Disabilities at SFU
The Role of the CAL
Academic accommodations are changes to a class, exam or program which reduce the barriers related to a disability and help provide equal educational access. The CAL arranges accommodations and services for eligible students with documented disabilities. Our staff provide advice, review disability documentation, recommend reasonable academic accommodations and consult with students on strategies to improve their learning and study skills. Our student-centered approach incorporates students' right to self-determination, empowerment and confidentiality.
Accommodations are not automatic for students with disabilities
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and there are responsibilities that students need to meet in order to secure them. Students should be aware that they may not receive all the accommodations requested, nor will they necessarily receive the accommodation(s) they had in high school or at any other educational institution.
More Important Facts about the CAL
Students must identify themselves to the CAL each term and provide documentation in order to qualify for registration and demonstrate eligibility. The CAL is not responsible for assessing or establishing a students’ disability status, but rather reviews documentation provided from qualified assessors. In most cases the qualified assessor is a specialist in the field associated with the specific disability (e.g., a psychiatrist or psychologist, where mental health is a concern).
Academic requirements will not be waived due to a disability, because accommodations cannot alter the fundamental requirements of a course, exam, or degree program. Students should be sure to review the requirements of the courses they are interested in and discuss any concerns with a Disability Access Advisor. The CAL will consult with faculty and/or students’ academic programs to ensure that accommodations do not modify any fundamental requirements.
Services of a personal nature, such as medical aids and tutoring, are not considered reasonable accommodations and are not provided by the University. However, the CAL can help you find tutors or personal assistants if you have funds already available through financial aid, such as a government grant, or by other means. All tutoring arranged through the CAL must comply with the University’s published standards regarding Academic Integrity. Tutors arranged through the CAL are usually current SFU graduate students.