Who we are

The Accessible Learning Services (ALS) team works collaboratively with faculty and college stakeholders to identify and implement strategies to ensure that all students and apprentices have an equal opportunity to achieve their educational goals. Our Team works one on one with students and apprentices to develop appropriate classroom and testing accommodations and offer support at all campuses and partnership locations.

We will:

  • Promote awareness of disability and self-advocacy
  • Assess your academic strengths and challenges
  • Teach you skills for studying, note-taking, communication, reading, time management, and organization
  • Develop academic accommodations detailed in your Accommodation Letter.
  • Provide disability-specific counselling to enhance self-advocacy and independence
  • Navigate financial issues specific to the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and other Financial Assistance programs.
  • Assist your transition to the workplace or other post-secondary programs
  • Complete a Learning Skills & Assistive Technology assessment, referral, and training
  • Assess your need for additional resources and make referrals as necessary.  Examples include: Counselling, The Learning Support Centre, Student and Graduate Employment, and Financial Assistance.

We are:

Focused on Accessibility

We work under multiple layers of legislation including: Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) , Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). These mandates drive our philosophy and practice framework. Mohawk College's Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Policy has been developed based upon all the above mentioned legislation. 

ALS practices ensure ease of access to our services. We are also advocates for accessibility issues within the college. Our goal is for students with disabilities to have an accessible college experience. 

Operating under the social/empowerment model of disability

We operate with the idea individuals with disabilities are experts of their disability. We explore what impacts a student's disability may have within the college setting. Disclosure of a disability diagnosis is at the discretion of the student. ALS operates with a strengths-based framework. The information most helpful to us is a functional assessment of strengths and challenges that give indication of accommodation needs. 

Collaborative

Many stakeholders play a role in student success (e.g. ALS staff, student, faculty, internal college departments, community supports). Working with ALS represents a partnership between ALS, the program area and the student. Students are invited to bring any other stakeholders into this partnership. The shared goal is academic success. 

Student Centered

All of our policies and procedures are designed through the student experience lens. We focus on ease of access to our services and we aim to support needs in a timely manner. Our supports are student driven and we respect student autonomy. This means choices regarding identifying as a student with a disability and choosing how and when to use accommodations are all respected. 

Confidential

ALS is a confidential service. There is student autonomy in terms of sharing of the Accommodation Letter with faculty and others. All student documentation of disability and other records is controlled, stored and accessed pursuant to privacy legislation in Ontario (FIPPA). Students may choose to provide ALS staff with external consent so that others (family, community support) are included in the circle of care. 

Promote awareness of disability and self-advocacy

As students move through their post-secondary program their view of themselves as a student and their view of their disability will evolve. We aim to collaboratively help students frame their understanding of their disability and promote self-advocacy as a tool for future success. 

We advocate on behalf of students and disability related issues in a systematic sense, influencing policy which has college wide benefits for students with disabilities. We also work with students registered with ALS to promote and teach self-advocacy. 

Work from a strengths-based approach

We believe people are not defined by their limitations or the label of disability (Hammond). We work with our students helping them to identify their strengths and facilitate use of these strengths within the academic environment. We see difficulty and challenge in the post­ secondary setting as opportunity for growth.

 

Questions? Need to Register with Accessible Learning Services? 

Contact als [at] mohawkcollege.ca or phone 905-575-2211.