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Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services reduces barriers to learning at SAIT through:

  • assistance with funding applications for services, equipment and technology
  • equipment loans
  • classroom and exam accommodations
  • consultations and referrals

Achieve your academic best through a more accessible learning experience — we support students with documented mobility, sensory (vision, hearing), learning, attentional, neurological, psychological or temporary disabilities.

💡 Did you know?

Last year, more than 1,500 students registered with Accessibility Services.

If you think you may have a condition affecting your learning but have not been formally diagnosed, we may be able to arrange an assessment — please contact us.

If you're looking for accommodation for religious observance, contact the Interfaith Centre.

 

Are you a high school student thinking about SAIT?

Start planning for post-secondary — explore the Government of Alberta's Transition Planning Guide: A Career and Education Planning Guide for Students with Disabilities.

Accessibility Services also hosts info sessions for prospective students in Grades 11 and 12 to learn more about:

  • choosing a program that fits
  • reasonable accommodations
  • documentation requirements and funding
  • understanding the role of students, instructors, parents and advisors in a post-secondary setting.

Upcoming dates will be shared here as available. Prospective students can also contact Accessibility Services for more information. 

Arrange accommodation for the first time

Arranging accommodations/services and obtaining proper funding takes time. Contact us well before your first day of classes — six months in advance is ideal.

Step one

Review the documentation requirements section below and provide your docs to an accessibility advisor.

Step two

Discuss your needs with an accessibility advisor before each semester or training period.

Step three

Based on the documentation and discussion, the advisor will make recommendations in an accommodation memo. Students must provide a copy of the note to their instructors at the beginning of the semester or training period.

Step four

Eligible students must apply for funding to offset the cost of services, equipment or technology.

Eligibility for specific accommodations and services depends on the nature of the disability/health condition, the documentation substantiating the disability/health condition and the requirements of each course or program.

Review: AC3.16.1 Accommodations for Students with Disabilities policy and procedure.

Renew accommodation

Returning students who have previously registered with Accessibility Services and received accommodations in the past must complete the Accommodation Memo Request form within the first two weeks of the semester.

Within five business days, you'll receive an email with the accommodation memo. Students must provide a copy of the notice to their instructors at the beginning of the semester or training period.

If your GPA is below 2.5 or you require changes to your current accommodation memo, please book an appointment with an accessibility advisor.

Accessibility documentation requirements

Documentation must be created by a professional with expertise in the area of the specific disability/health condition. It must describe the current impact of the disability/health condition and recommend appropriate accommodations.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered a neurological disability that interferes with a person's ability to sustain attention, focus on a task or control impulsive behaviour. Many people have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulses. Yet, for some people, the problem is so chronic and persistent that it gets in the way of daily life — at home, at school, at work and in social settings. 

Documentation requirements
Physicians, psychologists or psychiatrists are the professionals qualified to diagnose ADHD. A letter from a physician or psychiatrist is sufficient; a psychologist prefers a psycho-educational assessment. The psycho-educational evaluation should be conducted no earlier than three years before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The diagnostic report must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • summary of all instruments and procedures used in the assessment
  • a written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioural observations
  • test scores (e.g. percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of functional limitations on the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders are pervasive developmental neurological disorders ranging from a severe form, called autistic disorder, to a milder form, Asperger syndrome.

If a person has symptoms of either of these disorders but does not meet the specific criteria for either, the diagnosis is called pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Documentation requirements
Physicians, psychologists or psychiatrists are the professionals qualified to diagnose Autism. A letter from a physician or psychiatrist is sufficient; a psychologist prefers a psycho-educational assessment. The psycho-educational evaluation should be conducted no earlier than three years before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The diagnostic report must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • summary of all instruments and procedures used in the assessment
  • a written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioural observations
  • test scores (e.g. percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of functional limitations on the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Chronic health condition

Chronic health disabilities include medical conditions that significantly limit a student's ability to function in an educational environment.

Chronic health conditions may include but are not limited to cystic fibrosis, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, kidney disease, severe allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia and chemical sensitivities.

Documentation requirements
Family physicians or medical specialists are professionals qualified to diagnose chronic health conditions. A diagnosis of a medical condition alone is not sufficient to be eligible for accommodations and supports. Documentation must indicate the impact of the condition on the student in an academic setting. It is recommended that assessments and evaluations be conducted no earlier than three years before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

Documentation must include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • a clear statement of the chronic illness or disorder, a summary of present symptoms, and a statement of the treatment, if applicable
  • where relevant, a description of the severity, longevity, or expected progression or stability of the illness or disorder
  • Medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment
  • description of how the chronic illness or disorder and treatment, if applicable, impact the student's functioning in an academic setting
  • suggestions on specific types of accommodations which may minimize academic barriers
  • signed original preferred.
Deaf or hard of hearing

Deaf students have severe to profound hearing loss and typically use sign language as their primary mode of communication. Some deaf individuals rely on oral communication; some may have residual hearing and may use a hearing aid to augment the communication process, monitor their voice or hear environmental sounds.

Hard of hearing students may have mild to severe hearing loss and use speech as their primary mode of communication. Students with slight hearing loss may miss up to 50% of class discussions, especially if voices are soft or the environment is noisy. Students may require the use of a hearing aid or personal FM system and other accommodations that match their individual needs.

Documentation requirements
An Audiologist is the professional qualified to diagnose hearing loss. 

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • an audiological assessment and report with a medical diagnosis of hearing loss, along with the prognosis and functional impact of the loss
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of hearing loss
  • signed original preferred.
Learning disabilities

Learning disabilities refer to several conditions which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or non-verbal information. The conditions affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities for thinking or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.

Documentation requirements
Registered psychologists with expertise in diagnosing learning disabilities are the professionals qualified to diagnose. Learning disabilities are diagnosed after a psycho-educational assessment that notes the individuals' achievement on individually administered standardized tests in reading, mathematics, or written expression is below the expected for age, schooling and level of intelligence.

The psycho-educational assessment should be conducted no earlier than three years before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • summary of all instruments and procedures used in the assessment
  • a written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioural observations
  • test scores (e.g. standard scores, percentiles, confidence, intervals) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • description of intra-cognitive or aptitude-achievement discrepancies or the clinician's rationale for clinical judgment
  • statement of how the learning disability substantially interferes with the student's educational progress
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of functional limitations and maximizing the student's academic performance
  • require a statement that describes unique academic demands of SAIT
  • signed original preferred.
Mental health

Mental health (psychiatric) disabilities involve disturbances in thinking, emotion and behaviour.

Diagnoses include but are not limited to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse.

Documentation requirements
Psychiatrists, physicians or psychologists are the professionals qualified to diagnose mental health disabilities (dependent on the diagnosis). A diagnosis of a mental health disorder alone is not sufficient for the eligible for accommodations and supports. 

Documentation must indicate the impact of the condition on the student in an academic setting. As the nature of a mental health disorder can change within a short time, it's recommended that documentation of a mental health disorder should be dated within three months of the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT. 

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include: 

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • a clear statement of the disability, including DSM-IV diagnosis and a summary of past and present symptoms
  • a summary of assessment procedures or evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis
  • medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of a post-secondary education environment
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of functional limitations and maximizing the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Neurological conditions

Neurological disability refers to a condition or limitation impacting the central nervous system. Difficulties exhibited in one or more of the following areas:

  • the use of memory
  • the control and use of cognitive functioning
  • sensory and motor skills
  • speech
  • language
  • organizational skills
  • information processing, affect social skills or essential life functions.

Diagnoses include but are not limited to:

  • cerebral palsy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • muscular dystrophy
  • graphic praxis
  • head injury
  • stroke
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effects
  • epilepsy

Documentation requirements
Neurologists, psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists or physicians are the professionals qualified to diagnose a neurological condition. A diagnosis of a neurological condition alone is not sufficient to be eligible for accommodations and supports.

Documentation must indicate the impact of the condition on the student in an academic setting. For many neurological conditions, specifically brain injuries, the documentation should refer to a comprehensive assessment that addresses the student's aptitude, achievement and information processing abilities. 

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include: 

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • summary of all instruments and procedures
  • a written summary of educational, medical, family histories and behavioural observations
  • test scores (e.g. percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • description of intra-cognitive or aptitude-achievement discrepancies or the clinician's rationale for clinical judgment
  • statement of how the brain injury might interfere with the student's educational progress
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing the impact of functional limitations on the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Physical disabilities

Physical disabilities include several disabilities causing a loss of function in areas of independent movement, resulting from nervous system impairment, amputation or a musculoskeletal condition.

These include, but aren't limited to arthritis, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, soft tissue injury, spina bifida, amputations, paraplegia, quadriplegia, obesity.

Documentation requirements
A physician or specialist focused in the area of the disability is the professional qualified to diagnose physical disabilities. 

Because the provision of all academic accommodations is individualized and based upon the impact of a disability on current academic performance, it is recommended that assessments and evaluations should be conducted no earlier than three months before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include: 

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • a clear statement of the physical disability, a summary of present symptoms and a statement of the treatment, if applicable
  • where relevant, a description of the severity, longevity or expected progression or stability of the disability
  • medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment
  • description of how the disability and treatment, if applicable, impact the student's functioning in an academic setting
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing academic barriers
  • signed original preferred.
Temporary disabling conditions

Temporary disabilities or conditions include, but are not limited to, broken dominant hand or hospitalization due to surgery, illness or injury.

Documentation requirements
Temporary disabilities or conditions are considered to be in the medical domain and require the diagnosis by a professional with expertise in the area of the particular illness or disability.

It is recommended that assessments and evaluations should be conducted no earlier than one month before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • a clear statement of the temporary disability or condition, a summary of present symptoms, and a statement of the treatment, if applicable
  • where relevant, a description of the severity, longevity or expected progression or stability of the temporary disability
  • medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of treatment (medication, physiotherapy) on the student's ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment
  • description of how the temporary illness or disorder and treatment, if applicable, impact the student's functioning in an academic setting
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing academic barriers
  • signed original preferred.
Visual

Visual disability is a generic term which covers a range of difficulties with vision, including a visual acuity of 6/21 (20/70) or less in the better eye after correction (best-corrected vision). A visual field of 20 degrees or less — a progressive eye disease with a prognosis of becoming one of the above in the next few years or, a visual problem or related visual stamina that is not correctable and results in the student functioning as if his or her visual acuity is limited to 6/21 (20/70) or less.

For educational purposes, a student with visual impairment is one whose visual activity is not sufficient for the student to participate with ease in everyday activities in an educational setting.

Documentation requirements
An ophthalmologist is the professional qualified to diagnose visual disabilities.

Because the provision of all academic accommodations is individualized and based upon the impact of a disability on current academic performance, it is recommended that assessments and evaluations should be conducted no earlier than three months before the student's initial request for disability-related services at SAIT.

The documentation must be dated and submitted on letterhead and include:>

  • clinician's name, title, phone number and address
  • date(s) of examination
  • a clear statement of the limits of vision, a statement of the level of best-corrected vision, a summary of present symptoms, and a statement of possible treatment, if applicable
  • where relevant, a description of the severity, longevity or expected progression or stability of the vision loss
  • medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment
  • description of how the vision loss and treatment, if applicable, impact the student's functioning in an academic setting
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist in minimizing academic barriers
  • signed original preferred.

Funding resources

There are several funding options available for services and support while you're attending SAIT. An accessibility advisor or SAIT's Financial Advising team can help you get started and assist with application processes.

Funding sources include:

Exam accommodation booking requests

To book an exam accommodation, you must:

  • be enrolled in a SAIT program — excluding Distance Education
  • be registered with Accessibility Services
  • have an up-to-date accommodation memo for the current semester.

Exams accommodations take place in SAIT's Testing Centre.

Booking process for students

Provide your instructor with a copy of your accommodation memo a minimum of four business days before the exam.

Complete and submit the  Student Exam Booking Request form a minimum of three business days before the exam, and 10 business days before the start of final exam week.

Booking process for instructors

When you receive a partially complete  Testing Services Invigilation form, please review it for accuracy. If no change is needed, please complete the form and submit it along with the exam and any other required materials to Testing Services.

By email

The subject of the email must include:

  • the exam date
  • the exam name
  • your student's first and last name

If the exam includes a scantron sheet, please attach an image of it to the email. The  Testing Centre will be able to match your exam with the appropriate scantron sheet.

You will receive an automated confirmation email. Please read the email carefully as emailed exams have 'sent' and 'received' time stipulations.

In-person

Print off and complete the form, bring the form, exam and any other required materials to the  Testing Centre, Lamb Learner Success Centre, MC221, Stan Grad Centre.

Exam collection

There are three options to collect the exam once complete. Please indicate your preferred option under the special instruction heading on the Testing Centre Invigilation Form:

  • the instructor receives from the  Testing Centre
  • designated SAIT staff member collects from the Testing Centre
  • the Testing Centre sends through inter-office mail.

If the exam is delivered via Brightspace D2L and there are no other materials, you are not required to pick up the completed invigilation form after the exam.

Contact 

403.774.5093
accessibility.services@sait.ca
Lamb Learner Success Centre, MC221,  Stan Grad Centre

Book an Appointment with Accessibility Services

Hours of operation

Days Times
Monday - Friday 8 am - 4 pm
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