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Ontario College of Art and Design University

OCAD University is the single largest and most comprehensive independent art, design and media university in Canada. Inspired by the value of a specialized education, Canadian artists founded this institution in 1876. Today we continue to draw from our legacy of the Group of Seven, decades of design inventions such as the current Canadian flag, and from almost 140 years of ground-breaking achievements by faculty and alumni. (source)


Centre for Students with Disabilities

OCAD University is committed to diversity and equity in vision and in values. The mandate of the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is to carry out this commitment by ensuring that diverse and equitable education at OCAD U is accessible to all students.  (source)


Academic Resources

CSD staff will work with you to develop appropriate accommodations and a goal-oriented plan for the academic year. Some accommodations provided by OCAD U include:

  • note takers
  • allotting of extra exam time
  • dedicated exam/test space at CSD
  • sign language interpreters (ASL)
  • preferential reserved seats
  • recording of classes (affidavit available upon request)
  • access to presented material (overheads, PowerPoint, slides, etc.)
  • assistive technologies
  • learning strategists.

We may also be able to provide other academic accommodations as described and verified with documentation.

All students registered with the CSD have the option of having professors/faculty notified of their need for accommodation via an Accommodation Letter. Students have the option of whether or not to include specific diagnostic information in this letter but it will include the kind of supports the student will need in order to be successful at OCAD U. We encourage students to discuss their accommodation needs with professors/faculty as they relate to each course; however, students may chose not to disclose the nature of their disability for a variety of reasons. But, by virtue of being registered with the CSD, the student has provided the CSD with medical documentation validating the accommodations listed in the letter and this is sufficient for professors/faculty.

What Type of Documentation is Needed

The CSD provides services to students with documented disabilities and provides bridging accommodations to those who need support in obtaining documentation or diagnosis. The following is a broad list of some of the disabilities that our students face:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Medical
  • Psychiatric/mental health
  • Mobility/functional
  • Deaf/hard of hearing
  • Blind/low vision
  • Autism spectrum

All disabilities must be formally documented by registered psychologists or medical doctors (family physician, psychiatrists, neurologist, ophthalmologist, etc.). The CSD helps students obtain formal disability documentation or update dated documentation. All disability documentation should prescribe specific formal learning accommodations for each individual student.

All students registered with the CSD must provide documentation of their disability(ies). This may include:

  • Audiology report
  • Vision test
  • Letter from psychiatrist (including discharge disposition summaries if available)
  • Psychometric/psychoeducational/psychovocational testing results (either private or from the school board)
  • Speech language pathologist report
  • Counsellor/social worker/occupational therapy reports
  • Letter from family doctor or medical specialist (internist, oncologist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, ophthalmologist, etc.)

If you already have documentation, please bring it to your first appointment. If you don't, we can assist you in obtaining the requisite documentation and provide you with interim Bridging Accommodations. Please note that Ministry of Colleges, Training and University guidelines state that we cannot accept documentation from alternative health professionals including naturopaths, massage therapists or chiropractors.

How Do I Apply

Register early
Students must be registered with the CSD to receive accommodations and related support. It is important to register early in the semester to ensure the accommodations can be scheduled by the start of the semester.

Make an appointment
Contact the CSD and make an intake appointment to meet with the Disability Counsellor. We will explain what we do and how we can support you.

Bring documentation
All students registered with the CSD must provide documentation of their disability. If you already have documentation, please bring it to your first appointment or fax it to 647-438-9731. If you do not have medical documentation, we can assist you in obtaining it and provide you with interim bridging accommodations.

Check-in regularly
Students registered with the CSD must check in each semester. Accommodations are renewed each semester by making an appointment and meeting with CSD staff.