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Accessibility Services

Our services

Accessibility Services provides support for students with disabilities within the SAIT community — whether you're studying on campus or off campus as a Distance Education student. We also offer accommodations and services for SAIT students with chronic health conditions and mobility, sensory (e.g. vision and hearing), learning, attentional, neurological, psychological, and temporary disabilities (e.g. broken wrist).

Services provided to students with disabilities and health conditions include:

  • assistance with funding applications for services and adaptive equipment
  • facilitation of classroom and examination accommodations
  • provision of needed equipment loans
  • consultation and referrals

If you want to ensure your success and are a prospective student in grades 11 - 12, learn about how you can begin planning for post-secondary and explore the Government of Alberta's transition planning guide.

Accessibility Services student discussion group

Accessibility Services would like to invite you to come share your experiences, question and ideas.

Whether you just started your program or if graduation is around the corner, come join us for a student discussion on Thursday, Oct. 18 or Thursday, Nov. 15.

We'll be discussing:

  • achieving your short and long term career goals
  • preparing for a practicum
  • arranging worksite accommodations
  • how a disability might affect employability
  • advocating for yourself with your employer
Register now

Documentation guidelines

Arranging for accommodations and attaining funds for services can take time, please read our documentation guidelines and contact us at least six months before the first day of the semester or training period of your planned start at SAIT.

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 and/or control impulsive behaviour. Many people have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulses, but 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 psycho-educational assessment is preferred by a psychologist. The psycho-educational assessment should be conducted no earlier than three years prior to 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 (eg. percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist to minimize 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 psycho-educational assessment is preferred by a psychologist. The psycho-educational assessment should be conducted no earlier than three years prior to 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 (eg. percentiles) and a detailed interpretation of the results including strengths and weaknesses
  • suggestions for specific academic adjustments and accommodations which may assist to minimize 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 the 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 prior to 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, and/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 deaf individuals 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 mild 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 to minimize the impact of hearing loss
  • signed original preferred.
Learning disabilities

Learning disabilities refer to a number of 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 and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.

Documentation requirements
Registered psychologists with an 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 substantially below expected for age, schooling and level of intelligence.

The psycho-educational assessment should be conducted no earlier than three years prior to 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 and/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 to minimize the impact of functional limitations and maximize 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 period of time, it is 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 and/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 to minimize the impact of functional limitations and maximize the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Neurological conditions

Neurological disability refers to a condition or limitation impacting the central nervous system. Difficulties are 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 basic 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 and/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 to minimize the impact of functional limitations on the student's academic performance
  • signed original preferred.
Physical disabilities

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

These include but are not 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 prior to 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 and/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 to minimize 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 prior to 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 and/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 to minimize 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, any 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 that 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 prior to 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 and/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 to minimize academic barriers
  • signed original preferred.

Information sessions

Our information sessions are informative, interactive, geared towards prospective students in grades 11 -12 and will introduce students and supporters to Accessibility Services, covering these topics: 

  • Choosing programs that fit interests and abilities
  • Understanding how diagnosis and learning domains relate to accommodations and supports
  • Learning about reasonable accommodations
  • Understanding the roles of students, instructors, accessibility advisors and parents (if applicable)
  • Learning about documentation requirements and funding for services and adaptive technologies

Upcoming session dates

  • Oct. 2
  • Nov. 6
  • Dec. 4

Sessions take place from 6 - 7:30 pm and registration is required.

To register: accessibility.services@sait.ca | 403.774.5093
Where: Lamb Learner Success Centre, MC221, Stan Grad Centre

Contact Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services
403.774.5093
(fax) 403.210.4557
Lamb Learner Success Centre, MC221, Stan Grad Centre

Hours of operation

DaysTimes
Monday - Friday 8 am - 4 pm
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