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
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.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury refers to an impairment or limitation due to injury that has resulted at the central nervous system, including the brain. The most common brain injuries are caused by a direct trauma to brain tissue, such as a car accident. In many cases, TBI can cause physical disabilities, impaired learning ability and emotional and personality changes. Some of the most common difficulties for persons with TBI are exhibited in one or more of the following areas:

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Abstract and flexible thinking
  • Organizational skills
  • Information processing
  • Sensory and motor skills
  • Speech and language skills
  • Social skills

Changes in ability in these areas may be permanent or temporary, as the extent and location of the injury will determine the severity and duration of the resulting impairments. Mobility may also be affected, making it necessary for the person to develop new ways of functioning in a number of areas. Some impairments caused by TBI can be overcome through exercise and retraining, while others can be compensated for through the use of assistive devices and accommodation.

Documentation Requirements

All students seeking to register with the CAL must submit the Application for Services Form as well as supporting documentation, which must be filled out according to the guidelines below.

Supporting documentation: Verification of Concussion Injury Form

Appropriate professional: neurologist, neuropsychologist, registered psychologist with clinical designation, psychiatrist or physician

Documentation should include:

  1. A clear statement of the disability, along with the DSM-IV diagnosis (if applicable) and summary of present symptoms
  2. Plans for ongoing support and monitoring
  3. Medical information relating to the effect of the disability on the student’s ability to meet the demands of a university environment (including the impact of medication or other treatment on performance)
  4. A psychoeducational assessment may also be required