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Find various support options for disabled and neurodivergent students here, including a list of FAQs .
Counselling and mental health support
While any and all students are welcome through the doors of Health and Counselling, we recognize that some students registered with CAL may have disability-specific issues, or may feel more comfortable engaging in counselling with a counsellor with lived experience of disability.
Sean Heaslip is a registered clinical counsellor, and also happens to be partially blind, and is the CAL counsellor at Health and Counselling. Sean offers both individual and group counselling options, and can meet with you to discuss what options will best support your present needs.
Individual counselling is available through the CAL counsellor upon referral by your CAL advisor. Learn more about the referral process here.
There are a number of group counselling options for CAL registrants, facilitated by the CAL counsellor that are designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for students with a lived experience of disability to receive support.
3 groups are offered on a rotating basis:
- Experiencing Disability as an Undergraduate Student
- Experiencing Disability as a Graduate student
- Experiencing ADHD
See a doctor or nurse at Health & Counselling clinics if you have a condition affecting your health, or if you are seeking a medical referral to a physician specialist.
Access Case Managers
Do you want support navigating through and understanding the many different service options? Connect with an Access Case Manager.
Dolwnload my SSP to access 24/7 crisis support, or call or chat to schedule an appointment with a counsellor in the community (close to home). You can make an appointment requesting specific counsellor options, such as a counsellor with similar lived experience as you, and you can also chat with a counsellor for advice if you are supporting someone else in distress.
It's always advised to have the app on your phone for if and when you need it.
Assessments, documentation, and medical referrals
Booking with your own General Practitioner (Physician), Psychologist, or Psychiatrist
You can have your own General Practitioner, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist complete forms to get documentation for CAL.
If this option is available for you, this is the better option since your own General Practitioner, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist will know you better if they have been seeing you for a while.
Booking with a doctor at Health & Counselling
If you are unable to book with your own General Practitioner, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist, you can drop in and connect to an Access Case Manager. Starting with an Access Case Manager is more efficient because they can begin the process and alert you if things are amiss. During this time, you can then schedule a doctor's appointment for completion of the forms, which will be based on next appointment availability -- typically a 2 weeks’ wait.
Alternatively, you can call the front desk to book directly with an Access Case Manager or a doctor, by letting them know you are scheduling to fill out CAL paperwork. If you are unable to call, you can use our accessibile booking form.
- Funding for psychoeducational assessments are available and can be partially covered by StudentCare insurance.
- Contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) for more details and help navigating psychoeducational assessments.
Peer support and advocacy
SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (SFU DNA)
The SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (DNA) is a student-led network of community members:
“We work together to create campus change, address ableism, and promote disability justice while opposing oppression in all forms. Accessibility is an important issue within our membership and we are committed to addressing this within the educational setting and beyond. As a constituency group under the Simon Fraser Student Society, we serve as the official voice for disabled and neurodivergent undergraduates."
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to the SFU DNA Discord.
What if I’m not registered with CAL or lack access to healthcare and documentation - what support can I access?
- SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance for peer support, advocacy, and resources (email for Discord link).
- SFSS Advocate can advocate on your behalf if you need support accessing accommodations with a professor. The SFSS Advocate can help you email or meet with professors and other SFU Departments.
- Student Support, Rights, and Responsibilities (SSRR) Office takes a more holistic look at your situation and works with other departments to support you. SSRR can help if you need:
a. Help connecting to external resources in your community
b. Someone to talk to
c. Help emailing professors to recommend more accessible course practices
- Ombudsperson can help if you have a complaint about an SFU process. They can help you write appeals, navigate SFU policies, and connect you with other related SFU departments.
- Human Rights Office is for identity-related issues, including disability status. Contact them if you have a discrimination-related complaint.
How can I get documentation?
- Documentation for CAL can be quite extensive based on your needs, your medical assessment with a doctor, and the amount of medical collateral (e.g. medical records from doctors/specialists/clinics) that needs to be collected.
- See options above
What if I need accommodations but am not registered with CAL? (Example: I have ADHD or anxiety, but don’t have the documentation right now to register with CAL.)
- You can contact your professor to advocate for the specific accommodation you need.
If you need help drafting emails or preparing for a meeting, you can get support from:
a. SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (SFU DNA)
b. SFSS Advocate
c. Student Support, Rights, and Responsibilities (SSRR) Office
e. Human Rights Office (mainly for discrimination-related issues)
- You can also seek support from these SFU services who can further advise you on what to do:
a. SFSS Advocate
b. Student Support, Rights, and Responsibilities (SSRR) Office
- Academic concessions are available for illness, chronic conditions, and more
- Autism Mentorship Initiative (CAL)
- Scripts for asking professors for accommodations (Template provided by Vivian Ly, SFU Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance member)
- Read blog posts from I Am Able - An Insider's View on Students Living with a Disability
- Accessible Scheduling Options with Health & Counselling