Lifting the Barriers on Disability

Find the Right Program!
Get Financial Assistance!
Find the Attendant Support!
Find the Perfect Modified Unit!
Find Equipment Funding!
Find Transportation Services!
Extra, Extra, Read all About It!

University of Waterloo

In the heart of Waterloo Region, at the forefront of innovation, the University of Waterloo is home to world-changing research and inspired teaching. At the hub of a growing network of global partnerships, Waterloo will shape the future by building bridges with industry and between disciplines, institutions and communities. (source)

AccessAbility Services

We provide services and support for University of Waterloo students who have a permanent disability as well as those with a temporary disability. We support full-time, part-time, graduate and undergraduate students as well as students completing a degree through the Centre for Extended Learning. (source)

Academic Resources

The following services are provided through AccessAbility Services and the Library: 

  • Access to two labs complete with adaptive technology and computer work stations:
  • Alternate format of print material
  • Assessment of learning profile – helping you to understand your assessment results
  • Assessment review for Adaptive Technology training with our Adaptive Educational Technologist on specialized software and technology to support your learning needs
  • Assistance with equipment and software purchases through the Bursary for Students with Disabilities
  • Campus orientation
  • Campus transportation service for students with a mobility concern (registration required)
  • Chronic Pain and Fatigue Materials
  • Equipment loan program
  • High speed scanning
  • Information on campus and community resources
  • Interpreters
  • Learning strategy support with our Learning Strategist to develop strategies to complement your learning style
  • Liaison with campus housing and attendant services
  • Library orientation and research help
  • Maps with wheelchair accessible routes and building entrances
  • Parking information
  • Peer support programs
  • Photocopying services (with advisor approval)
  • Referral for updated psycho-educational and psychological assessments
  • Specialized technical equipment loans (digital recorders, FM systems etc.)
  • Tutoring assistance
  • Volunteer assistance programs
  • Volunteer note takers

Exam accommodations (source)

  • Extended time where appropriate
  • Alternate environment
  • Alternate format/use of assistive software
  • Computer for word processing
  • Scribe

In-Class accommodations

  • Note taker
  • Access to course related materials not available on-line
  • Use of a laptop in class
  • FM system
  • Portable CCTV

Non-Academic Resources

Residence Accommodation

One of the goals of the University of Waterloo is to create a residence environment that is accessible and promotes a healthy living/learning lifestyle. The Housing Administration and AccessAbility Services work in partnership to try to match student housing requests with an appropriate housing type.

There are residence environments that meet the needs of students studying in undergraduate, graduate, co-op, or regular programs.

Steps:

  1. Visit the Waterloo Residences website and check out the residence styles available to you. Find the right FIT for you.
  2. Apply for housing on-line at the Waterloo Residences website the same as all students. Remember, there is a deadline so apply early.
  3. Complete and submit this form if you require specific types of housing accommodation due to a medical condition or disability-related need.

Housing Accommodation Form

Student Access Van

Campus transportation for students with mobility issues who are registered with AccessAbility Services.

What Type of Documentation is Needed?

You must provide documentation which confirms the presence of a disability from a certified, licensed practitioner whose training is commonly accepted for establishing a specific diagnosis. Your documentation should be current, dated within the last 3 years for students with learning disabilities, within the last year for students with medical disabilities, and updated periodically, particularly if you are dealing with a chronic medical condition.

  • Acquired Brain Injury: Medical letter or Neuropsychological assessment
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Copy of psycho-educational assessment, and/or physician's note, and IPRC reports (when possible)
  • Blind/Visually Impaired: CNIB Registration Number and Ophthalmologist or Optometrist report
  • Chronic Medical, Physical: Medical letter by Family Physician or specialist
  • Deaf/deaf/Deafened/Hard of Hearing: Audiologist report, Medical letter
  • Learning Disability: Copy of the most recent psycho-educational assessment and IPRC reports
  • Physical Disabilities: Medical letter by Family Physician or specialist
  • Psychological or Psychiatric Conditions: Medical letter by a Family Physician, and/or an assessment by a Psychologist or Psychiatrist which outlines your condition and the functional impact on your academics and indicates whether your condition is permanent or temporary

If your documentation is coming directly from your practitioner please have it sent to:
Mail: University of Waterloo
AccessAbility Services
1132 Needles Hall
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3G1

FAX: 519-746-2401
Attn: Intake & Office Administration

How do I Apply?

Steps

  1. Complete and submit the Initial Contact Form.
  2. You must provide documentation which confirms the presence of a disability from a certified, licensed practitioner whose training is commonly accepted for establishing a specific diagnosis. Your documentation should be current, dated within the last 3 years for students with learning disabilities, within the last year for students with medical disabilities, and updated periodically, particularly if you are dealing with a chronic medical condition. Fax your documentation to 519-745-2401.
  3. Set up an appointment by:
    1. dropping into our department at 1132 Needles Hall
    2. phoning AccessAbility Services at 519-888-4567 ext. 35082
    3. e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Information

Transition programs

If you are planning on coming to Waterloo, there are events at the university to help you experience a smooth transition from high school to university and will help you to adjust to the new environment and deal with your disability. 

Student Success

Your first year at UWaterloo

Planning to come to Waterloo? Learn what you can do the summer before your first year to make sure you're ready.

Plan to come to campus to connect, get comfortable and celebrate!

    Open Doors

    OPEN DOORS is a transition program designed for new students at the University of Waterloo registered with AccessAbility Services. Please check back for the date of the 2015 program.

    The OPEN DOORS program is designed to give students an opportunity to:

    • Discover what to expect at university.
    • Meet upper year students and gain tips.
    • Learn about adaptive technology and its applications.
    • Meet with the team from AccessAbility Services to discuss strategies and supports.

    We will also be hosting sessions throughout the fall to help students transition to university life.

    To register or if you require clarification/additional information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call ext. 35082.