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Planning for the accomodation needs of students with disabilities (fact sheet)

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As part of the duty to accommodate, education providers are responsible for taking steps to plan for the accommodation of students with disabilities.  Effective planning will take place both on an organizational and individual level. 

Institutional Accessibility Plans: Education providers must take steps to ensure that institutional accessibility plans comply with the requirements of human rights law and policy.  To be effective, an accessibility plan should set out an educational institution’s specific commitments to providing equal access to educational services for all students.

Individual Accommodation Plans: Education providers should also develop an individual accommodation plan for each student with a disability who requires accommodation.  At the primary and secondary levels, accommodation plans will likely be more prescriptive and structured and include learning objectives; whereas, at the post-secondary level, students might prefer to have more control over their accommodation planning, and plans would likely focus on specific accommodation services or modifications to evaluation methods, and would not be as tied to learning outcomes. 

Transitioning: At the primary and secondary levels, accommodation plans should also include a statement with respect to the student’s transition needs.  The focus should be on how the student’s educational program can be planned to facilitate a successful transition to his or her goals after secondary school.  Transition planning will also be appropriate in situations where students are transferring from one type of educational setting to another.

Data Collection: Education providers should collect statistical information for the purposes of monitoring, preventing and ameliorating systemic and adverse discrimination.  Statistics and data collection may also be warranted in situations where an education provider has an objective basis to believe that a systemic infringement of rights may be occurring, or where there are persistent allegations or perceptions of systemic discrimination, or where it is an organization’s intent to prevent or ameliorate disadvantage already known to be faced by persons with disabilities.  Data collection and the use of data should only be undertaken for purposes such as ameliorating disadvantage, removing systemic barriers and promoting substantive equality for individuals and groups protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Where an analysis of this data reveals significant discrepancies with respect to trends in identification, placement, disciplinary action, graduation and/or drop-out rates, education providers should review and revise their policies, practices and procedures accordingly to ensure that they are in compliance with the Code.

For further information or copies of the Commission’s Guidelines on Accessible Education.