Frequently Asked Questions



1. How do I refer a student that may have disability?

Advise the student to contact SSWD and book an appointment with a disability specialist. The student may call ex. 3240 or come to our offices on the 4th Floor of the Schmon Tower. Our Administrative Assistants will ensure that the student is booked with the correct person.

2. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding a student’s accommodation?

Contact the student’s case manager. This information is listed along with the notification of a student’s approved accommodations. If you do not know who the student’s case manager is, call the front desk at ex. 3240 and they will direct you.

3. Can I determine a student’s accommodation on my own? 

SSWD staff has expertise in the field of disabilities, their impact on post-secondary education, and Human Rights legislation. We determine accommodations based on the individual impact of a student’s disability and the appropriateness of that accommodation to a university setting. For example, two students with the same disability might not need the same accommodations and some accommodations for a disability are not appropriate at this level of study.

SSWD ensures that accommodations are equitable and adhere to current legislation.

4. Who determines academic accommodation and how are they determined?

SSWD staff reviews student documentation and determines which accommodations are appropriate for that student.

Accommodations are determined according to two factors: the educational impact of the disability (unique to that student) and the academic expectations within a university setting. 

5. How do you define the terms accommodation, modification, and accessibility?

When an accommodation takes place, the essential criteria of a course or program remains the same. The accommodation occurs as the educator or department makes changes to the method of curriculum delivery or assessment of those essential criteria to allow for the full inclusion of an individual student with a disability.

Modification takes place when an educator or department alters the essential criteria for an individual student. This occurs at the elementary and secondary level, but not at the university level.

Accessibility occurs when an educator or department proactively reduces barriers to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in an educational setting, rather than focusing on a particular student’s needs. Accessibility recognizes that the onus of responsibility is on the institution to reduce barriers that result in discrimination and violation of human rights and equity.

6. How do I make my course more accessible to students with disabilities?

The principles of Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provide the foundations of creating an accessible classroom. You may find more information on this model of teaching and learning at Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) LINK and CAST (LINK).

You can also find more information on disability specific teaching and learning practices on our website (LINK).

7. To whom do I report possible accommodation abuses?

Contact SSWD if you suspect that a student might be abusing their accommodations (e.g. sharing their peer notes).

8. Where do I go for assistance to ensure that my course materials meet accessibility standards?

It is the role of the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation to support the teaching and learning needs of faculty, including accessible teaching and learning. Please go to their Accessible Teaching and Learning page on their website for more information:  http://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation/accessibility

For information on support for the provision of alternate formats (e.g. Braille, Assistive Technologies, text in electronic format etc.) you may also contact the SSWD at sswd@brocku.ca or extension 4028.


Student wearing a device