologist. The clinician must be a neutral, unrelated, and non-biased professional.
Documentation must include:
- Clinician's name, title, phone number, and address; date(s) of examination on letterhead
- Summary of all instruments and procedures were relevant
- Summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioral observations
- A clear statement of the DSM-5 or ICD diagnosis; summary of evaluation results, including standardized scores
- Statement of specific functional limitations relating to academic performance
- Suggestions for specific academic accommodations to minimize the impact of functional limitations on the student's academic performance.
NOTE: Other documentation, such as a high school Individual Program Plan or a letter from a physician, is helpful but not sufficient in determining appropriate academic accommodation.