Lifting the Barriers on Disability

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Seneca College

Seneca offers more than an education. With campuses throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca's size and diversity give students the advantage of partnerships with industry leaders, the latest in hands-on computer technology, a variety of class sizes, and full-time, part-time and continuing education options. Education should be flexible and accessible, so Seneca also employs various methods of teaching – from in-class lectures and online learning to co-op and field placements – in programs related to applied arts, business, financial services and technology. (source)

 

Accessibility Services

Counselling and Accessibility Services offers support for current students trying to manage the complexities of College life. Students are seen on a voluntary basis. (source)

 

What Type of Documentation is Needed?

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 Accessibility Counsellor and/or Adaptive Technology Specialist.

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:

  1. Clinician's name, letterhead or stamp, title, phone number, and address and date(s) of examination.
  2. A clear statement of the physical disability, a summary of present symptoms, and a statement of the treatment, where relevant.
  3. 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.
  4. Description of how the disability and treatment, if applicable, impact the student's functioning in an academic setting.

ADHD or ADD

Each student seeking disability-related accommodations and services from Seneca College's Accessibility Services or funding for assistive services and technology is responsible for providing a written, comprehensive psychological and/or medical evaluation verifying a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. Ideally, the student should provide a psychoeducational assessment report, but a letter from a physician may suffice on a temporary basis.

Assessments completed after the student reaches the age of 18 are considered current. Partial or full reassessment may be considered if information is needed to support the student in the current learning 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).

Students must have their disabilities verified by a clinician with expertise in the diagnosis of ADD/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:

  1. Clinician's name, title, phone number, and address; date(s) of examination on letterhead
  2. Summary of all instruments and procedures were relevant
  3. Summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioral observations
  4. A clear statement of the DSM-5 or ICD diagnosis; summary of evaluation results, including standardized scores
  5. Statement of specific functional limitations relating to academic performance
  6. Suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations to assist 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.

Additional Information

A Seneca Counselling and Accessibility Services Transition Program
This free two-day workshop of interactive sessions is designed to help students with accessibility/accommodation needs develop and refine successful learning skills and habits. This workshop is especially relevant for new students starting Seneca this fall.

How to enrol

Application forms (pdf) are online or can be picked up at campus Counselling and Accessibility Services locations. Secure your spot quickly, space is limited!

September 1 and 2, 2015
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (breakfast, lunch and snacks included)