Lifting the Barriers on Disability

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Algonquin College

Dedication to student success is Algonquin College's guiding principal and is demonstrated through the quality of its programs, staff, the continual expansion of its facilities, and by forging strategic partnerships. Every action since the College was established has been to ensure students have access to the education and skills training demanded by the marketplace to launch a rewarding career. Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology was established in 1967 and was named after the First Nations people who lived in the area. (source)


Centre for Students with Disabilities

The team at the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is delighted that you're considering or have chosen Algonquin College for your post-secondary education. We're committed to ensuring that you have equal access to all educational opportunities and hope that you will take advantage of our excellent services and resources. (source)


Academic Resources

Some of the academic resources provided at Algonquin include:

  • Assistive Technologist (source)
    • The CSD team includes two Assistive Technologists (ATs) – Christine Kelsey and Jay Timms. Any student registered with the CSD can work with an AT. The AT's job is to help you identify and train with the AT that is right for you. Students can work with an AT after being referred by someone in the CSD.The first thing an Assistive Technologist will do with you is an AT Needs Assessment. The AT goes over your disability-related documentation and explores your strengths and disability-related weaknesses and their impact on your courses. The AT then works together with you and other CSD staff, and other professionals to find the right technology to help you succeed at Algonquin.
  • Assistive Technologies on campus
    • Read & Write Gold – Document Reader, Writing, Research, Study Skills
    • Read-and-Write-11-Setup (Free Take Home License for Algonquin Students and Staff)
    • Zoomtext – Screen Magnification with Reading
    • JAWS – Screen Reader
    • Inspiration – Mind Mapping
  • Accessible Workstations
    • Workstations in the CSD lab include a computer on a height-adjustable desk, a monitor attached to an articulated support arm, high contrast keyboard, AT software packages for reading, writing, planning, magnification, screen readers, etc. Workstations may have other software and hardware like large monitors, scanners, and joysticks. Workstations may vary depending on the needs of the students using the lab.
  • Learning Strategy Support (source)
    • Self-advocacy
    • Time management/organization
    • Reading
    • Note-Taking
    • Memory
    • Presentations
    • Exam Preparation
  • Transcription and Alternative Print Services (source)
    • The goal of the Transcription service is to help you get text in the format that you need. Some students require text to voice, where their text is turned into versions their computer can read out loud. Other students may require their texts transcribed to Braille or Daisy format. If you know you need Transcription Services please contact the CSD as early as possible, because this service takes time to complete.
  • Tests and Exams for Students with Disabilities (source)
    • The CSD Test Room (E304e) provides a quiet accommodated writing environment for students with disabilities when those needs cannot be met in the classroom. Students who are registered with the CSD and have a current Letter of Accommodation (LOA) can book their tests/exams with the CSD Test Room (E304e). Students must provide the Professor a copy of the LOA if they intend to write in the CSD Test Room (E304e).

All resources provided are specific to the individual student. Eligibility for these resources will be determined through documentation of needs and discussion with accessibility services.

Non-Academic Resources

Residence Attendant Services

Algonquin College offers attendant and personal care services, 24 hours per day, eight months of the year at no cost to residents of Ontario with physical disabilities living in residence. Canadian students from outside of Ontario, and international students, will be sponsored by their own governments for a portion of their attendant services expense.  (source)

The Program provides non-medical assistance with everyday tasks such as transferring, using the washroom, grooming, cutting up food, assistance with eating, etc. Staff are also available to perform other tasks that you may not be able to manage independently such as cleaning, carrying laundry, and setting up books.

The Algonquin College attendant site is managed from Carleton University, where the service is offered 12 months of the year. For more information, or if you would like to apply for this service, please visit the Attendant Services Program main page.

All resources provided are specific to the individual student. Eligibility for these resources will be determined through documentation of needs and discussion with accessibility services.

What type of documentation is needed?

In order to receive services, students must present documentation of their disability to the CSD. An IEP or IPRC document provides background information, but does not confirm a diagnosis. Documentation from a registered healthcare professional is required, as outlined below. The CSD has a Medical Form that can be provided, if necessary. (source)

Learning Disability

A current psycho-educational assessment completed by a registered psychologist / psychological associate

Learning Disability Documentation Requirements


A current psycho-educational assessment completed by a registered psychologist; or a medical report which verifies a permanent disability

Physical Disability/Mobility Impairment

 A medical report which verifies a permanent disability

Medical Disability

A medical report which verifies a permanent disability

Mental Health Diagnoses

A medical or psychologist's report which verifies a permanent disability

Acquired Brain Injury

A medical report which verifies a permanent disability

Blind or Low Vision

A medical report which verifies a permanent disability; CNIB card

Deaf, Deafened or Hard of Hearing

A medical report or audiology report which verifies a permanent disability

Autism Spectrum Disorder

A psychologist or medical report which verifies a permanent disability


The CSD may also be able to provide support to a student who is experiencing a disability that is temporary in nature. A medical report that identifies the duration of the disability is required.

If you need further information about documentation requirements, please contact the Student Support Services Welcome Centre at 613-727-4723 x 7200.

How to Apply

Registering for services with the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is easy! We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a Disability Counsellor as soon as you get your timetable. Those requiring more extensive accommodations (e.g., transcription services, sign language interpreting) should contact the CSD as early as possible in order to make sure that services are in place when classes start. Remember, in order to access accommodations, you are responsible for registering with the CSD and self-identifying as a student with a disability.

To register:
Gather your disability documentation and send it to the CSD. Your documents will be kept on file until your appointment. (source)

Additional Information

Transition Planning

The Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at Algonquin College provides a number of different workshops for high school students with disabilities who are considering post-secondary studies.

Dual Credit Program

The Dual Credit program is an excellent transition planning tool for students who may find their first year in the college environment a challenge. Students who participate in an on-campus dual credit course have the opportunity to learn how to access all student support services and resources available. Students gain a head start to the post-secondary world and find that they are better prepared to bridge from high school to college.

For more information about this program, please visit this page.

Make the CUT

This program provides prospective students with an orientation to the post secondary environment with a focus on resources available for students with Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD.

For more information about this program, please visit this page.


The Strategic Learning In the College Environment (SLICE) Conference is a summer transition program offered to individuals with disabilities entering first-year studies at Algonquin College. SLICE is a one-day event, and is free to students meeting the criteria for admission to the College and who have a permanent disability. Aimed at providing students with disabilities with an overview of the services available through the Centre for Students with Disabilities and Algonquin College, participants of the program will receive basic instruction in the following areas: study strategies, self awareness / self advocacy training, post-secondary survival skills, and assistive technologies.

For more information about this program, please visit this page.

The Transition Support Centre for Students with ASD

Algonquin College recently received support from the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities to assist students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they transition to post-secondary education.

Staff of the Transition Support Centre will offer outreach to prospective post-secondary students and their support persons who wish to have support in preparing for the transition to post-secondary school. Students who have been accepted to an Algonquin College program will have the opportunity to visit the college throughout the summer before their first semester for orientation activities. During the summer and their first year, students will be able to access services from Learning Strategists and Disability Counsellors who are trained to understand the potential needs of individuals on the spectrum. As part of these services, students can access academic accommodations and guidance regarding social interactions, receive direct instruction in self-advocacy skills required to interact with professors, staff, and classmates in the college setting, and make use of a sensory-friendly drop-in space.

For more information about this program, please visit this page.

For more information about other transitional support programs click the drop-down menu called "Transition Planning" at the top of this page.