Accommodations

Accommodations are student-specific and are unique to the individual and their courses (program).

Accommodations are forms of assistance that are provided, or arranged, by Accessibility Services to help you achieve your academic goals.

Types of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Exam Accommodations
  • Alternate Format of Print Materials
  • Assistive Technology
  • Audio Recording of Lectures
  • Access to Instructor PowerPoint Presentations
  • Volunteer Notetaking
  • American Sign Language- English Interpreting
  • Computerized Notetaking
  • Tutoring Services
  • Counselling/Referrals
  • Assistance accessing disability–related financial resources
  • Reduced course load
Accommodations are: Accommodations are not:
Specific supports to reduce the barrier the disability presents Modifying course standards or course outcomes
Established best practices that acknowledge no accommodation is perfect Giving a student an advantage
Student and course specific individualized supports A method to weaken academic/program requirements

Meeting with an Manager or Counsellor

Typically, this meeting should occur at the beginning of each semester, and then on a regular basis as mutually decided with the AS manager/counsellor. Both can discuss challenges with academics, monitor the effectiveness of your accommodation plan, and support you in the midst of personal struggles, should they occur.

During your first appointment, the AS manager/counsellor will review the documentation you provide verifying your disability and functional limitations. The two of you will also discuss your academic history, what kinds of accommodations you may have used in the past, and any other types of issues that may impact on your academics. After sufficient information is gathered, the two of you can begin to work on your accommodation plan.

Types of Accommodations

Reduced Course Load

You may find your learning needs are best met by reducing the number of courses you take during a semester. It may take a little longer to complete your program, but it may help you manage your workload more successfully and learn more effectively.

To utilize this accommodation:

  • Meet with your AS manager/counsellor, and request this accommodation.
  • The AS manager/counsellor will review your documentation and if this accommodation is supported, will provide you with a form to take to your program coordinator to develop the academic plan.
NOTE: Not all Red River College programs can be taken part time due to the program’s fundamental structure or intake schedule.

Test and Exam Accommodations

You may require accommodations for your tests and exams. If you wish to use this accommodation, you will write your tests/exams in the Exam Accommodations area. Here are a few of the accommodations that may be available to you depending on your disability and the documentation provided:

  • Extended time
  • Small group environment
  • Individual space (monitored by a proctor)
  • Reader and/or Scribe
  • Use of a computer
  • Alternate format of print materials
  • Height adjustable desk
  • ASL – English Interpreter

To utilize this accommodation:

  • Meet with your AS manager or counsellor and discuss your needs
  • If you are eligible for this accommodation, the AS manager or counsellor will refer you to Exam Accommodations and introduce you to an Exam Facilitator
  • The Exam Facilitator will explain the process of receiving this accommodations including your responsibilities and guidelines to follow
  • These process include but is not limited to:
    • you must provide Exam Accommodations 7 full days’ notice prior to each quiz/test/exam
    • you must complete and provide accurate information on your exam request form (your name, student number, date of test, start time of test, length of test, instructor’s name, course name, etc.)

Exam Accommodations Locations

Notre Dame Campus – D110
Exchange District Campus – P210

Notetaking

When your disability affects your ability to take notes in class, the AS manager/counsellor may recommend a note taker as an accommodation. You may find a note taker is helpful in some classes and not necessary in others, depending on the structure of the course.

To utilize this accommodation:

  • Make an appointment to meet with your AS manager/counsellor
  • You and the manager/counsellor may explore ways to find a volunteer note taker, determine whether audio recording lectures may be possible, or request that you receive notes from your instructor.

Tutoring Services

All students at Red River College are eligible for up to 12 hours of peer tutoring per semester at no cost. To register for peer tutoring services, you can visit the Academic Success Centre to make this request.

You can also participate in regularly offered study skills workshops and select course review sessions. Visit the ASC’s website to learn more.

As a student with a disability, you could also be eligible for individual staff tutoring.

To determine your eligibility for staff tutoring:

  • Meet with your AS manager/counsellor and confirm funding and eligibility
  • If funding has been approved for tutoring, the manager/counsellor will make a referral to the Tutoring Coordinator in Academic Success Centre who will match you with a tutor based on your needs
  • You are responsible to prepare for your tutoring sessions by bringing the necessary materials and knowing what you need to work on
  • If you cannot make a scheduled tutoring appointment, you must let your tutor know at least 24 hours in advance (other students may be waiting for a time to meet with a tutor!)

Audio Recording Lectures

You may find it useful to audio record some of your class lectures so that you can listen to them again after class.

To utilize this accommodation:

  • Talk with your AS manager/counsellor
  • The AS manager/counsellor will provide guidelines regarding the recording of lectures which includes your review and signature on an agreement to use the recorded information responsibly
  • Your AS manager/counsellor will inform your instructors that you will be using this accommodation

Access to Instructor PowerPoint Notes

If you have difficulty taking notes while you listen to your lecture, due to your disability, you may find it useful to have copies of the Power Point notes your instructors may use in class. This way, you can focus on listening in class and then reviewing the PP later.

To utilize this accommodation:

  • Meet with your AS manager/counsellor
  • The AS manager/counsellor will provide you with guidelines regarding accessing your instructors’ PowerPoint notes. You will also be required to sign a written agreement ensuring this accommodation is be used appropriately.
  • The AS manager/counsellor will inform your instructor that you are eligible for this accommodation and that you have signed this agreement. 
NOTE: Using accommodations such as note taking, audio recording of lectures or accessing copies of your instructors’ PowerPoint notes, do not substitute for your need to attend class

Textbooks in Alternative Format

You may require your study materials to be in an alternate format. Often, textbooks can be provided in a variety of formats such as e-text or Braille. As specified by copyright laws, to be eligible to receive the textbook in an alternative format, you must purchase the textbook and provide receipts.  

To utilize this accommodation:

  • The AS manager/counsellor will refer you to the AS Assistive Technologist to determine the type of alternate format material you require.
  • You must provide the Assistive Technologist with a list of your textbooks, including title, author, edition and ISBN, who will conduct a search for the availability of your materials in the appropriate format.
  • You are required to sign a written agreement ensuring this accommodation is used appropriately.
NOTE: Inform your AS manager/counsellor as soon as you know what textbooks you will require in alternate format as it can take up to a few months to have the books transferred to the requested format.

Assistive Technology

You may benefit from a variety of technology designed for students with disabilities, such as reading software, voice dictation software, magnification software, and audio recording devices. Many software programs and devices are available for trial in Exam Accommodations & Assistive Technology (Notre Dame Campus – D110; Exchange District Campus – P210).

Some students with disabilities may already know what types of assistive technology work for them, while other students may not be familiar with assistive technology. Students who are not aware of assistive technology may be referred to the AS Assistive Technologist or may be referred to a consultant in the community for recommendations and training.

American Sign Language – English Interpreting and Computerized Notetaking

ASL – English interpreting or computerized notetaking can be provided for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

To utilize this service:

  • Meet with the Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing services and indicate when booking the appointment if an ASL-English interpreter will be required
  • The Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services will assess your needs and set up a plan with you
  • Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals are required to provide as much notice as possible prior to the start date of the college program to ensure staff are available to meet these accommodation needs.

Physical Accessibility Accommodations

If you are a student with a mobility disability, you may have concerns about getting around the college efficiently, where your locker will be, and where you will park your vehicle.

Lockers – specific requests for a wheelchair accessible locker can be made at the Campus Store (Notre Dame Campus – Mall Level just off the bus loop; Exchange District Campus – Atrium)

Parking – Notre Dame Campus Students who possess an accessible parking permit issued through Manitoba Possible (formerly Society for Manitobans with Disabilities) can request accessibility parking through Parking Services (Notre Dame Campus – D101).

Notre Dame Campus students who require accessible parking as a temporary accommodation are required to complete the Accessible Parking Application Form and submit the completed form to AS.

NOTE: Accessible parking at the Exchange District Campus is only available via metered street parking, monitored by the City of Winnipeg. To access these accessible parking spaces, a student must possess an accessible parking permit issued by Manitoba Possible (formerly SMD).

Height Adjustable Desks/Ergonomic Chairs – to request a height adjustable desk or ergonomic chair in your classrooms, notify your AS manager/counsellor of your classroom locations. Your manager/counsellor will submit a request to Exam Accommodations & Assistive Technology who will make the necessary arrangements.

Wheelchair Lift in J Building (Notre Dame Campus) – if you use a wheelchair and your classes are located in J Building, please advise your manger/counsellor as soon as possible that you will need to use the wheelchair lift. Your manger/counsellor will assist you in getting a key for the wheelchair lift and will arrange for training on how to use the lift safely and independently.

Feedback on Campus Accessibility

The College continues to put forth effort to make college campuses increasingly more accessible. If you have feedback for us, please don’t hesitate to share it with your AS manager/counsellor and put it in writing. Your feedback is important to us and will be provided to our Facilities Department.

Making Sure you receive the accommodations you need

Service through Accessibility Services

Our goal at AS is to provide you with a safe and confidential environment to develop an appropriate accommodation plan to ensure equal access to education. We also understand that there could be times students have concerns or complaints about services they receive. We want to resolve any student concerns as quickly as possible. If you do have a complaint, we suggest you follow these steps to help resolve the problem:

  • If you are not receiving the services that you need or have asked for, tell your AS manager/ counsellor as soon as possible as they may be able to help you resolve the situation or suggest a course of action
  • If you have a problem with or a complaint about anyone who works in AS, please discuss your complaint with that person first
  • If these suggestions do not resolve your concern or complaint, please contact one of the following Managers: 

Laureen Janzen
Manager, Counselling and Accessibility Services
D102, Notre Dame Campus
Phone: 204.632.2121
Email: ljanzen@rrc.ca

Jill Patterson
Manager, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
D110, Notre Dame Campus
Phone: 204.632.3092
Email: jpatterson@rrc.ca

Lori Walkow
Manager, Exam Accommodations and Assistive Technology
D110, Notre Dame Campus
Phone: 204.632.3808
Email: lwalkow@rrc.ca

Resolving Instructor Questions or Concerns about Your Accommodations

Accommodation recommendations are made in accordance with the Manitoba Human Rights Code and the documentation you provided from your registered health care professional. Ideally, you, your AS manager/counsellor, and your program collaborate about the accommodations that would be appropriate given all the information.

There may be times, however, when instructors/programs question the accommodations you have been deemed eligible for and would like more information to understand how these accommodations will work. In these situations, please consult with your AS manager/counsellor so the two of you can discuss the situation and consider ways to work it through. Most often, your manager/counsellor can work with your program to understand the purpose and your eligibility for accommodations and mediate a resolution. Or, the program may provide you and the AS manager/counsellor with information as to why the accommodation may compromise learning outcomes. Understanding, communication, and collaboration are key in this process.

Appeal Process

If you are denied requested accommodations that you believe you should be eligible for, a formal appeal process can be pursued as outlined in RRC’s Academic Accommodation Policy A28.

However, as mentioned above, the informal appeal should take place first through discussions between you, the AS manager/counsellor and your program/instructor. If you are unsatisfied with this outcome, you have the option to pusure the formal appeal process.

Financial Assistance for Students with Disabilities

Canada and Manitoba Student Loans

Canada Student Grant for Persons with Permanent Disabilities

If you have a permanent disability and qualify for a federal student loan you may receive $2,000 per academic year to help cover the costs of accommodation, tuition, and books.

Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities

If you have a permanent disability which requires you to incur exceptional education-related costs for things such as tutors, note takers, interpreters, braillers or technical aids, you may receive up to $20,000 per academic year to help pay for these expenses.

For further information about these grants or other financial assistance available through Manitoba and Canada Student Loans Programs.

Red River College Awards for Students with Disabilities

Accessibility Services offers several awards and bursaries for students with disabilities. Please refer to the AS Financial Awards and Resources webpage for detailed information.