Guidelines on Student Accessibility

The term disability is used here as defined by Section 10 (1) of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

We are committed to facilitating the integration of students with disabilities into the University community. Each student with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodation that will assist her/him to meet the essential program requirements. Reasonable accommodation will be made to facilitate student’s progress. However, such accommodation cannot compromise (client) safety and well-being or the essential program requirements. Reasonable accommodation may require members of the University community to exercise creativity and flexibility in responding to the needs of students with disabilities, while maintaining the academic and technical standards. The student with a disability must be able to demonstrate the knowledge and perform the necessary skills independently. There are a few circumstances in which an intermediary may be appropriate. However, no disability can be accommodated if the intermediary has to provide cognitive support, substitute for cognitive skills, perform a physical examination and/or in any way supplement clinical judgment. The appropriateness of an intermediary will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In some cases, accommodations may be required during an internship when no such accommodation is required in an academic setting.

You must be registered with Accessibility Services (AS) prior to receiving accommodations in a clinical environment. Without these accommodations in place, an internship may be delayed or cancelled if there is a concern with client safety or well-being.

Delayed progression through the program has implications for tuition and fee charges, expected graduation dates, and eligibility dates to write licensing exams.

If you are having difficulty in the Department of Physical Therapy due to a disability and would like assistance or have concerns should contact the SLO at 416-978-5476. We would be happy to work with you to resolve any issues. Further information on the AODA can be found online.  

Accessibility Services

The Accessibility Services (AS) team assists in navigating disability-related barriers to your academic success at U of T for your on-going or temporary disability. They provide services and supports for learning, problem solving and inclusion. Please refer to Guidelines for Student Accommodations through Accessibility Services for additional information on how to register with AS.

If you are seeking academic and/or internship accommodations for the start of the fall term, the deadline for Student Intake Packages to be submitted to Accessibility Services is typically in mid-July. Check their website for details and deadlines.

Communication and cooperation between the student, his/her course instructors, and the staff of the AS office is necessary to enable the University to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code. Services are provided to students with a documented disability, which can be physical, sensory, a learning disability, or a mental health disorder. Students with temporary disability (e.g., a broken arm, concussion) are also eligible for this service.

According to AS, the term accommodation refers to any service, equipment, or special arrangement that is put in place to support students with a disability in the University setting. In general, AS considers any medical condition or disorder that affects functionality to be a condition which could require accommodation.

As a professional faculty, it is the responsibility of the Department of Physical Therapy to graduate students who meet the essential competencies of the profession. If a student’s disability is of a nature that could compromise (client) safety and well-being in any area of physical therapy practice, the student may be denied accommodation.

Student Responsibilities

  • If you require special accommodations of any kind, you must register with AS who will assign you an Accessibility Advisor and will provide an assessment to identify your needs and the accommodations required. AS staff will not disclose a disability to anyone outside of the Service without permission.
  • If you wish to have accommodations implemented, you must provide documentation from AS to the Graduate Coordinator that details the accommodations.
  • All accommodations are subject to annual renewal. Fall session accommodation, including test/exam accommodations and notes, for returning students will not be put in place until the Annual Renewal has been completed. You must book an appointment between May and September to meet with your AS advisor to ensure that  accommodations are renewed for the upcoming academic year.
  • You must speak with each of your Academic Leads at the beginning of each term and discuss any specific requirements that may be needed. Exam and assignment schedules should be reviewed in case modifications will be necessary (e.g., moving the date of an exam or assignment, writing the exam in a different location).
  • You must review your specific needs with your Advisor at AS and arrange with their Advisor for any necessary accommodations (e.g., writing exams separately). AS has deadlines for the registration of these arrangements. Registration with the Accommodated Test Service is required to have your accommodations implemented for in-person and virtual examinations
  • You will notify the Graduate Coordinator of any accommodations relevant to each course. The Graduate Coordinator will communicate accommodations to Academic Leads and Instructors as required.
  • If you are registered to take tests at the Exam Centre, you must inform Academic Leads of these arrangements.
  • Refer to the Financial Assistance for Students with Disabilities section for more information on funding.
  • If you sustain a concussion, you are requested to discuss their situation with your Unit instructor. You are encouraged to access the David L. MacIntosh Sport Medicine Clinic, which provides access and care from the leaders in sport medicine with specific expertise of concussion. You are required to provide documentation for accommodations and for return to class and/or internship.

Academic Leads Responsibilities

  • Academic Leads will do their best to accommodate all requirements for special needs identified by the AS Advisor.  If certain needs are unable to be met or are difficult to meet, the student, the Academic Lead, the Graduate Coordinator and the SLO will meet to address these needs on a case-by-case basis.
  • When the accommodations have an impact on clinical internships, the DCE will discuss the reasonable accommodations with the site prior to the site agreeing that they can accept the student. If a clinical site cannot be found, the Graduate Coordinator, the DCE and the student will meet to address these needs on a case-by-case basis.
  • When a separate exam space is required, the Academic Lead will submit the exam to the Accommodated Testing Services upon request.

Accessibility Services Responsibilities

  • AS Advisors will provide an assessment to identify the needs and accommodations required for each individual student registered.
  • AS Advisors and Accommodated Testing Services will organize alternate exam-writing facilities and invigilators at AS when necessary. This information will be communicated directly with individual instructors.
  • All accommodation arrangements will be copied to the Graduate Coordinator and the SLO to ensure all parties are aware of any special needs and accommodations.
  • The Department requires that all accommodations are arranged through and provided by AS to ensure that all requirements are met.
  • The Graduate Coordinator and the SLO will be able to advise any of the above parties regarding meeting the responsibilities outlined, as necessary. They will maintain a database listing the accommodations required for individual students as Recommended by AS.