Resources

Student Accessibility Services staff has extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge to help students develop the skills and strategies they need to reach their full potential at Brock.

We are happy to work with students to identify and address any disability-related concerns and to provide information on where to access appropriate supports and specialized technologies.

Tips and strategies for success

Students who are experiencing functional limitations due to disability or an ongoing health or mental health condition may face various challenges in the post-secondary education environment. But with appropriate accommodation, they can have the same potential for success as all students.

Things to consider

You may find your disability affects your academic performance in some of these ways:

  • Takes longer to read or process information;
  • Difficulty with memorization;
  • Difficulty staying focused on tasks;
  • Fatigue due to increased academic expectations;
  • Difficulty taking notes;
  • Increased stress;
  • Impacts on physical/mental health.

Helpful tips

There are some general strategies that can be helpful for students with disabilities:

  • Register with Student Accessibility Services to discuss appropriate accommodations.
  • Meet with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Use an agenda or online time management planner to schedule time for academic tasks.
  • Over-estimate the amount of time tasks will take.
  • Use flashcards and self-testing strategies.
  • Review readings and lecture slides (if provided) before lecture/seminar.
  • Take advantage of free access to personal counselling.
  • Access Student Health Services.
  • Schedule “downtime” with friends and for activities.
  • Exercise.
  • Develop healthy sleep and nutrition habits.

Possible areas of impact

  • Memorization;
  • Unpredictable onset of symptoms affecting deadlines, due dates, and exams;
  • Difficulty with cognitive reasoning and/or social relationships;
  • Difficulty with abstract reasoning;
  • Possible sensory or physical impairments;
  • Attentional issues impacting lectures and/or readings;
  • Time management;
  • Fatigue.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Develop strong study habits that include weekly rehearsal of materials.
  • Use flashcards and self-testing strategies.
  • Chunk information and develop mnemonics.
  • Clarify your understanding with your instructor or classmates.
  • Use an agenda or online time management system.
  • Take regular breaks when reading or studying.
  • Make use of on-campus supports (e.g., personal counselling, A-Z Learning Services, Student Health Services).

Possible areas of impact

  • Maintaining attention in lectures or while reading;
  • Sitting still for long lectures or classes;
  • Time management and tendency to procrastinate;
  • Poor impulse control, leading to inappropriate behaviour in seminar;
  • Difficulty with attendance or arriving late to lecture/seminar.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Meet with a learning strategist to work on time management and time estimation skills.
  • Work with personal counselling on impulsivity and motivation.
  • Use an agenda or online planner.
  • Break down large assignments into manageable pieces.
  • Exercise regularly to improve attention span.
  • Develop routines (e.g., morning, bedtime, places for keys, ID card, etc.).

Possible areas of impact

  • Understanding expectations;
  • Managing competing priorities/deadlines;
  • Class participation/seminars/group work;
  • Environmental distractions (e.g., fluorescent lights, fan noises, etc.);
  • Taking courses outside areas of interest.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Clarify your understanding of course material, assignments, and academic expectations with your professors and teaching assistants.
  • Use an agenda or online time management system.
  • Break down tasks into small steps.

Possible areas of impact

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or decoding;
  • Difficulty taking notes while listening to lecture;
  • Difficulty with written work (e.g., spelling, grammar, organization, etc.);
  • Difficulty with mathematics or spatial reasoning;
  • Tasks may take more time to complete;
  • Fatigue due to increased cognitive load.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Discuss course selection with your academic adviser and case manager.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Meet with a learning strategist to develop individualized academic and time management strategies.
  • Meet with an assistive technologist to explore AT options (e.g., text-to-voice software, voice-to-text software, LiveScribe Pen, etc.).
  • Meet with professors and teaching assistants to confirm your understanding of course content and instructions.

Possible areas of impact

  • Difficulty sitting through lecture;
  • Need frequent washroom breaks;
  • Unpredictable flare-ups of symptoms, impacting attendance, deadlines, and exams;
  • Difficulty staying awake and alert at different times of the day, depending on illness and/or the effects of medication;
  • Difficulty with concentration and memory;
  • Difficulty with completing readings and assignments during flare-ups of illness.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Meet with Student Health Services and make sure all prescriptions are up to date.
  • Meet with personal counselling if stress triggers flare-ups.
  • Take regular breaks when reading and studying.

Possible areas of impact

  • Motivation may fluctuate;
  • Sleep issues impacting attendance and school work;
  • Difficulty with concentration, memory, and mood swings;
  • Social isolation;
  • Difficulty communicating needs during symptom flare-ups;
  • Difficulty managing competing deadlines;
  • Test/exam issues.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Meet with Student Health Services and make sure all prescriptions are up to date.
  • Meet with personal counselling to address specific issues impacting academics and personal life.
  • Take regular breaks when reading and studying.
  • Participate in campus activities and clubs.
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule and healthy eating habits.

Possible areas of impact

  • Difficulty accessing some areas on campus;
  • Difficulty with back-to-back classes as accessible routes are not always the fastest routes;
  • Taking notes in lecture/seminar;
  • Fatigue, particularly in three-hour lectures.

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Take a reduced course load.
  • Meet with the assistive technologist to discuss assistive technology and equipment.

Possible areas of impact

  • Taking notes in lecture and seminar;
  • Participating in seminar discussions;
  • Missing visual or audio cues;
  • Accessing course materials (visual impairment);
  • Navigating through campus (visual impairment).

Strategies for success

  • Meet regularly with a case manager to discuss your individual needs.
  • Meet with the assistive technologist regarding assistive technology, equipment training, and alternative format text services.
  • Submit alternative format text requests prior to each term to ensure timely access.