Do students with disabilities receive special consideration in the application and admission process?
All applications for full-time, on-campus studies are processed by the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC).
When admissions decisions are made other factors in addition to grades are considered. Students are encouraged to complete the Admission Information Form (AIF) to:
- tell more about themselves
- provide information about extra-curricular activities
- explain any special circumstances that may have affected their grades and/or which they would like taken into consideration during the admissions process
- “brag a little!”
The Admission Information Form (AIF) is available on Quest – Waterloo's online student information system.
Do students with disabilities require the same admission averages as other students?
When admissions decisions are made other factors in addition to grades are considered. Students are encouraged to complete the Admission Information Form (AIF) to explain any special circumstances that may have affected their grades and/or which they would like taken into consideration during the admissions process.
What disability documentation is required to support requests for accommodations?
All students who register with AccessAbility Services must provide recent documentation from a certified, licensed practitioner whose training is commonly accepted for establishing a specific diagnosis.
- Be current, dated within the last 3 years for students with learning disabilities, within the last year for students with medical disabilities, and updated periodically, particularly for students with chronic medical conditions.
- Describe the functional impact of the disability or condition on the student's ability to perform daily activities necessary to participate in post-secondary studies.
- Make available the results of individual testing batteries or a summary of results where possible, or disclose with permission.
- List any prescribed medications, possible side effects, and effects on academic performance.
- Detail recommended strategies for academic accommodation. The practitioner should clearly indicate how they are linked to the impact of the condition's manifestation.
What role does the student's IEP play in university disability support?
An IEP describes the special education program and/or services required by a student and identifies learning expectations and accommodations. As IEPs may be developed for a student who has not been formally identified, AccessAbility Services can help students make arrangements to obtain the necessary documentation when appropriate. Students with suspected disabilities should make an appointment to meet with one of our advisors for screening of disability and referral to a qualified professional.
What programs are available for students with disabilities at the university to help them with the transition?
There are programs at the university for students with disabilities that will help them experience a smooth transition from high school to university and will help them adjust to the new environment and deal with their disability.
Click on the following links to learn more:
Are students with disabilities required to take a full course load? If not, how do they make up the courses?
Students with a disability often reduce their course load and either take additional semesters to complete their degree, take courses during the spring/summer semester or take an additional course while on a co-op work term.
Are there any special courses for students with disabilities to help them academically?
Counselling Services offer a series of workshops to assist students in many areas including study skills, preparing for exams, anxiety, procrastination and mindfulness stress reduction.
The Writing Centre is staffed with professional tutors (staff members with undergraduate, educational, graduate, and/or ESL degrees) who provide individual attention to students who want to improve the quality, clarity, and depth of their writing.
There are pre-university courses offered through Waterloo’s Centre for Extended Learning: Calculus (MATH 052) and Chemistry (CHEM 001). They are non-credit pre-university courses designed as refresher courses. These course cover the upper-level secondary school material considered essential for related first-year university courses.
What accommodations are provided to students with disabilities?
- Extended time
- Alternate location – smaller, quiet setting
- Alternate format/use of assistive software
- Computer for word processing
- Note taker
- Access to materials unavailable on-line
- Use of a laptop in class
- FM system
- Portable CCTV
Do students receive the same accommodations as they did in high school?
Accommodations at the university level are based on formal documentation that demonstrates that the requested accommodations are required and they may differ from those given in high school.
How do students register with AccessAbility Services?
Students complete the online application form and submit their documentation for review.
Where do I obtain more information about the University of Waterloo?
The following link will take you to additional information about the University of Waterloo.