Glossary of terms

Find definitions of commonly used terms related to Accessibility Services and disability accommodations at Royal Roads University.

Accessibility

Proactive changes that contribute to access and equal opportunity for all — This is a responsibility of the whole community.

Accommodation of a disability

Any modification to the academic or physical environment made to provide the student equal opportunity to achieve education or access as those without the disability — The intent of an accommodation is to ameliorate the barriers that the student’s disability creates. Accommodations do not compromise bona fide course requirements. Each student is required to provide timely medical documentation to Accessibility Services to be considered for academic accommodations.

Assessment

A medical or psychological diagnosis of a condition

Bona fide

Latin term meaning “in good faith” — When used in the phrase “bona fide course requirement”, it means that the requirement is necessary for mastery of the course subject.

Disability – permanent

"A functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level and is expected to remain with the person for the person's expected natural life" — This definition is taken from the assistance program for students with permanent disabilities and the Canada Study Grant for students with permanent disabilities.

The B.C. Human Rights Code does not define disability, but has allowed case law to point to its characteristics.

Disability – temporary

A functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level — This definition is adapted from the definition used for permanent disabilities.

The B.C. Human Rights Code does not define disability, but has allowed case law to point to its characteristics. Temporary disabilities do not include short periods of illness due to common conditions such as colds and flu.

Discrimination

Section 8(1) of the B.C. Human Rights Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210 states that "A person must not, without a bona fide and reasonable justification:

  • deny to a person or class of persons any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public, or
  • discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or class of persons.

Documentation

Written report of a student’s disability — Physical disabilities must be documented by a physician or other licensed medical practitioner; psychological disabilities must be documented by a psychiatrist or psychologist; and cognitive disabilities must be documented by a registered psychologist. A “Letter of Accommodation” must be completed to request accommodations on the basis of a disability.

Inclusion

A state of equal access and equal opportunity for "all".

Letter of Consideration

A letter issued by a Student Services employee requesting short-term and reasonable flexibility — We know that life creates unexpected stressful circumstances for students (e.g., loss of a family member or friend, family healthy issue, change in relationship, temporary high stress circumstances, etc.).

In these temporary situations, a formal accommodation through Accessibility Services might not be suitable or necessary, but a student might require a little flexibility from their instructors for one or two assignments to support their success for a short period of time.

While we encourage relationship building between students and their instructors, this letter recognizes a student may not be comfortable explaining a personal situation to multiple people.

Psychoeducational assessment

Tests of cognitive function performed and interpreted by a registered psychologist — A psychoeducational assessment is conducted to diagnose learning disabilities.

Reasonable accommodation

Accommodations relevant to the student’s disability that do not cause the university undue hardship.

Return to study work plan

A description of the academic requirements for re-entering the program from a medical leave of absence and a plan for degree completion if modified from the normal schedule?— The return to study work plan is developed by the student and the academic lead, and must be approved by the Dean.

Depending on the circumstances, students may be required to re-take courses and other academic work upon their return to ensure that they meet current degree standards.

Undue hardship

Operations of the university or programs would be fundamentally diminished or a program or service would cease to exist due to the financial burden of the accommodation; academic standards would be lowered or substantial alteration to course or program bona fide requirements would be required; or risk to safety would be created.