Lifting the Barriers on Disability

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Carleton University

Situated on a beautiful campus bordered by the sparkling Rideau River and Canal, Carleton is just minutes from the heart of our nation's government and enjoys easy access to the many organizations, associations and businesses which thrive in Ottawa. Many of Ontario's leading high tech companies surround our campus where cutting-edge research joins with highly innovative teaching to solve real-life problems. Members of a dynamic, research-intensive university, Carleton's faculty and staff provide a superior learning experience for our fine students who hail from every province and from over 100 countries around the world. (source)


Paul Menton Centre

To foster equal access to the university experience for students with disabilities while maintaining academic standards through provision of academic accommodations and support services, in partnership with the Carleton community. (source)


Academic Resources


Provision of note takers, taped lectures, sign language interpretation, and FM systems are common classroom accommodations offered by the Paul Menton Centre for students who require them. Classroom accommodations are there to enable students with disabilities to access instructional material on an equitable basis with their non-disabled peers. If you have difficulty accessing instructional material in the traditional format due to your disability, you should discuss your needs with your PMC coordinator.

Audio Recording Lectures

Some students find that audiotaping lectures allows them to review the material presented in class. While it requires organizing your study time, it has two benefits:

  1. allowing you to fill in your notes, thereby concentrating on listening to the Instructor during the lecture; and
  2. encouraging you to review the course information a second time, which never hurts! A limited number of tape recorders are available for you to borrow in order to determine if this strategy is one you can use efficiently and effectively.

Alternate format materials

Students registered with the Paul Menton Centre may request to have their required texts and readings transcribed into various alternate formats such as PDF, mp3, Braille or large print. Once a request for alternate format has been been approved by a student's coordinator, the information is passed onto Transcription Services at the Library, which may require placing an order with the W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind. W. Ross Macdonald is the provincial agency that provides texts and other course-related print material in the alternate format of a student's choice.

Sign Language Interpreting

If you are registering for courses at Carleton University and require sign language interpretation for access to course materials, you should register as soon as possible with the Paul Menton Centre.

Notetaking Service

The Notetaking Service offered by the Paul Menton Centre is a volunteer-based program. The success of this program depends on these volunteer notetakers who are willing to share their notes with fellow students who cannot take their own notes for a variety of disability-related reasons.


In-Class Tests and Examinations

In-class tests and exams are those that are conducted within the classroom, or any tests, which are not organized and proctored through Scheduling and Examination Services (SES). This applies to tests given during the term or during the formal examination period. With the exception of CUTV courses, instructors are responsible for providing accommodation for all in-class tests, midterms, and exams.

Formally Scheduled Examinations

Formal examinations are mid-term, final, deferred final examinations scheduled and administered by Examination Services within the dates specified in the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar for such exams. SES is responsible for making accommodation arrangements for all formally scheduled exams. Confirmation of accommodation arrangements for each student is sent to Connect email accounts prior to the formal examination period.

CUTV Midterm Examinations

CUTV midterm examinations are those that are scheduled and administered by the Scheduling and Examination Services (SES). Students requiring accommodations for their CUTV midterms must submit their "Request for Accommodation" to PMC at least two weeks before the first midterm exam. Compliance to this deadline is crucial to students receiving accommodations for their midterm exams.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology enables students with disabilities to compensate for and minimize educational barriers imposed by their specific disability. It also promotes independence among students with disabilities, which is one of the three fundamental tenets of PMC's philosophy. As such, we try to promote the use of adaptive technology by students with disabilities as much as possible. We try to achieve this goal by:

  • Making assistive equipment available on loan to students who are registered with the PMC
  • Having two locations, the Joy Maclaren Adaptive Technology Centre and the Learning Centre, from which students with disabilities have access to a wide range of adaptive technology
  • Making Bursary money available to OSAP-eligible students to purchase their own adaptive technology equipment
  • Ensuring that at least one computer workstation is accessible for students with disabilities in some of the CCS computer labs.
  • Providing technology or technical solutions as needed to suit a specific disability need

Non-Academic Resources

Support Services

Pre-screening for suspected Learning Disability (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The Paul Menton Centre has a comprehensive assessment program for students who suspect that they may have a Learning Disability (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For more information about this program, see LD Assessment info LINK or contact PMC.

Learning Strategy Assistant (LSA) and Peer Tutoring

The Learning Assistant Program is staffed by trained individuals who are undergraduate or graduate students. Learning Assistants provide specific one-on-one learning support for students with diverse needs. They are paid by the students who typically have assistance through the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD), however, students not eligible for the bursary may also pay for these services. Check with your PMC coordinator for more information about eligibility and application process.

Disability Counselling

The PMC has graduate students from a counselling program offering individual disability-related and academic counselling. The students are supervised and have relevant experience and training. If you are interested in connecting with a counselling intern, contact your PMC Coordinator for a referral.

Learning Strategy Support

The PMC has two on-staff Learning Strategists available to meet one-on-one with PMC students to help them develop (1) self-awareness (a better understanding of learning strengths and weaknesses, including the impact of your disability on academic performance), (2) self-advocacy (an ability to draw from self-awareness to seek out services and accommodations needed to level the playing field) and (3) individualized learning strategies (which may include the use of Assistive Technology). We offer LS Workshops each fall on topics such as Time Management and Organization, Active Reading, and Note taking Strategies. Ask your PMC Coordinator for a referral to weekly LS drop-ins or appointments.

Attendant Services Program

Carleton has a unique program that offers attendant and personal care services, 24-hours per day, 12 months of the year at no cost to students with physical disabilities living in residence. Student attendants are employed to assist students with disabilities with activities of daily living such as rising, retiring, personal hygiene, and dressing. To obtain further information, please contact: Matthew Cole at (613) 520-6615.

Special Needs Residence Accommodation Request

Submission of required documentation to support a Special Needs Residence Accommodation request is used by the Department once a room offer is made and accepted by the student. The completion of this request by a student does not override the regular application process established for all individuals applying for residence accommodation according to specified due dates. The Department may request additional information that demonstrates that the student is unable to attend University if not offered on campus accommodation.

Students who wish to request consideration for Special Needs Residence Accommodation based on a physical or non-physical disability, medical condition or special dietary need that may affect their room assignment or ability to use the meal plan must:

  1. Complete a Residence application on-line (Carleton Central) by specified date.
  2. Provide documentation from the appropriate medical professional.
  3. Submit a signed and dated documentation that provides explanation of your personal situation that includes the following:
    1. Specific nature of your request
    2. What you believe you require to meet your needs, and why
    3. What measures you currently take at your own living environment (home, apartment) that addresses your challenges
    4. If dietary related, you must indicate the specific limitations you have and how you believe this may affect your ability to use a meal plan.

Submission of this information does not guarantee any specific style room accommodation. There are a limited number of barrier free rooms to accommodate students with a physical disability.

Please note the Department may request additional information to assess the request, or permission to speak directly to the medical professional.

The medical documentation and personal request must be received in the Department of Housing and Residence Life Services by 4:30 pm:

Please send your documents by either email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; you can fax the documents to 613-520-3952 or mail them to:

The Department of Housing and Residence Life Services, 261 Stormont House, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON, K1S 5B6

Special Needs Residence Accommodation requests received after the specified due dates will only be considered under exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Department and by availability of space at the time the application is received.

What Type of Documentation is Needed?

For all the different forms needed, please click on this page

How do I Apply?


Once you have accepted an offer of admission to Carleton, it is highly recommended that you meet with a PMC Coordinator to learn about available academic accommodations and support services.

Summer Registration

  1. Contact PMC to set up an appointment with a PMC Coordinator by phone 613.520.6608, TTY 613.520.3937 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  2. Mail or fax documentation of your disability and completed Intake Questionnaire for New Students to PMC so that it arrives 2 business days before your appointment. If it is not possible to send it in advance, please bring the required documentation to your appointment.
  3. Meet with a PMC Coordinator to assess your documentation and discuss academic accommodations and support services.

Fall/Winter Registration

  1. Once you have registered for classes through Carleton Central, make an appointment with your PMC Coordinator for early September (or early January, if registering in the winter term).
  2. Attend your first class for each course and obtain course outlines.
  3. When you meet with your PMC Coordinator, bring your course information to the appointment. This includes your course code, section, instructor, and his or her email address (e.g., PSYC 1001 A, Professor Chris Motz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). During this appointment, you will discuss with your PMC Coordinator classroom and/or test/exam accommodations that you will need for each course, and a Letter of Accommodation will be sent to each instructor by email.

Registering with the PMC BEFORE you start school in September will increase the likelihood of a smooth transition and ensure you have supports in place without unnecessary delay.

For more information, please contact PMC at phone 613.520.6608, TTY 613.520.3937 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Additional Information

Make the CUT (College / University Transition) is a transition program designed to assist students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder make a successful transition from secondary school to college or university.

This program is a joint initiative of Carleton University's Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities and Algonquin College's Centre for Students with Disabilities in collaboration with the Public and Catholic School boards of Ottawa-Carleton, Upper Canada and Renfrew County.

The program provides prospective students with an orientation to the post-secondary environment with a focus on specific resources available for students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

To learn more about this program, please click on this page.