Academic accommodations

Academic accommodations help students with a disability or ongoing medical condition overcome challenges that may affect their academic success. Some examples of accommodations are:

  • Alternate format for print materials

  • Extended time on exams.

  • Classroom captioning.

Find out more about the types of academic accommodations available.

Eligibility for academic accommodations

Eligibility for academic accommodations is determined by Access & Diversity in line with Policy 73, Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. The types of conditions supported by Access and Diversity include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders or bi-polar disorder

  • Neurological disabilities such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, head injuries and Asperger's syndrome

  • Chronic health conditions including ongoing medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, or migraines

  • Physical disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing loss, or mobility impairments

Academic accommodations are not determined by your instructor. However, your instructor may consult with Access and Diversity should the accommodations affect the essential learning outcomes of a course. 

Register with Access & Diversity

Students who require academic accommodations and support at UBC due to a disability or ongoing medical condition must register with Access and Diversity.

  1. Make an appointment

    Contact Access & Diversity to book an appointment with a Diversity Advisor. Appointments should be booked before your start date. We recommend making an appointment as soon as you have been offered admission.

    • In-person appointments: Family members are welcome to attend, but we cannot discuss your application with them without your written permission.

    • Phone appointments: Phone appointments can be made if you can’t make it to campus. You are responsible for initiating the call at the appointed time.

    Your Diversity Advisor-Disability will determine the academic accommodations you’re eligible for.

  2. Provide documentation

    You will need to provide medical documentation prepared by a professional who is qualified to diagnose your specific disability or medical condition. Disability documentation must:

    • Be current and relevant

    • Include the practitioner's name, title, phone/fax numbers, mailing address, email address, and signature

    • Indicate the length of time that you have been under the practitioner's care

    • Describe the nature of your medical condition/disability, along with a detailed explanation of the functional impact of the disability (a diagnosis alone is not sufficient to support a request for an accommodation)

    • Provide sufficient detail to determine appropriate accommodations

    • Describe the symptoms that formed the basis for the practitioner's diagnosis

    • Include relevant test results

    • Include supporting documentation if the practitioner is verifying an existing diagnosis

    • Describe the timelines for rehabilitation and recovery, if the diagnosis is temporary

    • Identify side-effects of medications that may adversely affect academic performance

  3. Inform your instructor

    Your Diversity Advisor-Disability will provide you with a letter outlining your academic accommodations. You must present this to each of your instructors at the beginning of the term. The letter will be issued to you on an annual basis unless you are in academic jeopardy in which case an in-person appointment is required.

Changing your academic accommodations

Meet with your Diversity Advisor – Disability to request changes to your academic accommodations. Requests for new accommodations or changes to current ones must be made early in the term. Depending on the nature of the accommodation and the timing of the request, immediate implementation may not be possible.

Requests for new accommodations or changes to existing ones cannot be considered after:

  • November 10 for implementation in the December exam period

  • March 10 for implementation in the April exam period

Confidentiality

You are not required to share information or documentation about your disability or ongoing-medical condition with your instructor or any other University office. Access & Diversity is committed to treating your documentation as confidential in accordance with BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Your transcript and record will not note your registration with Access & Diversity. 

By registering with Access & Diversity, you have given permission for Access & Diversity to share the minimum information necessary to ensure the provision of services.