Accessibility at Georgian
Welcome to Georgian College Accessibility Services. We are here to support you!
We understand that each individual comes with a unique set of strengths as well as areas of need. Accessibility advisors are case managers that provide information, support and advocacy for students who face physical, medical, sensory, mental health or learning barriers to education. Accessibility advisors support students throughout the educational process, encouraging independence and self-advocacy while providing individualized services and accommodations.
Georgian College endorses and adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) policy on accessible education and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
“The OHRC policy recognizes the importance of creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person can contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province. The Code guarantees the right to equal treatment in education without discrimination on the ground of disability, as part of the protection for equal treatment in services. This protection applies to elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities, both public and private.” — Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy on accessible education, March 2018
For information regarding accessibility standards and plans for Georgian College, visit our accessibility standards page.
If you are not sure if you are eligible for services, we encourage you to meet with an accessibility advisor to further discuss your individual needs.
For more information or to book an appointment, contact Accessibility Services.
We look forward to working with you!
Accessibility advisors and student accommodations
The primary role of the accessibility advisor is to assist students to determine appropriate accommodations for the post-secondary learning environment based on the student’s experienced disability and documented or disclosed functional limitations.
During the intake meeting, the accessibility advisor will help the student to assess appropriate accommodations and if appropriate, will provide a Letter of Accommodation to the student and faculty via email. At the postsecondary level, it is important for the accessibility advisor to work with faculty to ensure that offered accommodations do not interfere with the core learning outcomes of a course or program.
Your accessibility advisor may also recommend and help you connect other supports such as:
- adaptive technology
- assessment services
- cooperative education and career services
- tutoring services
- related bursaries and funding
- and more based on your individual needs
Please connect with us. We’re here to help.
Please contact us to make a phone or video appointment with an accessibility advisor.
Meet with an accessibility advisor
Please discuss your needs with us, all disclosed information will be kept confidential and we can often support students regardless of any documentation provided. Prospective, full- and part-time students are welcome to meet with an accessibility advisor to discuss eligibility for accommodation. Please contact us to make an appointment with an Accessibility Advisor.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, students are not required to disclose their disability diagnosis to access accommodations and supports. Any disclosure of a diagnosis is completely voluntary.
When students do provide documentation, it will often be documentation that supports their request for accommodations and can be used to assist in determining accommodations during an intake meeting. The following are examples of types of documentation that students may provide from a regulated health-care professional:
- doctor’s note
- psycho-education assessment
- audiology assessment
- WSIB reports
- hospital or clinical report
Students may also provide documentation that is not diagnostic in nature and is also considered helpful in supporting the accommodation determination process. The following are examples:
- Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) documents
- letters of accommodation from other institutions
- physiotherapy note or report
- letter from a social worker or psychotherapist
Who will know I have a disability?
When you register with our office we maintain any information in our secure case management database which is password protected. Only staff that need to work with this information are given access to it. We will provide your faculty with copies of your letters of accommodations so they are able to provide the accommodations you require. Your academic record will not identify in any way that you received academic accommodations.
Retroactive accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you believe you should receive a retroactive accommodation, please contact Student Success and request an appointment with an accessibility advisor to discuss your request.
Adaptive technologists assist students with reducing learning barriers by providing assessment and training with assistive technology that supports learning. The adaptive technologist may suggest devices or services that help students grow, sustain or expand their abilities.
During the initial technology assessment, the adaptive technologist and student will discuss needs, consider previous exposure and use of adaptive technology, while referring to appropriate documentation to help support and recommend high and low technology options. Supportive and continuous training on recommended equipment helps promote student use and confidence.
Your adaptive technologist may suggest options including:
- text-to-voice software
- voice-to-text software
- digital reading pens
- alternative format texts
- related bursaries and funding
- a referral for learning strategies
- the use of adaptive technology in a testing environment
You may be referred to an adaptive technologist through your accessibility advisor, or perhaps Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Your accessibility advisor and adaptive technologist work closely together to provide support, assessment and training.
We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals at Georgian College.
Please contact us to make an appointment with an adaptive technologist at the campus you are attending.
Reducing your course load
Reducing your course load can be good strategy to help manage your time and reduce stress associated with a heavy work load and any additional support needs related to your accommodations.
Before making any decision about reducing your course load, it is important that you meet with your accessibility advisor, as well as your program co-ordinator, who can help guide you through the process and determine your academic pathway moving forward. Reducing your course load does not eliminate or reduce any required credits for graduation. You will be completing the same number of courses or credits over a longer period of time.
Before reducing your course load, you will need to consider the following:
1. Withdrawal deadline
Each semester, there are two deadlines that will impact your ability to withdraw from courses.
The first is the drop/add deadline. This deadline occurs the at the end of week two each semester. You can add courses or drop out of courses during this time frame. During this time, if your status changes from full-time to part time, you may be eligible for a partial tuition refund.
The second deadline is the withdrawal deadline. If you wish to withdraw from a course(s), you must do this before the withdrawal deadline. If you miss the withdrawal deadline, you will remain in the course(s) for the remainder of the semester and your grade will be on your transcript permanently. This deadline is about two-thirds of the way through a semester, but the date will change each semester. For a specific date during the current semester, please consult Georgian’s list of important dates.
To withdraw from a course, you will need to log into your student account in Banner and withdraw from there. For assistance with this process, contact the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com or 705.728.1968, ext. 1511.
2. Tuition reduction
Any student with a documented permanent disability who requires a reduced course load as a learning accommodation, may be eligible for a reduction in tuition fees.
To be considered eligible for tuition reduction, you need to be:
- a domestic student and enrolled in a credit program (international students are not eligible)
- a student who has provided documentation indicating a permanent disability to Accessibility Services
- studying with a reduced course load
The deadline to apply for the tuition reduction is early January each year.
If you are eligible, or think you might be eligible, please make an appointment with your accessibility advisor to discuss this further by calling 1.877.722.1523.
3. Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA) benefits plan
Georgian’s student benefits provide protection and security for eligible students. The cost of the plan is included in your institutional fees provided you meet the eligibility enrolment criteria below:
- You are registered as a full-time student
- You meet the full-time criteria for your program
- You are residing in Canada
- You are under the age of 70
- Students in apprenticeship programs are insured against accidental benefits only
Note for students with a documented disability on file with Accessibility Services: Students who are taking a part-time course load as an accommodation, but are considered full-time by the institution, may be eligible to opt in to the student health and dental plans. Please contact the GCSA Student benefits plan office for further details prior to the applicable deadline for your semester period of enrolment.
4. OSAP, financial aid or personal finances
Withdrawing from a course or program will impact your course progression and you will need to study over a longer period of time to receive your credential. This could impact your Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) funding or personal finances.
For additional information about how reducing your course load will impact your OSAP funding, please visit the Financial Aid webpage, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705.728.1968, ext. 1530.
For general information about tuition and associated fees, contact the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com or 705.728.1968, ext. 1511.
Transition courses for students with documented disability
Please check back soon to find out about upcoming transition courses, or contact Student Success at 705.722.1523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Accessibility Services
To book an appointment with an accessibility advisor or adaptive technologist, please contact us.
- Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.