Contact us

Hours: 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)
1250 Maggie Benston Centre
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6
Email: caladmin@sfu.ca
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.

Accommodation process

The process of determining, securing and implementing accommodations requires time. It is the student’s responsibility to act in a timely fashion. If you delay in completing the steps below (e.g. by waiting until the last week before an exam to seek exam accommodations), it may not be possible to implement your accommodations in time.

The process of establishing accommodations for a given term must be completed by the end of Week 10.  This ensures that there is reasonable time for instructors to review and provide feedback about accommodations, and for the CAL to make the necessary arrangements leading up to the final exam period. 

Step 1: Register with the CAL

First-Time Students:

To register with the CAL, you must submit both the Application for Services Form AND supporting documentation from a regulated health practitioner who is qualified to diagnose your disability. Please note that there are different Verification forms for different disabilities and you are required to submit the form specific to the type of disability for which you are requesting services. All details are available in the Documentation section of the website.

Returning Students:

If you need to renew your registration (e.g. you haven’t been in active receipt of CAL services for 3 or more consecutive semesters), please contact the CAL to ensure the information on your file is up-to-date and to arrange an appointment with a Disability Access Advisor.

If there have been any changes to your disability diagnosis or symptoms, provide updated disability verification documentation. Please note that there are different Verification forms for different disabilities and you are required to submit the form specific to the type of disability for which you are requesting services. All details are available in the Documentation section of the website.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment with a Disability Access Advisor

First-Time Students:     

As soon as possible, prior to the start of classes, schedule an appointment with a Disability Access Advisor to review your disability documentation and academic needs.

Returning Students:

Schedule an appointment with a Disability Access Advisor after having attended a class in each course you are taking to review your disability documentation and academic needs. 

Step 3: Determine What Accommodations You Are Eligible For

At your appointment with a Disability Access Advisor, you’ll discuss your learning needs and eligibility for accommodations. Be prepared to access your course information through the SFU Student Information System. Bring your disability documentation to your appointment. For more information, please see Meeting with the Disability Access Advisor.

The Disability Access Advisor may determine the suite of accommodations to which you will be entitled in principle during this meeting.  It is also possible that additional time may be required in order to review the provided documentation, in which case you will be asked to return for a follow-up appointment.

If lecture or exam accommodations are recommended, the Disability Access Advisor will generate a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) for each course in which you are seeking accommodations. These accommodations will be tailored for each course based on the unique content and demands.  The LOA, which will be sent electronically to each course instructor, verifies that you have a disability and that you are registered with the CAL, and describes what accommodation(s) you are eligible to receive for that course.  The LOA does not disclose your diagnosis or any personal medical information.  An LOA must be generated in order for you to receive lecture or exam accommodations.

Step 4: Meet with your Instructor(s)

The LOA provides instructors the opportunity to address any concerns about proposed accommodations with the CAL (e.g., concerns that an accommodation may undermine an essential element of a course).  Once the instructor acknowledges they have received the accommodation notice, a confirmation email will be sent to your SFU email account as well as to the CAL.  You are not required to to meet with your instructors regarding your accommodations, however there may be benefits to doing so.  Discussing your accommodations with your instructors provides an opportunity to confirm your specific needs and make any necessary arrangements. This may be required in order to support the logistics of some accommodations (e.g. receiving electronic copies of materials in advance of class), and can also allow the instructor to modify the delivery of the course towards universal accessibility. 

If you choose to meet with your instructor(s), it is recommended that you do so during his or her office hours, not before or after class, because this will provide greater confidentiality and allow more time for discussion. If you have concerns about meeting with an instructor, you should bring this issue to the attention of your Disability Access Advisor so that they can work with you directly to address your concern.

During a meeting, you can:

  1. Confirm with your instructor that an electronic Letter of Accommodation has been received.
  2. Discuss with your instructor any specific needs and decide how your accommodations will be arranged specifically for their course (e.g. in-class tests).

Confidentiality: Please note that while you may wish to communicate with the instructor or CODE office to address and confirm your accommodation needs, you are NOT required or expected to disclose the name (e.g., I have Generalized Anxiety) or type of disability (e.g., I have a Mental Health Disability) for which accommodations are required, even if asked directly.  Neither the CODE office or the instructor is entitled to this information.

For steps on securing exam accommodations, please see the Exam Information section of our website.