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
If you are new to Accessibility Services, please complete the intake form. You will then be sent a link to book an appointment with an Accessibility Advisor.
If you think you may have a condition affecting your learning but have not been formally diagnosed, we can provide you with referral information.
If you're looking for accommodation for religious observance, contact the Interfaith Centre.
Download our campus map to find accessible entrances to all our main campus buildings.
Are you considering applying at 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 to learn more about
- reasonable accommodations
- documentation requirements and funding
- understanding the role of students, instructors, parents and advisors in a post-secondary setting.
What documentation is required?
To qualify for accommodations, you must provide supporting medical or other documentation (physician’s statements, functional assessment forms, psychoeducational assessments, etc.).
Documentation must be created by a professional with expertise in the specific disability/health condition. It must describe the current impact of the disability/health condition and recommend appropriate accommodations.
The functional assessment form can be completed by the appropriate professional and used to document your disability or medical condition.Functional assessment form
Accessibility support for current SAIT students
To book an exam with accommodations to write in the Testing Centre, you must:
- be enrolled in a SAIT program
- be registered with Accessibility Services
- have an up-to-date accommodation memo (valid for length of study)
Submit your booking request through Testing Services Register Blast system.
To ensure your accommodations are added to your booking, you need to sign in to your account. Further details on how to book can be found here.
If your last accommodation memo is dated before August 2022, please book an appointment with your advisor (see above) to further discuss your accommodations and changes that have been made to our processes.
If you have an accommodation memo that was generated after August 2022, your accommodation memo is valid for the length of your program. If you need to update your accommodations or have changed programs, please make an appointment by contacting your accessibility advisor or email us.
A student’s disability is private information protected under FOIP and Human Rights Legislation.
- Discuss your accommodations with your instructors at the beginning of your term when you receive the memo, in order to talk about how you can best receive those accommodations
- Reach out to the accessibility advisor if you have questions or concerns about unmet accommodation requests
You are not required to
- Share your diagnosis
- Discuss your accommodations:
- in front of the class
- with other students
- with other staff/faculty not specifically involved with your accommodations
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:
- Alberta Student Aid
- Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities
- Disability-related employment supports
- Workers Compensation Board (WCB) or private disability insurance
Should you need to temporarily (12 months or less) leave your program for unforeseen medical reasons, you may be permitted a student leave. Please see AC.3.16.1 Student Leaves Procedure.
To apply for a medically related leave/withdrawal, students must start by having a conversation with their academic share/academic advisor. Following that conversation. Please contact us to complete the leave request. Medical documentation will be required.
Frequently asked questions
Select a topic below to find related faqs.
What is my responsibility as a student in the accommodation process?
- Initiate the request for accommodations by contacting accessibility services prior to the start of the semester (6-8 weeks prior to the semester start is preferred)
- Complete intake forms and provide the necessary documentation to support the request
- Meet with the advisor to discuss appropriate accommodations
- Provide the accommodation memo to SAIT instructors at the beginning of each term/training period
- Communicate with instructors to advocate for their academic success
- Meet with an accessibility advisor to discuss progress, changes in or concerns with accommodations
What is the responsibility of an accessibility advisor?
- Review the student intake form and documentation
- Meet with the student to discuss needs/reasonable accommodations
- Meet with instructor/Academic Chair as needed to discuss accommodation (usually if complex)
- Create an accommodation memo and provide it to the student and academic chair
- Meet with the student to discuss progress, changes in or concerns with accommodations
- Recommend other support resources as necessary
- Meet with academic chair or instructors as needed to discuss concerns, new accommodations, etc.
What is the responsibility of an instructor?
- Receive the accommodation memo from the student
- Discuss accommodation needs with student
- Collaborate with student and accessibility advisor on accommodations needs/changes/concerns
- Create an inclusive learning environment for the student. This may include adopting UDL initiatives for the entire class
- Schedule exams/labs/assignments to meet accommodations as necessary
- If using test centre for examinations:
- Initiate registration in Registerblast for examinations
- Ensure the online version of the exam is provided to test centre in advance of the scheduled examination
- Ensure student booking time meets instructor requirements
- Refer the student to Accessibility Services if they believe a student may need additional accommodations
What is the responsibility of an academic chair?
- Receive the accommodation memo from the accessibility advisor
- Discuss any concerns related to the memo or student with an accessibility advisor
- Work with the student to create revised scheduling if necessary (if qualified for reduced course load)
- Ensure classroom needs, if necessary, are met
- May oversee accommodations with instructors
- Track the academic progression of the student
I think I may have a disability - what do I do?
Accessibility services can meet with you to do an initial screening. From there you may qualify for a referral for an assessment (conditions apply).
If the initial screening does not indicate a disability, the accessibility advisor can recommend other resources that may help you with your studies such as academic coaching, success seminars and available tutoring resources.
How are accommodations determined?
To qualify for accommodations, students are required to provide supporting medical or other documentation (physician’s statements, functional assessment forms, psychoeducational assessments, etc.). Some of these documents contain recommendations for accommodations. The accessibility advisor then meets with the student to discuss the best accommodations to meet the student’s needs while meeting the academic requirements of the SAIT program.
What if I disagree with certain accommodations?
The role of the accessibility advisor is to work with SAIT students and faculty in negotiating the most appropriate accommodations. This is an opportunity for information sharing and collaboration. The accessibility advisor is also very experienced in determining the most appropriate accommodation to reduce barriers.
Accommodations are meant to be reasonable and do not need to be perfect or exactly as requested. cannot just be outright refused.
How are accessibility services decisions guided?
- Human Rights Legislation
There are 15 grounds under which people are protected with Human Rights Legislation. They include:
- Religious beliefs
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
- Physical disability
- Mental disability
- Place of origin
- Marital status
- Source of income
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
We have a duty to accommodate our students with disabilities in higher education to the point of undue hardship to SAIT.
It may also include such considerations as a Bona fide occupational requirements
- Formal documentation to support accommodation
At SAIT, we require students to provide formal documentation in the form of one or more of the following:
- Psycho-educational assessments completed by registered psychologists
- Functional limitation assessment completed by medical practitioners
- Detailed medical letters from medical practitioners
- Collaboration between the student, instructor/academic chair and the accessibility advisor
As accessibility advisors, we rely on faculty and academic chairs to outline the essential requirements of courses and programs. From there, we work with students and programs to set reasonable accommodations to reduce or eliminate barriers.
The accommodation also does not need to be perfect or exactly as requested. It must be reasonable. This is where the role of the Accessibility Advisor is so important. Through active discussion between the student, the Accessibility advisor and the Academic Chair/faculty member, we can create a reasonable accommodation that can work for the student and meet the academic integrity requirements of the program.
The accommodation also cannot influence the essential requirements or academic integrity of a course or program.
I have a documented disability but I have not sought accommodation because I didn’t think I needed them. Now I think I do. What should I do now?
Please contact Accessibility Services to schedule an appointment with an advisor. You will be provided intake forms to complete and we will ask you to provide supporting documentation.
I had an IPP (LSP) and accommodations in high school. Do they automatically transfer to SAIT?
No. Accommodations from high school do not automatically transfer to SAIT. As a SAIT student, you need to register with Accessibility Services, complete the required intake forms, and provide medical and/or other documentation to receive accommodations. Please connect with our office as soon as you have been accepted.
Do I still need to renew my accommodation memo each term?
As of fall 2022, SAIT students are no longer required to renew their Accommodation Memos each term. The Accommodation Memo is valid for the duration of the program listed on the Accommodation Memo.
Students who need to make changes to their accommodation memo, because of program change or change to accommodations, need to contact us to set up an appointment with their advisor.
Students are to communicate directly with instructors regarding accommodations. Students and instructors will then plan for how accommodations will be delivered each term.
What is adaptive/assistive technology?
There are a number of products available to assist some of our qualifying students with disabilities in adapting to the learning environment. These too, can help to remove barriers.
If applicable or deemed required, the use of adaptive/assistive technology is often discussed during your initial meeting with an accessibility advisor. Either you will have used the technology in the past and would like to continue, or the advisor may suggest the use of technology to help remove a specific barrier. Not all students use or need to use adaptive/assistive technology.
Some examples of adaptive/assistive can be found here.
My accessibility advisor is recommending extra time as an accommodation, how will that help?
Some students with disabilities require more time to process the information required for learning or for communication/writing. Providing the extra time reduces stress levels and allows you the time to properly process information or formulate responses to exam questions. It does not provide any advantage over other students, it simply levels the playing field (equity).
My psychoeducational assessment has several recommendations that I want implemented for accommodations, why can’t I have them all?
Not all recommendations offered in psychoeducational assessments work for post-secondary institutions. Depending on the date of the assessment, they may have been intended for secondary education and must be adapted for post-secondary. The rigor and requirements of post-secondary may not align with all recommendation and SAIT must protect the academic integrity of its programming. Your advisor will work with you to determine the most appropriate and reasonable accommodations.
Why should I meet with an advisor prior to the start of my program?
Meeting with an advisor early ensures that you receive the most appropriate accommodation and that they are in place for the start of your studies. This will ensure you are on the right track to academic success. You must also provide a copy of your accommodation memo to your instructors, as soon as you receive it, so that they may work with you to implement your accommodations.
I have received my accommodation memo but I don’t want to use my accommodations until the final exam, should I just wait to show my instructor?
NO. Please show your instructor your accommodation memo as soon as you receive it and let them know your situation. Asking for accommodations late in the semester will impact your ability to receive any accommodations as testing services and instructors require advanced notice for booking and exam creation. at that time.
Can I get accommodations in the lab?
Accommodations do not normally occur in a laboratory setting. There are safety standards that are quite different than that of a classroom which may result in undue hardship to the institution. The lab may also be tied to bona fide occupational requirements that prevent any accommodation.
I am entitled to extra time for examinations. What is the standard extra time given in an accommodation?
If you are provided extra time as an accommodation, you will be provided with 1.5x the regular exam time as a standard. Students with specific cognitive disabilities should have a discussion with their accessibility advisor.
My accommodation specifies extra time for exams. Why does it not include extra time for assignments?
Extra time for assignments is not normally provided to students by accessibility services, because extending one date may impact the amount of work required all at once if there are other assignments. It also delays grades for students, making it difficult to know how they are actually doing in that course. It is important to know where you stand in a course so that you can make appropriate decisions prior to withdrawal deadlines.
What is my role in the exam process?
- Provide your instructor with a copy of your accommodation memo as soon as you receive it.
- Talk with your instructor about whether they will invigilate or use Testing Services. Note: The instructor must initiate the booking in the Registerblast system. If you have questions about the process, please contact email@example.com.
My instructor is not honouring my accommodation requests, what do I do?
Please seek the advice of your accessibility advisor. There may be a valid reason for why certain accommodations cannot be implemented. Some accommodations may not work for some class/lab settings.
The role of the accessibility advisor is to work with SAIT students and faculty in negotiating the most appropriate accommodations. This is an opportunity for information sharing and collaboration.
Remember: Accommodations do not need to be perfect, but they must be reasonable and they must not affect the academic integrity of the course/program.
How can I be accommodated for an exam when both the instructor and I have back-to-back classes?
Where possible, the instructor may request the use of the Testing Services facilities. Faculty is first required to register as an instructor with their upcoming semester exams in order for accommodated students to be able to book their exam. See “How do I book my exam?”
One of my instructors talked to me about my accommodation in front of the class. Is this allowed?
Faculty and staff should discuss your accommodations with you in a private setting. However, faculty/staff may need to share some information with other staff involved in implementing the accommodation. If you have concerns, please speak with your accessibility advisor.
I am struggling in some of my classes, where can I access help?
The best thing to do first, is have a conversation with your instructor. They may be able to provide suggestions on how to successfully complete your work.
There are many academic supports available to you at the Lamb Learner Success Centre. We offer academic coaching and tutoring, financial advising and of course, you can always speak to an accessibility advisor about your needs. You can also ask for assistance through our early alert self-referral. The service is completely confidential and can get you connected to many of the other resources available to you at SAIT.
I’m having some problems with my current accommodations, what should I do?
Please contact your accessibility advisor to discuss your concerns. They may be able to discuss the situation with your instructor to make some adjustments or they may suggest some other resources that may be more helpful.
How can I student request a temporary leave/withdraw from SAIT for medical reasons?
To apply for a medically related leave or withdrawal, students must start by having a conversation with their Academic chair or advisor. Following that conversation, please contact us to complete the leave request. Medical documentation will be required.
Retroactive medical withdrawals are not permitted except under extenuating circumstances.
- Please review 3.19.1 Student Leaves Procedure for more information.
I’ve had some personal issues that are really starting to affect my grades, what should I do?
You can begin by speaking with your accessibility advisor. They are very knowledgeable about the many SAIT resources available for you.
You can also visit Student Development and Counselling. They work to promote the well-being and success of all students through free in-person, telephone or video appointments.
Booking an appointment
To book an appointment with Accessibility Services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Appointment Request.
We look forward to assisting you!