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Roles and responsibilities in the accommodation of students with disabilities (fact sheet)

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The student with a disability (or his or her parent/guardian) has a responsibility to:

  • advise the education provider of the need for accommodation related to disability, in order that the education provider may make the requested accommodation;
  • answer questions or provide information regarding relevant restrictions or limitations, including information from health care professionals, where appropriate;
  • participate in discussions regarding possible accommodation solutions;
  • co-operate with any experts whose assistance is required;
  • fulfill agreed upon responsibilities, as set out in the accommodation plan;
  • work with the education provider on an ongoing basis to manage the accommodation process; and,
  • advise the education provider of difficulties they may be experiencing in accessing educational life, including problems with arranged accommodations.

As a party to the accommodation process, the education provider has a responsibility to:

  • include students with disabilities in in-class and extra-curricular activities;
  • advise students, or their parent(s)/guardian(s), of available accommodations and support services, and the process by which these resources may be accessed;
  • accept a student’s request for accommodation in good faith, unless there are legitimate reasons for acting otherwise;
  • take an active role in ensuring that alternative approaches and possible accommodation solutions are investigated;
  • obtain expert opinion or advice where needed, and bear the costs of any required disability-related information or assessment;
  • maximize a student’s right to privacy and confidentiality, including only sharing information regarding the student’s disability with those directly involved in the accommodation process;
  • limit requests for information to those reasonably related to the nature of the need or limitation, and only for the purpose of facilitating access to educational services;
  • deal with accommodation requests in a timely manner;
  • ensure that the school environment is welcoming and that all students treat one another with respect;
  • take immediate remedial action in situations where bullying and harassment is or may be taking place; and,
  • educate all faculty, staff and students about disability-related issues.

In the provision of educational services the education provider has a responsibility to:

  • review the accessibility of the educational institution as a whole, including all educational services;
  • design and develop new or revised facilities, services, policies, processes, courses, programs or curricula inclusively, with the needs of persons with disabilities in mind; and
  • ensure that the costs of accommodation are spread as widely as possible.

Unions, professional associations, and third party educational service providers are required to:

  • take an active role as partners in the accommodation process;
  • facilitate accommodation efforts; and
  • support accommodation measures irrespective of collective agreements, unless to do so would create undue hardship.

For further information see the Commission’s Guidelines on Accessible Education