Fred Smithers Centre
Services for Students with Disabilities
More than 350 students rely on the Centre for a wide variety of services:
- Facilitating test and exam accommodations, invigilation and alternate format preparation
- ASL / English Interpreting
- Academic support
- Note taking, via a volunteer program
- Assistive technology assessment and training
- Text book scanning/editing
- Assistance in accessing funding
- Advocacy support
- Facilitating access to campus & community services through advocacy and referrals.
To take advantage of these services students must first register with the Smithers Centre.
Registration is a two-step process:
Step One: Complete the Registration Form
Students are required to return to the Centre each academic term to activate their accommodations.
Step Two: Provide Documentation
Accommodation planning is based on the documentation and information provided by the student during an initial interview. Documentation must come from a registered health care professional experienced in the field of the student's disability. This documentation will help to ensure that you will benefit from every opportunity to succeed. Because the Centre deals with a wide variety of disabilities/conditions, it is important that you provide your disability counsellor with as much information as possible so that we can understand your needs.
- Tell us what your disability is
- Describe the typical symptoms you may experience
- Show the ways the disability may affect you at university
- The impact of your disability on your previous schooling; i.e., attention, concentration, learning ability, fatigue, absences, etc.
- Show the ways the disability may affect you in the program you are choosing
- Recommend accommodations, support services, and strategies to help you
- The type of medication prescribed and the possible side effect(s)
- Any permanent or temporary impairment
- Any treatment that may disrupt your academic program
- Any other special considerations
You may also ask your medical professional to write a letter outlining the above, however if you wish to apply for government funding available to students with disabilities*, an application process which is separate from applying for services at the Smithers Centre, you will need the Student Loan Medical Assessment Form, and this form will be sufficient documentation for the Smithers Centre as well.
Students should also keep a copy of their documentation for future reference.
All information shared with the Smithers Centre will remain confidential to the staff associated with the Smithers Centre and will be stored securely for a period of 7 years after which the documentation will be shredded.
*Government post-secondary disability funding policy requires that psych-ed assessments are no older than 5 years.
After ApplyingOnce you have completed these two steps you will be assigned a counsellor and contacted within two weeks. Your application cannot be processed until both the application and the documentation form are received.
Students should also keep a copy of their documentation for future reference. All information shared with the centre will remain confidential to the staff associated with the centre and will be stored securely for a period of seven years, after which the documentation will be shredded.
It is the responsibility of the student to discuss any neccessary accommodations with a centre counsellor at the beginning of each academic semester as they pertain to each course. Students are responsible to request an accommodation letter from their counsellor for each instructor when accommodations are requested in their course.
- Learn more about test and exam accomodations, including application deadlines.
- Learn more about roles and responsibilties for students, instructors and the Smithers Centre.