Meeting an Access Advisor
What information should I provide before my first conversation with an Access Advisor?
Postsecondary students seeking disability, or medically-related accommodations and services, or funding for assistive services and technology, are required to provide documentation from a qualified professional. Depending on the disability, the documentation can come from a physician, psychologist, audiologist, ophthalmologist, or other licensed specialist. The documentation should clearly outline the impact the disability or condition has on the student in an academic setting and identify or recommend specific accommodations and supports that would reduce the barriers encountered in an educational setting.
The Access Advisor will use this documentation, along with other information obtained during interviews, assessments and trials, to determine appropriate disability-related accommodations and supports. Some conditions are subject to change (e.g., relapses, remissions); therefore, to ensure that the identification of impacts and functional limitations can be properly addressed, updated medical documentation (including information about the effects of medication) may be requested, periodically, throughout the duration of the program.
A diagnosis of a disability, medical condition or disorder alone is not sufficient to be eligible for accommodations and supports. The learning environment must be sufficiently inaccessible such that the student’s ability to perform tasks required to achieve his or her educational goals to his or her potential is negatively impacted.
The Verification of Disability form can assist you in providing documentation that will support your need for accommodation and funding for support services and assistive technology.
Full psychoeducational assessments are most useful in guiding support services and assisting students to develop self-advocacy skills. Full assessments include: Diagnosis or diagnostic statements by an appropriately qualified member of a College of Psychologists,
- Information on functional limitations in the current setting,
- Recommendations applicable to the current setting,
- Data related to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC) definition (e.g., missing data on thinking and reasoning abilities, psychological processing, and/or academic functioning).
Assessments completed after the student reaches the age of 18 are considered current. Partial or full reassessment may be considered if information is needed to support the student in the current learning environment or if the student’s health or other circumstances have changed.
When assessments provided are out of date for reasons such as age of the assessments or change of circumstances, a new assessment may be required. Updated assessments may be needed if prior assessments were completed five or more years prior to onset of requested service (i.e., if the student is now 19 years of age and the assessment was completed at age 14) or as required by specific program licensing bodies (e.g., Nursing, Accounting).
The Access Advisor will review your information and advise you as to whether you may need an updated assessment and assist you in considering how to get updated information.
How can I get information to the Access Advisor before we meet?
Drop off documentation to (Y201), email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax (403.440.7255). Once we receive the documentation we can book an appointment with an Access Advisor, so please include a current contact number with your documentation.
Where can I find my psychoeducational assessment?
If you received accommodation (for example, extra time on tests) in high school, your high school may have a psychoeducational assessment on file.
- If you graduated within the last year, call your high school to see if they still have your records. If you are 18 or over, they will likely give you a copy of your assessment.
- If you have been out of school for a while, the school board may have a copy of the assessment. Contact the student records office to request them.
- Calgary Board of Education Records Department can be reached at: (403. 294.8407. For more information see: http://www.cbe.ab.ca/Students/records.asp
- Calgary Catholic School District Records Department can be reached at: (403.720.1817. For more information see: http://www.cssd.ab.ca
- You can fax signed permission to the appropriate school board requesting they send the information to Accessibility Services (Fax: 403.440.7255)
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