Frequently Asked Questions
- Applying to the University
- Do I need to provide proof of disability when I apply?
- Registering with the RCSD
- What documentation does UVic require to support my request for academic accommodation or services?
- Does the University pay for the cost of obtaining documentation of my disability?
- I was previously assessed - why do I need another assessment or update?
- What is a learning disability assessment?
- Academic Accommodation
- Where can I get the forms to request academic accommodations?
- Can a requested academic accommodation be denied? Can I appeal?
- What policies and procedures guide the process of requesting and receiving academic accommodation?
- Assistive Technology
- How do I determine if assistive technology would assist me?
- Can I use use assistive technology hardware and/or software during an exam?
- Does the university provide training to use assistive technology?
- Exam Arrangements
- Where will I write my accommodated exams?
- What are the exam centre hours?
- What materials can I bring into my exam room?
- What if I have a question in the middle of an exam that is being written at the RCSD testing centre?
- Can I take breaks during exams?
Applying to the University
Do I need to provide proof of disability when applying to the University?
Students are not required to declare a disability when applying for admission to the university unless applying under the special access category. Students who request academic accommodations or services from the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability (RCSD) will need to provide appropriate documentation as set out below.
Services and accommodations experienced at other educational sectors or institutions (e.g., high school, college) may differ from what is provided at the university. The university does not assume responsibility for identifying students with disabilities, or the assessment or diagnosis of a disability.
The following policy and procedures guide the process of requesting and receiving academic accommodations:
Registering with the RCSD
What documentation does UVic require to support my request for academic accommodation or services?
The university will review documentation to determine appropriate academic accommodation. For the purpose of academic accommodation, the documentation of disability:
- must confirm a rationale for reasonable academic accommodations;
- must be from professionals with appropriate credentials; and
- should include the:
- diagnosing professional's name, title, phone number, address, official stamp or letterhead and signature;
- date of the assessment;
- statement of the nature of the disability including the impact of medication;
- explanation of the functional impact of the disability on the pursuit of a post-secondary education; and
- recommendations for academic accommodation that will assist in the pursuit of a post-secondary education, specifically linking the recommended accommodation to the impact of the disability. The university does not cover costs related to medical documentation.
A diagnosis of disability alone does not guarantee academic accommodations
Does the University pay for the cost of obtaining documentation of my disability?
The University does not pay the cost of obtaining medical documentation or learning disability assessments. You may have coverage that will pay the cost of an assessment for example:
- Your provincial Medical Services Plan.
- Other health care coverage you might have from family sources if you are considered a dependant (i.e. from a parent or spouse).
I have documentation - why do I need another assessment or update?
Documentation will typically be within 3 years of the application for accommodation. Developmental changes affect individual cognitive and academic abilities throughout your life. Academic accommodation plans will be developed based on the particular demands of post-secondary education requirements.
What is a learning disability assessment?
A comprehensive psychoeducational assessment conducted by a Registered Psychologist, Registered Psychological Associate or a B.C. Certified School Psychologist (if conducted with the K-12 school system) can identify whether or not your academic difficulties are due to a learning disability. The assessment is comprehensive and includes interviews about your developmental and educational history, and the nature of your current learning difficulties.
For more information on a learning disability assessment, please see http://rcsd.uvic.ca/assessment.html.
Where can I get the forms to request academic accommodations?
Forms are picked up from the RCSD once you have registered and provided documentation.
Can a requested academic accommodation be denied?
Under some circumstances an academic accommodation will be denied. These circumstances fall under the term “undue hardship” and meet the following conditions:
- When accommodation alternatives would result in the an essential course or program requirement being unmet; or
- When the accommodation would result in a risk to public safety or a substantial risk of personal injury to a student or instructor; or
- When financial cost is such that the operations of the university would be fundamentally diminished, or a program or services would cease to exist due to the financial burden of the accommodation.
Can I appeal a decision to deny accommodation?
How do I determine if assistive technology would assist me?
The RCSD can provide an individual technology consultation for you if you are a student with a disability currently enrolled in credit courses at the University of Victoria. Consultation involves:
- identifying areas in which technology may support your educational goals
- providing information and demonstrations of technology-based solutions
- referral to other agencies as necessary
Does the university provide any training to use assistive technology?
Yes. Some training can be provided to students wishing to learn to use assistive software application at the RCSD. Students are also able to request assistive software or other devices to be installed in other areas on campus, such as labs or departmental locations.
Can I use assistive technology during exams?
The RCSD makes computers with assistive software available to students for writing exams (in RCSD Exam Centre).
Eligibility to use technology in exams is determined when you register for services and accommodations at the RCSD.
Deadlines for completing exam arrangements:
- Midterms: All mid-term exam forms must be returned to the RCSD at least two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam.
- Final Exams: The deadline for submitting a final exam form for December finals is two weeks prior to the first day of the final exam period in December. The deadline for submitting a final exam form for April finals is two weeks prior to the first day of the final exam period in April.
Where do I write my accommodated exams?
At the RCSD, Room 150 in the Campus Services Building. During peak exam times, students may write exams in other locations on campus arranged by the RCSD Exam Coordinator.
What are the exam centre hours?
- 8am to 10 pm Monday to Friday
- 8am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday during final exams (December and April)
What additional exam-related materials can I bring into exams?
Only those materials and devices that are listed by instructors on the exam arrangement form.
What if I have a question in the middle of an exam that is being written at the RCSD?
Typically, the invigilator of the exam will phone the Instructor so you can ask the question directly.
If it is not possible to contact the Instructor by phone, a runner will be sent to find the Instructor.
In cases where it is not possible to contact the Instructor, you can write your question(s) on the exam paper and continue to complete the exam.
Can I take breaks during exams?
You can take supervised breaks during exams if this is indicated in the documentation of disability as an appropriate accommodation, and an RCSD advisor has approved it.
What happens after exams are complete?
A staff member of the RCSD returns the exam(s) to the department. An instructor may request that you return it directly to him or her in a signed, sealed envelope, or the instructor may wish to pick up the exam from the RCSD.