Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Procedure Number: 
001
Policy Number: 
3209
Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Executive
Effective: 
November 22, 2012
Last Amended: 
November 18, 2019
Procedure Statement: 

Scope

This procedure forms part of JIBC’s Accommodation of Students with Disabilities Policy (the “Policy”) and should be followed and applied in relation to requests for Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities under the Policy. Terms not otherwise defined in this procedure are as defined in the Policy.

Procedural Guiding Principles

Shared Responsibilities

 JIBC will work with the Student, Instructors and Staff Members, as applicable, to provide Academic Accommodation to Students with Disabilities in situations where the Academic Accommodation is necessary to ensure full, fair and equal access to all Institute courses, programs and activities, and to be welcomed as participating members of the JIBC community, within the limits of the Institute’s resources and without compromising Essential Requirements, academic standards, or academic principles. While the service may be coordinated by the Accessibility Manager, the Academic Accommodation process is a shared responsibility between the Student, Instructor, Staff Members and service providers, as applicable, and requires collaboration and cooperation between the parties involved in order to provide Reasonable Academic Accommodation.

Responsibilities of JIBC

 JIBC has the responsibility to establish: 

  • procedures by which Students may request an Academic Accommodation; 

  • standards of documentation to support requests for Academic Accommodation; 
  • procedures for implementation and monitoring of Academic Accommodation; and 
  • procedures to resolve Student, Instructor or Staff Member concerns about requested or approved Academic Accommodations or their implementation through informal resolution and formal appeal.
  • JIBC’s duty to accommodate Students with Disabilities is limited to providing Reasonable Academic Accommodation.

Responsibilities of the Student

 When seeking Academic Accommodation for a Disability, Students are responsible for meeting the academic requirements for admission and continuance in their courses, programs or activities. Students are responsible for disclosing their Disability to JIBC in a timely manner, and for fully participating in the Academic Accommodation process as set out in this procedure. Timely disclosure and follow-through will allow JIBC to provide Academic Accommodation while maximizing the opportunity for academic success.

Academic Accommodation based on Disability will be considered where medical information suitable to JIBC is provided that establishes the existence of a Disability and supports the requirement for Academic Accommodation. The nature and extent of the medical information required will depend on individual circumstances.

Requests for Academic Accommodation may be denied where:

  • there is insufficient evidence to support the request; 
  • the Student has failed to cooperate in the Academic Accommodation process or has refused a Reasonable Academic Accommodation proposed by JIBC; or
  • the requested Academic Accommodation is not a Reasonable Academic Accommodation.

JIBC may have no control or authority over third party requirements in approved practicums, placements or experiential exercises and activities outside of JIBC’s jurisdiction. Students who require Academic Accommodation in such practicums, placements or experiential exercises will be responsible for seeking such Academic Accommodation directly from the applicable third party.

Registering with Accessibility Services

  • Students with a Disability are not required to disclose their Disability to the Institute, unless the Student wishes to receive Academic Accommodation from JIBC. 
  • Where a Student discloses their Disability to a Staff Member, such Staff Member will refer such Student to the Accessibility Manager. 
  • A Student may self-identify as a Student with Disability to the Accessibility Manager without requesting an Academic Accommodation. Any information provided would be stored on the Student’s behalf should the Student request an Academic Accommodation at a future time. 
  • A Student who wishes to request Academic Accommodation for a Disability should make the request by:
    • contacting the Accessibility Manager to arrange an initial intake appointment; 
    • submitting a signed “Student Intake Form”;
    • providing current, appropriate, and sufficiently detailed documentation in support of the request for Academic Accommodation (as further described in the Documentation to Support a Request for an Academic Accommodation section below); 
    • providing a signed “Consent for Release and Exchange of Confidential Information Form”; and
    • meeting with the Accessibility Manager after the documentation has been evaluated, to discuss, review and consider Reasonable Academic Accommodation.
  • To allow sufficient time for assessment of a Student’s Academic Accommodation request, and for arranging or implementing any Reasonable Academic Accommodation, a request for Academic Accommodation should be made as early as possible, and at least six (6) weeks before the commencement of a course, program or activity for which an Academic Accommodation is sought, where possible. 
  • If the Academic Accommodation could potentially require significant physical alteration of the campus environment or the acquisition of specialized services not regularly available at the Institute, the request should be made at least four (4) months before the commencement of a course, program or activity, where possible. Where a Disability that requires Academic Accommodation arises during the term of a course, program or activity in which the Student is already enrolled, a request for Academic Accommodation should be made as soon as possible.
  • Every reasonable effort will be made to respond to an Academic Accommodation request even after courses have started. However, delays in notifying the Accessibility Manager of a request for Academic Accommodation could result in a request not being assessed or implemented in time for the course, program or activity and may impact the timely availability of certain supports. Academic Accommodation cannot be granted retroactively.  For example, a Student cannot request an Academic Accommodation for an exam or test that the Student completed prior to the disclosure of a Disability.

Documentation to Support a Request for an Academic Accommodation

  • Students requesting an Academic Accommodation are expected to provide appropriate, current and sufficiently detailed documentation to support their request. 
  • The Student is responsible for any costs associated with testing and/or providing appropriate medical or other documentation in support of an Academic Accommodation request. Students may request information about federal and provincial financial aid, grants, or other funding, which may be available to offset some of their costs. 
  • Appropriate documentation to support a request for an Academic Accommodation generally includes the following: 
    • documentation must be current, meaning it that has been issued within the last five (5) years or less; 
    • documentation must be relevant to the Disability and provided by qualified health care professionals with appropriate training, experience, expertise and licensing in the area in which they are providing a professional assessment; 
    • documentation must cover the nature, severity, prognosis and functional impact of the Disability on the Student in terms of the Student’s ability to complete the Essential Requirements of their course of study at JIBC. It must outline the specific Academic Accommodation which are required because of the Student’s Disability; and 
    • documentation may be provided by the health care professional in the form of a report or formal assessment, a written letter on official letterhead, or the Student may use the “JIBC Medical Form”. The documentation must contain the date(s) on which the assessment was conducted and the name, profession, registration or license number, contact information, or other information to confirm the qualifications of the document provider.
  • The Accessibility Manager may request further information from the document provider if needed to determine Reasonable Academic Accommodation. Consent to the exchange of information between JIBC and the document author will be sought from the Student. Refusal to grant consent or provide further information may jeopardize the proper and full assessment of the documentation and its recommendations, up to and including the potential to deny a request for Academic Accommodation. 
  • Medical reports and other documentation supporting a request for Academic Accommodation will be treated as strictly confidential, and will only be shared on a need-to-know basis, with the Student’s consent.

Implementation of Approved Academic Accommodation

  • The Accessibility Manager will make an initial assessment based on the documentation supplied by the Student, the Student’s request and the nature of the course, program or activity. Upon completion of the assessment, if it is determined that the request for Academic Accommodation is supported, the Accessibility Manager will complete an individual accommodation agreement (“Accommodation Agreement”) specifying the recommended Academic Accommodations and any other relevant information. If the Accessibility Manager determines that a duty to accommodate does not exist, or where the request for Academic Accommodation does not constitute Reasonable Academic Accommodation, the Accessibility Manager will advise the Student in writing and provide reasons for this determination.
  • The Accommodation Agreement will be given to the Student, the relevant Manager, and shared with the Instructor, for the purpose of implementation of the approved Academic Accommodation. 
  • Students may be expected to inform Instructors or the relevant Manager of their approved Academic Accommodations when the Academic Accommodation affects the classroom environment, teaching, or learning resources. Where this is not possible or there is a disagreement, the Accessibility Manager may meet with either or both of the Student and the Instructor or relevant Manager as needed to resolve the concerns. 
  • If a Student’s needs or condition change during the course, program or activity where an Academic Accommodation is in place, the Student is expected to notify the Accessibility Manager as soon as possible, with appropriate medical documentation. The Accessibility Manager will then review the information to determine whether the existing Academic Accommodation should be modified, discontinued or replaced.

Appeals

The following describes available appeal procedures in the event that a Student disagrees with a decision with respect to a requested Academic Accommodation. If Students do not feel comfortable engaging in the appeal process on their own, they are welcome to engage an advocate or support network they deem helpful. In keeping with our strategic vision and indigenization commitment, indigenous Students are welcome to engage the support of an elder or a cultural advocate.

Informal Appeal Process

  • Students are encouraged to informally resolve any concerns they may have directly with the Accessibility Manager before proceeding with a formal appeal. 
  • Students have the ability to appeal the decision of the Accessibility Manager regarding a requested Academic Accommodation. If a Student is appealing a decision by a third party in relation to a practicum or placement, the Student must appeal directly to the third party.
  • If a Student disagrees with a decision regarding a requested Academic Accommodation, the Student may appeal in writing to the Director, Student Affairs within fifteen (15) business days of the decision. Extensions to the deadline may be granted by the Director, Student Affairs at their sole discretion upon written request from the Student. 
  • The Director, Student Affairs may take appropriate steps to resolve the disagreement, including but not limited to:
    • meeting with the Student to discuss the Student’s concerns; 
    • reviewing all files, records, and documents related to the decision with respect to Academic Accommodation;
    • consulting with the Accessibility Manager, Instructor, or others with information relevant to the appeal; and/or 
    • requesting new documentation or supporting evidence from either party. 
  • After consideration of the evidence, the Director, Student Affairs may: 
    • confirm the original decision; 
    • modify the original decision including changing approved Academic Accommodations or their limitations;
    • grant a new Academic Accommodation; 
    • revoke an Academic Accommodation; and/or 
    • take any other steps that the Director, Student Affairs considers reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.

Formal Appeal Process

  • The Student may appeal the decision of the Director, Student Affairs. 
  • The Student may make their appeal in writing to the Dean within fifteen (15) business days of the decision. Reasonable requests for extensions, where required due to the Student’s medical condition, will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon written request from the Student.
  • The Dean will consider the merit of the appeal and if there is sufficient merit to the appeal. 
  • After deliberation, the Dean may: 
    • confirm that the original appeal process was procedurally fair and that no significant new information was provided that would alter the original decision, in which case the original decision stands; or 
    • determine that the original decision-making process was not procedurally fair and/or did not consider all of the relevant information, in which case it may refer the matter back to the Director, Student Affairs for reconsideration, or impose its own determination and resolution to the matter.
  • The Dean’s decision is to be communicated in writing to the Student. The Dean’s decision is considered final.

Confidentiality

  • All files and information related to a Student’s registration with Disability Services are strictly confidential.
  • Only the minimum information needed to implement an approved Academic Accommodation is shared with Instructor or Staff Members under the “Consent for Release and Exchange of Confidential Information Form” for the purposes of arranging Academic Accommodation. If the Student chooses to restrict consent to certain individuals or departments, or otherwise constrain or limit the typical exchange of information needed to arrange Academic Accommodation, the Student will be informed of the potential impact such limitations may have on the Institute’s ability to effectively consider a Student’s request for Academic Accommodation, up to and including the inability to implement an Academic Accommodation.
  • Detailed documentation, or information contained in supporting documentation, including diagnosis, prognoses, or medical history and other information not related to the Academic Accommodation are never shared with anyone without the Student’s express consent. Such requests are atypical and normally denied by Accessibility Services and any exception requires justification on the part of the requestor. The Student may refuse to consent to such disclosure without penalty, hardship, or academic consequence.
  • Normally, the Student’s written consent is required to release confidential information, including medical information. In certain situations, due to urgency, major inconvenience, or other relevant circumstance, verbal consent may substitute for written consent. Verbal consent must be documented in the Student’s disability file and include the specifics of what was consented to.
  • Consent (written or verbal) can be revoked at any time by the Student by making a request in writing to the Accessibility Manager. Where information has already been shared, revoking consent only affects future exchange of information. Students should be informed of the impact of revoking consent on their Academic Accommodation, if any.
  • There may be limits to confidentiality, in accordance with privacy legislation.

Record Keeping

  • All disability files and records are kept separate from educational and other files of the Institute. 
  • Disability and medical information, other than that which is voluntarily disclosed by Students on their application, registration or admissions forms, is not posted or stored on the Student information system. 
  • All disability files related to a Student are destroyed in compliance with B.C.’s Administrative Records Classification System (ARCS), JIBC’s Operational Records Classification System (ORCS) and the Information Management Act, RSCB 2015 c 27.
  • Pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, RSBC 1996, c 165, Students have the right to view the content of their file and make a copy.  They may make such request through the Institute’s Privacy Officer.

Last updated November 27, 2019