Information for Professors

Information for Faculty

 

 

Accessibility Services uses ACCOMMODATE software to facilitate academic accommodation services.  We encourage faculty to use their Accommodate FACULTY PORTAL for students in their courses who are receiving examination accommodations through Accessibility Services

 

ACCOMMODATE FACULTY PORTAL LOG IN

Review your accommodated exam requests and upload exams here

 

Academic accommodations are meant to remove barriers to students experiencing disabilities to ensure equitable treatment and opportunity in their academic pursuits. This is consistent with the spirit and provisions of the Alberta Human Rights Act and with Mount Royal’s policies, procedures, and practices.

MRU’s Accessibility Services works with faculty and students to achieve accommodations that uphold academic standards and maintain the integrity of the program and course curriculum. Students requesting academic accommodations approach faculty with an Academic Accommodation Letter from Accessibility Services outlining their individual accommodation requirements. The letter, which must be current for each semester, is meant to inform and assist faculty to ensure that the student’s needs are met and are consistent with MRU’s policies, professional standards followed within Accessibility Services, and our legislative responsibilities.

It is important that student confidentiality and privacy are maintained. This includes respecting the validity of an Accommodation Letter from Accessibility Services and contacting Accessibility Services if you have further questions about the accommodations outlined. It precludes faculty or staff requesting further personal information from the student, including medical documentation or further ‘proof’ of a disability. Accessibility Services gathers relevant medical and psychological documentation to aid in their determination of appropriate academic accommodations. Therefore, students do not have to disclose personal information to faculty members. Accessibility Services is legally and ethically barred from disclosing a student client’s diagnosis or other medical information.

Faculty are encouraged to contact Accessibility Services for assistance, we are here to help anytime. Professional ethics and standards of practice require Access Advisors to note written correspondence and oral discussions about pertinent academic support with faculty members.

FAQ include:


•    Questions about implementation of recommended accommodations

•    Accommodating without compromising the academic integrity of the course or program

•    Appealing an academic accommodation (immediately contact the Access Advisor)

Inclusion of statement regarding academic accommodation is required. Suggestions follow:

 

If you are a student with an Academic Accommodation Letter and Faculty Acknowledgement form from Accessibility Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations in a private and confidential setting. Requests to review and sign academic accommodation documents should not be made during or between classes. To organize disability-related academic accommodations, if you have not already done so, please contact Accessibility Services, located in Y201, phone 403-440-6868.

Students are expected to meet privately with each of their faculty early in the semester. During that meeting faculty and students review course designs, assignment and evaluation expectations, and provision of academic accommodations. Students will provide a Faculty Acknowledgment form, please sign the form to indicate that the private meeting and relative discussions have occurred. When in doubt about accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services or the Access Advisor listed on the Accommodation Letter the student provides, s/he can provide support and information, including how to appeal an accommodation.

 

Please Note: According to Policy 517, the "student's accommodation shall not be disrupted during an appeal process".  The recommended academic accommodation must be in place during the entire appeal process.  The appeal process is outlined in the Policy 517 Guidelines, section 4.5.

Before your student requests an accommodated exam seating for a test, quiz, or midterm in your course, it is their responsibility to discuss the accommodation(s) noted on their Academic Accommodation Letter and obtain your signature on the Faculty Acknowledgement form.

Midterm accommodated tests, quizzes, or exams are written in Y201 and accommodated exam seatings begin on the hour throughout the week. For details on midterm seating options please see the announcement page in your Accommodate Faculty Portal.

Accommodated exam seating requests should be submitted for the closest start time that overlaps with the class writing time. Any exception must be confirmed via email, by the faculty member, to accessibility@mtroyal.ca.

Late exam seating requests – requests cannot be made through the Accommodate Student Portal if less than seven (7) days prior to a test, quiz, or midterm exam date. If there are extenuating circumstances and the faculty member is agreeable, the Accessibility Services Exam Scheduler may provide an exception and manually book a seating.

Upon approval of an accommodated exam seating request - an email is generated to the faculty and student. It is the faculty’s responsibility to review the Confirmation Notice. In particular, please check date, time, duration of the test, and the materials permitted. Please contact the student directly if you have any questions about the information provided in the seating request.

Once you have confirmed the exam seating request information, provide Accessibility Services with your test, quiz, or midterm exam at least two business days prior to the seating date. We prefer to receive exams electronically through the Accommodate Faculty Portal (or via email attachment). If dropping the exam off in person, attach a printed copy of the Confirmation Notice. Include a phone number where you can be reached during the accommodated exam; students often need question clarifications.

Alternate format examinations (i.e., audio format and formats compatible with adaptive technology) may not be available to the student if the faculty has not provided a copy of the test, quiz, or midterm at least 2 business days before the scheduled seating.

Faculty, or their delegate, must pick up completed examinations at Accessibility Services.

All of the procedures above apply to final examinations, with the following exceptions:

There are four (4) accommodated exam seating times during the final exam session: 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Hours of operation during final exams are Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Please note: on evenings where exams are not scheduled until 9:00 p.m., the office may close earlier.

Not all final exams are written in Y201, however, Accessibility Services operates a completed final exam pick up desk for faculty, located at Y201.

Please note: students writing accommodated final exams should be reminded to check their final exam seating times and writing locations in their Accommodate Student Portal.

For additional information or questions about accommodated exams, please contact the Accommodated Exam Facilitator at (403) 440-5680 or our office at (403) 440 6868. 

 

Why Do Students Need Audio Recording Accommodation?

Students with a variety of conditions need help getting spoken lecture material into print, to view it later in a format that is accessible to them. Most students take notes however note taking is not possible for some students. Students experiencing barriers related to:


1.    Arthritis and severe dexterity issues - may not be physically able to sustain prolonged handwriting
2.    Attention deficits, chronic pain, mental illness, learning disabilities - may have difficulty listening and simultaneously recording notes manually
3.    Hearing loss - may not be able to capture spoken material in class
4.    Low Vision - may not be able to copy material from slides or see to take notes

What will prevent students from sharing the information they record?

All students who have accommodations must sign the MRU Accessibility Services Accommodation Agreement in order to access accommodations. The agreement includes the following:
Students who require recording of course materials, or copy of class notes overheads, and Power
Point presentations, as an Academic Accommodation:
•    I understand that any course notes, audio recording or transcription of course material is for my own personal use
•    I agree not to copy, share, or redistribute these materials in any form to any person
•    Failure to comply with this agreement may be considered misconduct
•    I agree to destroy the course notes, audio recordings or transcriptions at the end of the semester in which the course is taken, unless the materials are otherwise required for further study while registered at Mount Royal University, in which case I will destroy the materials at the termination of registration.

What about privacy of other students when personal discussion takes place?


Opinion from Office of General Counsel, September 2019


We have reviewed and agree with the use of the Accessibility Services form regarding recording of course materials. That form does address the limited use of recording/transcripts by students. If recording is being requested (especially through Accessibility Services) for the purposes of accommodation of a student's disability, the instructor's consent must not be unreasonably withheld.

Instructors must not notify any students and guests in the class that a student is audio recording a class for the limited purposes of accommodation. Such a step could result in a student with a disability experiencing discrimination.
 
If there are concerns re: privacy issues for students not recording, these concerns may be addressed by faculty by instructing the class to "put their pens down" and not to record any of the subsequent conversations where confidentiality might be an issue and where the content of the conversation itself will not be subject to evaluation through exams or other means at a later time.


Copyright information


An accommodation to put information into an accessible format (recording) takes primacy over Intellectual Property Rights.

Fair Dealing. According to the Copyright Act, "fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire does not infringe copyright,” and this can include the recording of a lecture.

Copyright overview supported by the Office of General Counsel


Under section 32 of the Canadian Copyright Act, it is “not an infringement of copyright for a person with a perceptual disability, for a person acting at the request of such a person or for a non-profit organization acting for the benefit of such a person to:

(a) reproduce a literary, musical, artistic or dramatic work, other than a cinematographic work, in a format specially designed for persons with a perceptual disability;

(a.1) fix a performer’s performance of a literary, musical, artistic or dramatic work, other than a cinematographic work, in a format specially designed for persons with a perceptual disability;”

provided that the work is not already commercially available in a format specially designed to meet the needs of the person with a perceptual disability.

As well, the Alberta Human Rights Commission interpretive Bulletin: Duty to accommodate students with disabilities in post-secondary educational institutions states, “The institution must make the course material as accessible as possible. This may include:
-Providing material in an accessible format on Web sites
-Making instructors’ notes or projected presentations (for example, Power Point presentations)  
 available in advance
-Providing options or support to audio record the lecture”

While it is up to MRU students to request such accommodations, upon receiving such requests, our staff and faculty are legally and ethically bound to comply. MRU requires authorized students to sign documents agreeing not to distribute or share the otherwise copyright protected materials, with severe consequences for anything other than personal study.

The Copyright Act is unequivocal; instructors have no claim of copyright protection over a lecture or materials presented therein under the s. 32 exception for persons with perceptual disabilities requesting to record their lectures and the materials therein.

Additional information about the academic accommodation process can be found in the following documents:

Contact us

For questions on accommodation or how to create an inclusive learning environment, please contact Accessibility Services (403-440-6868).

For queries related to an individual student, please contact the access advisor assigned to the student.

All other accessibility concerns may be directed here.