Students with Disabilities

Student Affairs
Responsible Authority
Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning
Executive Sponsor
University Senate
Approval Authority
President’s Council
Date First Approved
Date Last Reviewed
Mandatory Review Date


St. Francis Xavier University recognizes the right of students with disabilities who are academically qualified to participate fully in the life of the University. Members of faculty and instructional staff, support staff, and administrative staff share the University's responsibility under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act for accommodation of students with disabilities. This policy encourages dialogue among stakeholders as to how the needs of individuals can be accommodated within the terms of legislation and current University policies and guidelines in the area. 


To the point of undue hardship1, the University is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with identified and duly assessed disabilities.2 


Word/Term Definition
Disability Includes, but is not limited to, visual, hearing, communication and mobility impairments, learning disabilities, and other non-visible disabilities
Undue hardship

This can include cost, inconvenience, competing obligations, impact on others, safety, or other risks. The nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size of the institution may also be taken into consideration

1 Obligation is to accommodate to the point of “undue hardship”, as defined by court decisions. This can include cost, inconvenience, competing obligations, impact on others, safety, or other risks. The nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size of the institution may also be taken into consideration. 

2 This policy operates in conjunction with other relevant University policies. Of particular relevance is General Article 8 in Part I of the StFX Discrimination & Harassment Policy. 


The University promotes awareness, advocacy, and learning partnerships among students with disabilities and the whole of the University community. The fundamental approach of the University stresses the development of self-advocacy and personal independence for students with disabilities.

The University promotes the full participation of students with disabilities in their respective academic programs. It is recognized that the provision of academic accommodation is a shared accountability and responsibility between the University and the student.



  Action Responsibility
1 Services for Students with Disabilities  
1.1 The Coordinator of the Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning (TCAL) has been designated as the first point of contact for prospective students with disabilities and inquiries regarding disability issues and services. The Coordinator is designated to act as consultant, facilitator, and advocate in this area for all members of the University community.  Coordinator
1.2 The Coordinator and/or TCAL staff advise students on learning strategies and facilitate dialogues with instructors.  Program Staff
1.3 TCAL staff assists in the development of individual strategies and in the provision of services to implement them. This may include registration assistance, tutoring, note taking, adaptive technology, or attendant care.  Program Staff
1.4 Decisions regarding academic accommodation are made on an individual basis and must be consistent with the academic integrity of the course or program.  Program Staff
1.5 Where classrooms are not physically accessible, the Office of the Registrar will effect classroom changes to allow the participation of a student with a disability.  Program Staff/Registrar’s Office
2 University Admission  

Students with disabilities seeking admission to the University are expected to satisfy the normal admission requirements. In cases where conditions for admission are not met, the Manager of Admissions, in consultation with the Coordinator of TCAL and the Dean of the relevant faculty, will consider each of these cases on an individual basis. 

Additional materials describing the exceptional grounds that have prevented achievement of the normal admission standards will be required. 

Manager of Admissions Coordinator
2.2 Applicants are not required to declare their disabilities on their admission applications. However, they may wish to self-identify and submit additional material to highlight their abilities to participate in university studies.  Student
3 Accessing the Services of the Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning  
3.1 Students with disabilities are encouraged on both the application form and in the University’s Academic Calendar to identify themselves to the Coordinator of the TCAL as soon as possible. Students are responsible for identifying to the Coordinator their individual needs for academic accommodation and services. Students with appropriate documentation will be accepted into the TCAL up to one month prior to the end of classes each semester.  Student/Program Staff
3.2 Students with disabilities who request academic accommodation must provide the TCAL with relevant professional supporting documentation from a regulated health professional practitioner as recognized by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Post-secondary Disability Services. Students with learning disabilities must provide a summary of the results of a complete psycho-educational assessment conducted by an appropriate registered psychologist.  Program Staff
3.3 Students’ accommodation needs are discussed with the Coordinator and/or program staff. Services within the Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning are provided based on recommendations outlined in the relevant documentation provided as proof of disability.  Coordinator/Program Staff
4 Coordinating Academic Accommodations  
4.1 At the student's request, the Coordinator will formally identify the student as a participant in the TCAL and recommend appropriate accommodation based on documentation on file at the TCAL.  Coordinator
5 Resolving Unmet Academic Accommodation   
5.1 Any dispute of academic accommodation between the student and instructor may be mediated by the Coordinator of the TCAL.  Coordinator
5.2 If a dispute is unresolved by discussion between the student and the instructor, the student should appeal in writing first to the relevant Department Chair or Program Coordinator. If the matter remains unresolved, written appeal should be made to the Dean of the Faculty through which the course is delivered.  Coordinator/Dean
5.3 It is expected that issues are resolved expediently so that the student’s academic term is not compromised.  Coordinator/Dean
6 University Housing  
6.1 Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the University housing as soon as possible, preferably on their residence applications, to indicate specific housing requirements. If requested by the student, the Coordinator of the TCAL may act as liaison with the University Housing Office.  Student/Program staff/University Housing

Several rooms in the University’s residences have been adapted to accommodate persons with disabilities. Students without disabilities may initially be assigned to these rooms with the understanding that they will be required to move if students with disabilities subsequently require these rooms. In such cases, University Housing will make all reasonable effort to accommodate all parties. 

University Housing
7 Confidentiality  
7.1 The University is required by law to maintain confidentiality to the greatest extent possible when providing academic accommodation and related support services to students.   
7.2 The TCAL may compile non-identifying information on persons with disabilities in order to obtain data related to program planning, service delivery, program evaluation, and research.  Program Staff
7.3 Students with disabilities may request and authorize the TCAL to share relevant information from their files to assist in obtaining access, accommodations, or services. This authorization will involve signing a “Consent to Release or Obtain Information” form.  Program Staff/Student 

Supporting Documentation

Appendix 1 Consent to Obtain or Release Information

Appendix 1

Consent to Release or Obtain Information



Tramble Centre for Accessible Learning Consent to Obtain /Release Information

I, the undersigned, do hereby consent and agree that the TRAMBLE CENTRE FOR ACCESSIBLE LEARNING STAFF has the right to discuss my disability and the impact it has on my academic performance and personal life with ___________________________________________ for the purpose of case management.

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________ Date: _______________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________________________________________

Witness for the undersigned: ____________________________________________________________________

Signature: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Expiry date: ______________________________________________________________________________________