Contact us

Our office hours are 9 am to 4 pm,
Monday to Friday

Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)
1250 Maggie Benston Centre
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6
Phone: 778.782.3112
Secure Fax: 778.782.4384

Visit our Accessibility Information Page to find detailed information about our office and its accessibility considerations.

Determining Accommodations

The CAL will make every effort to assist students with disabilities so that they achieve their educational goals. Sometimes this may require academic accommodations. To learn about what accommodations are and how they are administered at SFU, continue reading below or select one of the following topics:

What do accommodations do?

Accommodations are classroom and exam modifications that students must arrange at the beginning of each term. These accommodations:

  • Help create equal educational access by offsetting the specific challenges posed by a disability in a particular term
  • Ensure that all students receive equitable treatment in meeting their course and program requirements
  • Enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without fundamentally altering the core requirements of their course or detracting from the student's responsibility to achieve individual results consistent with their academic requirements and objectives
  • Are determined by a Disability Access Advisor and must be supported by the student’s disability documentation
  • Are available to students registered with the CAL and attending courses at any of SFU’s three campuses

What don't accommodations do?

  • Accommodations do not affect the standards used to assign grades or the requirement that students independently demonstrate their knowledge of course material.
  • Accommodations do not compromise the security, validity or reliability of a course or exam, nor provide an unfair advantage to the student with a disability.

Examples of accommodations and services

Accommodations and services which may be available to eligible SFU students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning include, but are not limited to:

Class Accommodations

  • The use of assistive listening devices such as an FM or Infrared system
  • Priority seating
  • Opportunity to audio record lectures
  • Aide in class, such as a sign-language interpreter, attendant, or Commmunication Access Real Time (CART) captionist
  • Note-taking assistance in class
  • Visual material (overheads or slides) provided in advance
  • Textbooks or reference articles in alternate formats (e.g. PDF; e-text; larger type)

Exam Accommodations

  • Extra time and/or breaks without penalties for exams
  • Allowance made for spelling or grammatical errors
  • Environment with reduced distraction - writing an exam in a separate room
  • Reader or Scribe
  • Use of a calculator
  • Use of a word processor for essay exams

Other Services

  • New student orientation
  • Access to adaptive stations in the library equipped with computers and software
  • Academic, career and developmental advising and/or referral
  • Assistance with compensatory learning strategies
  • Access to quiet study rooms in the library
  • Parking for persons with disabilities
  • Assistance in making a class physically accessible for students with mobility or other physical impairments

Tutoring Support

The CAL does not provide individual tutoring as a form of accommodation for disabilities.  However, any tutoring that is provided by SFU, and which is available to all students (e.g. peer tutoring, tutors sponsored by various departments, etc.), must be reasonably accessible to persons with disabilities.  The CAL supports accommodations to facilitate access to this type of tutorial support. Where a student has funding through a disability related government grant (e.g., Canada Study Grant), the CAL will assist in locating a tutor for the student. All tutoring arranged through the CAL must comply with the University’s published standards regarding Academic Integrity. In most cases, tutors arranged through the CAL are current SFU graduate students.

Personal Healthcare

As a student, you are responsible for securing the personal healthcare or medical services that you require. We encourage students with disabilities to work closely with their existing healthcare providers to ensure a smooth transition to university.  Please note that students can also see qualified medical professionals at SFU Health and Counselling Services.