This guide is designed to answer questions that are frequently asked by Instructors regarding students with disabilities registered with AccessAbility Services. Keep in mind that not all students with disabilities are registered with the service.
A: Once the student is registered with our office and is determined to be in need of test accommodations, a Letter of Introduction is provided from AccessAbility Services addressed to his/her instructor(s). This letter indicates that the student has verified disability-related needs that entitle him/her to accommodated testing.
For up-to-date information on this new process, please see myAIMS for Instructors.
A: We ask that you make every attempt to accommodate a student for tests, especially short quizzes. This can be done by having the student:
Write in a departmental test room
Write with a TA in your office
Arrive at the classroom before the other students in order to start the quiz early, or having the student stay late and finish the quiz in the classroom or in your office. This is an arrangement that should be discussed with the student and/or our office to ensure that confidentiality is maintained and the accommodation needs are met.
While departments and instructors can arrange for students to write accommodated exams with them, students requiring specialized services, equipment or settings that cannot be reasonably provided by a department may arrange to write exams through AccessAbility Services.
A: AccessAbility Services usually schedules tests/exams to start at the same time as the class, in a space supervised by an AccessAbility Services invigilator. In order to accommodate extended time it may be necessary for the student to start writing earlier than the scheduled start time or finish after the scheduled class end time.
A: 5 days before the test date, AccessAbility Services will contact instructors by email and provide the time, location, and name(s) of the student (s) will be writing. Please note that these emails are sent to the address listed for Instructors on ROSI. It is therefore important that Instructors check their email accounts on a frequent basis.
A: All students writing tests and exams with AccessAbility Services are under the supervision of AccessAbility invigilation staff. As per the Academic Handbook (V.9), instructors are expected to visit rooms where students are writing with AccessAbility Services.
If students are writing with extra time, Instructors can visit before or after the class time. In the case of final exams, the Registrar's Office provides the Exam Support Team who are able to supervise your class while you visit students writing with AccessAbility Services. Any announcements, changes on the exam, etc. must be communicated to AccessAbility Services immediately so the student(s) can be notified.
A: Students are informed that every attempt will be made to contact the instructor at the numbers provided for clarification on a test if it is needed. Where this is not possible, the student is advised to write down their interpretation, or concern regarding a question, beside their answer. It will be up to you to determine whether or not you would have been able to clarify or rectify a concern if you had been able to visit and grade the answer accordingly.
A: AccessAbility Services will deliver completed exams the respective divisional offices by invigilators or AccessAbility Services staff, no later than the following business day. All exams obtain a signature of the receiving party. Internal mail is not used for confidentiality and security reasons. It is important that instructors refer to their division regarding the divisional process for returning tests/exams to instructors.
A: Students can request to write with accommodations for any quiz, test or exam including deferred exams. Once the petition to defer has been granted by the Associate Dean, AccessAbility Services will make the arrangements.
A: If the student is requesting exam accommodations through AccessAbility Services the exam will be set up by the service following academic regulations, while at the same time ensuring disability-related needs are met.
Where the conflict involves a St. George Campus or UTM course, arrangements will usually be made for both exams to be written at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
A: All AccessAbility Services invigilators are members of the CUPE 3902 T.A. Union. They receive extensive training and make decisions based on thorough knowledge of University policies and procedures outlined in their training manual and in the current course calendar.
A. Confidentiality of information is the foundation of an effective service for students with disabilities. AccessAbility Services believes that this practice generates a student’s trust and confidence; it is also our legal responsibility.
Information provided to AccessAbility Services is protected in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Personal information provided to us cannot be used or disclosed to others without the student’s written consent.
Confidentiality also extends to student transcripts. Any student who has utilized the service will not be identified on their transcript as using the service or receiving accommodations.
A: Legally, there is no obligation for a student to identify his or her disability at any particular time. Talking about a disability may be uncomfortable for the student. Also, some students use accommodations only after they discover that they have a disability for which they need accommodations. Nevertheless, AccessAbility Services encourages each student to self-identify and make his or her needs known at the beginning of each school year. However, students who identify in the middle of the semester must do so in advance of the exam to allow the instructor and/or AccessAbility Services to arrange for the accommodation(s).
A: It is helpful for students to read a statement about accommodations in their syllabus. The Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL) has created a draft sample syllabus statement which can be found on their Centre for Teaching & Learning Publications website.