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Learning Commons

Information for Instructors

Institutions of higher learning in Alberta are mandated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission and the Duty to Accommodate to provide adequate access to academic services.

NWP strives to ensure a fair, equitable, and accessible environment for students with disabilities or medical conditions. The goal of providing academic accommodations is to establish an equitable playing field for all students within the post-secondary environment.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission defines accommodation in the Duty to Accommodate as: “the process of making alterations to the delivery of services so that those services become accessible to more people, including persons with disabilities. Accommodation does not:

  1. require that post-secondary institutions lower academic or non-academic standards to accommodate students with disabilities.
  2. relieve the student of the responsibility to develop the essential skills and competencies expected of all students.” (2010, p. 3) 

Eligibility Criteria for Supports 

Post-secondary students seeking disability- or medically-related accommodations, services, or funding for assistive services and technology, are required to provide documentation from a qualified professional such as a physician, psychologist, audiologist, ophthalmologist, or other licensed specialist.

Accessibility Services will use this documentation, along with other information obtained during interviews, assessment and trials, to determine appropriate disability related accommodations and supports.

In exceptional cases, students may be provided with interim accommodations in the absence of readily available documentation.

Intellectual Property and Copyright Exceptions 

The use of technology in the classroom, audio/visual recording of lectures, and copies of class notes, overheads, and PowerPoint presentations may be deemed as reasonable academic accommodations.

For some students who experience disabilities, academic accommodation may permit students the use of technology, including digital recording of lectures, a copy of class notes, overheads, and/or PowerPoint presentations. These accommodations are deemed necessary and reasonable as evaluated by a medical professional to enable them to gain full advantage of a course or lecture that might not otherwise be accessible to them.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission Interpretive Bulletin: Duty to Accommodate Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Educational Institutions indicates that institutions in Alberta must make the course material as accessible as possible. This may include:

  • providing material in an accessible format
  • making instructor’s notes or projected presentations (for example, PowerPoint presentations) available in advance
  • providing options or support to record the lectures

Instructors may express concerns regarding infringement of intellectual property rights, widespread distribution, alteration of the information, or inhibition of free exchange of information in classes that involve self-disclosure from students. NWP is legally required to provide the opportunity to access auditory information presented in classes, lectures, seminars, labs, and other educational opportunities

To balance the instructor’s right to intellectual property with the legal necessity to provide academic accommodation, NWP students sign a digital recording agreement with Accessibility Services. This agreement indicates that recording of course material or provision of a copy of class notes, overheads, and PowerPoint presentations is for personal use and will not be copied, shared, or redistributed, in any form, to any person.

Letters of Accommodation

Instructors receive a copy of a student's Letter of Accommodation when the student has registered with Accessibility Services and is enrolled in a course via email upon registration with Accessibility Services and/or the beginning of the semester. Instructors who use Clockwork can also access all of their students letters on there; Trades instructors only receive an emailed a copy of the letter as they do not use Clockwork. 

Students are asked to discuss their letter with their instructors to ensure their accommodations needs are known. This letter does not disclose the student's personal information or disability details. This letter lists the approved academic accommodations for a student, however a student may choose not to use their accommodations as they are not obligated to use them. 

If a student requests test accommodations, you will be notified by email, and we ask that you please assist Accessibility Services and the student by providing our office with additional information, such as providing a copy of the test.

Credit program instructors are asked to enter the test details in Clockwork under the booking the student has entered.

Trades instructors can provide test information by completing the Trades Test Booking Form.