Subject: Policy on Students with Disabilities
Approved by: Senate
Approval date: May 4, 2000
Revised: January 23, 2013; March 15, 2016
1 — PREAMBLE
Mount Allison University is proud to be an institution that welcomes and supports a diverse student body. To this end, Mount Allison is committed to providing support for students with disabilities, and, where warranted and without compromising academic standards, will provide reasonable accommodations.
2 — POLICY
Subject to financial and other resource constraints, the University is committed to providing equitable access and reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and to do so in a manner which promotes as much as possible self-determination. However, it remains an individual's decision whether to request an accommodation or whether to self-identify as a person with a disability.
The University respects the rights of privacy of the individual. To this end, information on students with disabilities will be treated as confidential. Only information necessary for programme development and implementation or for determining reasonable accommodations will be collected or shared. No information will be shared without the informed consent of the person with a disability who is involved.
The University is committed to improving access to academic programs, to campus buildings and to support services for students with disabilities.
2.1 Equal opportunity. Mount Allison is committed to the academic and non-academic development of students. The University seeks to remove attitudinal and environmental barriers which may hamper or prevent academically qualified students with disabilities from participating fully in University life. The University understands that persons with disabilities may have different methods for achieving success and acknowledges that assessment and evaluation outcomes should remain consistent with course objectives.
2.2 Access. The University recognizes that academically qualified students with disabilities will have access to its educational programs, facilities and services.
2.3 lndividualised Assistance. The University recognizes that academically qualified students with disabilities may require lndividualised assistance. However, with lndividualised assistance, it is expected that students with disabilities will maintain the University's academic standards.
2.4 Fairness. It is recognized that students with documented disabilities may require certain accommodations not required by other students in order to have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of academic objectives.
2.5 Responsibilities of the University.
To ensure that academically qualified students with disabilities may pursue a post-secondary education of quality, the University will:
2.5.1 create and maintain a barrier-free environment by
a. the provision of support services; and
b. promoting an attitude of respect for persons with disabilities; and
c. promoting sensitivity to the needs of persons with disabilities
2.5.2 inform the University community about the services available to students with disabilities and seek to ensure that such services are delivered in ways that promote equity;
2.5.3 offer to consult with faculty and staff regarding disability issues both in the classroom and on campus
2.5.4 where warranted and without compromising academic standards, provide reasonable accommodations to the point of undue hardship.
2.5.5 provide each new student who self-identifies as having a disability with information regarding specific services and accommodations available at Mount Allison. The Meighen Centre provides this information directly to the student while maintaining the student's confidentiality.
2.5.6 review disability documentation in a timely manner to ensure compliance with specific guidelines. In the event that documentation does not meet these guidelines, the student will be informed.
2.5.7 in terms of informed consent, take reasonable steps to consult students with disabilities about decisions relating to matters affecting them while respecting students' confidentiality (see section 2.8).
2.5.8 provide an appropriate level of administrative support.
2.5.9 ensure that the provision of services to students with disabilities is provided by advisors with academic qualifications and professional expertise specific to the area of disabilities.
2.6 Responsibilities of students.
Students with disabilities requiring assistance from the University shall:
2.6.1 initiate contact with the Meighen Centre on campus as early as possible and make the nature of their disabilities and needs known, and
2.6.2 ensure that comprehensive, current documentation is provided to the University regarding their specific disability before services can be provided. Documentation guidelines for specific disabilities can be found on the Meighen Centre websites. Comprehensive documentation means appropriate medical or psycho-educational verification by a recognised professional, including, but not limited to, the nature of the disability, a detailed explanation of the functional impact of the disability on the pursuit of post-secondary education and, where possible, explicit recommendations (e.g. test-exam accommodations and coping strategies). There must be a clear link between the diagnosis, the academic accommodations, and functional limitations in order to receive services. A simple diagnosis alone (e.g. "visually impaired", "hearing impaired" or "learning disability") is not sufficient, and
2.6.3 undertake a reasonable amount of self-advocacy to ensure that they are provided with an equal opportunity by the University.
It remains, however, the decision of the individual students whether to request an accommodation or to self-identify as a person with a disability. Students should be aware, in any case, that, requesting accommodations must be supported by their documentation which meets disability documentation guidelines as set out by either the Meighen. Students must submit accommodation requests to instructors a reasonable amount of time in advance of test dates.
If the student does not wish to self-identify, accommodations and services may not be granted to course work previously completed by the students prior to self-identifying. Students are strongly encouraged to identify themselves to their instructors early in the academic term.
2.7 Responsibilities of faculty
In order to ensure that academically qualified students with disabilities may pursue a post-secondary education at Mount Allison, the Faculty will:
2.7.1 be aware that it is primarily the role of the Meighen Centre to provide accommodations and services to students with disabilities. Instructors are encouraged to do so where and when possible. Accommodations must comply with the guidelines established by the Meighen Centre.
2.7.2 attempt to include persons of all abilities and skills without discrimination.
2.7.3 seek advice from the Meighen Centre regarding accommodations that potentially undermine the academic integrity of a course.
Confidentiality means that only people who have a legitimate need for information should have access to it and that they should only have access to as much information as is required. Information will only be shared with others if the student has consented to that information being shared with those individuals.
2.9 Appeals Process
- Academic: Students who believe that they have not been treated fairly in accordance with this policy in an academic matter are encouraged first to discuss the matter with the instructor. Any matters unresolved by discussion between students and instructors may be appealed to the department head, then to the academic dean, and then to the Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research.
- Non-academic: Students who believe that they have not been treated fairly in accordance with this policy in a non-academic matter are encouraged first to appeal to the Manager or Director of the non-academic department in question, or to the Director of Student Life, then to the Vice-President, International and Student Affairs.
3 — IMPLEMENTATION
The responsibility to implement this policy throughout the University rests on all members of the University community including faculty, administration, staff and students.