Handbook for Students with Disabilities

Introduction

Accessibility Services (AS) staff at RRC have prepared this Handbook for Students with Disabilities. The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with information about services available to students with disabilities, to outline a student’s responsibilities in requesting and using accommodations, and to ensure that students have clear and reasonable expectations of Accessibility Services. 

Mission and Mandate

The mandate of Accessibility Services is to provide access to education through academic accommodations. AS Managers/Counsellors in Accessibility Services coordinate accommodations that are available to students depending on documentation provided and individual needs. We work hard to provide quality service by treating everyone with respect, maintaining a positive, professional rapport, and soliciting input from everyone involved concerning the accommodations provided.

Red River College has an Academic Accommodation Policy. This policy applies to all students with a disability who request and receive accommodations. The policy was written in accordance with The Manitoba Human Rights Commission and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

The policy states:

“Red River College recognizes it’s moral and legal responsibility to provide reasonable academic accommodation to students with disabilities who are academically qualified for their program of study. The purpose of these accommodations is to lessen the effect of a disability on a student’s demonstration of knowledge and skills. The core issue of accommodation is to ensure the learning process is equitable while maintaining academic standards.”

Students are encouraged to read A28 – Academic Accommodation policy for more information.

Accessibility Services

There are three units within AS. They include Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Exam Accommodations and Assistive Technology, and Counselling Services. The professionals in AS work together within a larger team called Student Support Services.

Disabilities may pose barriers when students access post-secondary education. The accommodations available through Accessibility Services (AS) assist students with disabilities and help compensate for the ways in which a disability may impact learning and the demonstration of knowledge. The purpose of accommodations is to “level the playing field” between students with disabilities and students who do not have disabilities. The purpose is not to provide an unfair advantage or to compromise learning outcomes.

AS works together with students with disabilities and their academic program to facilitate individualized and appropriate accommodations to help reduce the barriers a disability may pose and to provide an environment that equalizes access.

You – as the student with a disability – have the responsibility of providing us with the information we need in order to best assist you. After all, you are the expert on yourself!

Who Is Eligible for Accommodations?

Students who have documented disabilities could be eligible to receive accommodations. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation from a registered health care professional (e.g. physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist) in order to be supported for classroom and/or exam accommodations.

Refer to the Disability Documentation Guide for detailed information on AS’s documentation requirements.

For most disability types, with the exception of Specific Learning Disorders (Learning Disabilities), Intellectual Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, students can choose to have their physician or Registered Health Care Provider complete our Medical Documentation Form.

In order to qualify as a student with a disability, as well as for academic accommodations, a student’s disability must be consistent with the definition as described by the Government of Canada:

“Permanent Disability means a functional limitation caused by a physical, or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary school level or the labour market and is expected to remain with the person for the person’s expected life.”  

Accessibility Services at RRC recognizes various major areas of disability that are consistent with this definition and are likely to occur among the college population.

They are:

  • Specific Learning Disorders or Learning Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Psychiatric Disorders or Mental Health Disabilities
  • Chronic Illnesses
  • Physical/Mobility Disabilities
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Blind or Low Vision
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
IMPORTANT: Accessibility Services should be your first point of contact.

By making an appointment with an AS manager/counsellor, you begin the process of developing your accommodation plan.

How to Contact Accessibility Services

A student can book a first time appointment either in person or by completing the online registration form.

Students returning for subsequent appointments can schedule in-person or by phone.

Notre Dame Campus
Room: D102
Phone: 204.632.3966

Exchange District Campus
Room: P210
Phone: 204.949.8375

Appointment Process

Intake

  • Complete the online registration form
  • Indicate whether you’re a prospective student, applicant or current student
    • If you’re an applicant, indicate whether you’d like accommodations for admission testing
  • Provide documentation from a registered health care professional

Meet with an Accessibility Services Manager or Counsellor

  • Review your documentation
  • Discuss the impact of your disability on learning

Develop an Academic Accommodation Plan

Develop a plan based on:

  • Documentation
  • Your self-report
  • Program learning outcomes
  • Referrals made to implement plan
  • Ongoing follow up discussed and next appointment booked

Potential Accommodations

  • Height-adjustable desk
  • Ergonomic chair
  • ASL Interpreting/computerized note-taking
  • Intructor PowerPoint notes
  • Audio recordings
  • Reduced course load
  • Test or exam accommodations
  • Assistive technology
  • Alternate formats

Facts about the Disclosure of a Disability

Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. However, if you would like to receive accommodations based on your disability, you must complete a Registration Form with AS, provide documentation regarding your disability and meet with a manager/counsellor to develop a plan. All information is treated confidentially and will only be shared if you sign a release of information form, which gives your manager/counsellor permission to discuss your academic and accommodation needs with your instructors, as necessary.