Meet with Us

If you anticipate, or are experiencing, barriers to learning that are related to a disability or medical condition, we can help. Meet with one of our learning specialists and create a plan that will allow you to participate fully in your learning.

When we meet, we register you with ADR by creating a file that includes information about the accommodations you may need. We encourage you to schedule this meeting to take place two to four months before the start of term. This gives us enough time to discuss your needs, select the appropriate in-class and outside-the-classroom accommodations and supports, and put everything in place before the term begins. 

Before we meet

To request accommodations, you meet with a learning specialist who speaks to you about your unique situation and needs. Here are some ways you can prepare for that meeting.

We encourage you to meet with a learning specialist two to four months before the start of the term. We can meet in person or by phone or video conference (Google hangouts or Zoom). (NOTE: While pandemic restrictions are in place, phone and video conference meetings are preferred.)

Book the meeting by phone or email:


Note: If you choose to meet by videoconference, there are some potential risks that are different from in-person or phone interviews, such as the possibility of being hacked or overheard, information that you share not being secure and technical problems that lead to delays. To minimize these risks, consider the following:

  • Confidentiality applies to videoconference meetings
  • Choose a quiet, private space for the appointment
  • Use a securre internet connection rather than a public/free Wi-Fi service
  • Do not record the meeting
Please contact your Learning Specialist if you have questions or concerns about videoconferences.

Gather documentation of your disability that has been prepared by a licensed professional and that describes your current functioning. Then, bring this documentation to the meeting.

If you have a stable condition, you may be able to provide documentation that is not recent.

Documentation needs to provide enough information to help us anticipate potential barriers to your academic performance. Generally, the documentation should include:

  • A specific diagnosis
  • A description of how the typical university experience may create barriers for you
  • Recommendations for resources, accommodations and services that remove potential barriers to full participation

For medical conditions, you can ask your treating physician to fill in the Documentation of Disability form.


If you do not currently have documentation or if you’re not sure what documentation to provide, we can advise you on how to obtain the required documentation when we meet.

Before we meet, we encourage you to spend some time thinking about the types of accommodations that we offer and which ones might suit you best. Read about the options available to you. Which path makes sense to you?  

Accommodations and services

At the meeting

When we meet, our main priority is to determine the accommodations you need to support your education. However, we also cover several other important topics.

Your privacy is important to us.

The first thing we do when we meet with you is explain how we manage and protect the personal information you share with us. The file we create for you about that meeting is confidential, and we discuss whether or not you would like to share relevant personal information with ADR and third parties, such as instructors, parents, career consultants (if referring you for an assessment) and healthcare professionals.

If you do want to share information, you can include the following on the consent form:

  • Types of information you are willing to share
  • Who to share with
  • The reason for sharing the information
  • How long you'd like to share the information for

All ADR staff members must sign a confidentiality agreement, so we are fully aware of how we should manage and protect your personal information. The agreement applies in all cases unless:

  • You provide written, informed consent to the disclosure directly or through a third party such as legal counsel
  • We receive a warrant, subpoena or other order
  • You are considered a danger to yourself or others
  • There is suspected neglect or abuse of a child
At the meeting, your learning specialist reviews the documentation materials you've provided, asks clarification questions and speaks to you about your specific needs. Together, you determine whether you require exam accommodations, in-class support or out-of-classroom support to ensure fair and equitable access to your education.

If you and your learning specialist determine that accommodations are needed, you develop an Individual Service Plan (ISP). You may develop the plan the first time you meet or over several meetings, depending on the complexity of your situation. For example, if it is determined that you would benefit from assistive technology, you may be asked to meet with an assistive technology consultant before the details of the ISP are finalized.

The ISP integrates the information you share about yourself, the documentation you provided, our knowledge about the university environment and the typical design of courses and programs. The ISP outlines accommodations that facilitate full access and participation to course work, while maximizing your independence. Other factors in ISP development include course requirements and availability of resources.

The accessibility/accommodation letter you provide your instructors is developed using information from the ISP.

The accessibility/accommodation letter that you provide your instructors outlines the accommodations you need to participate fully in your coursework and is good for one term (for example, Fall term or Winter term). 

You need to request a new accessibility/accommodation letter each term.

After the meeting

A few steps remain after you meet with the learning specialist. 

If you and your learning specialist decide that you would benefit from assistive technology, you meet with an assistive technology consultant who suggests appropriate accommodations. Your learning specialist sets up the meeting for you.

After the meeting, your Individual Service Plan and accessibility/accommodation letter are finalized. 

Learn about the steps in the assistive technology process.

It is your responsibility to email the accessibility/accommodation letter to your instructors prior to the start of term. 

Here are some suggestions for ensuring positive communication/interaction with your instructors:

  • Contact your instructor two to four weeks before classes start.
  • Introduce yourself in the email and let the instructor know which class you are in.
  • Encourage your instructor to ask questions.
  • If your instructor doesn't respond to the email, follow up to ensure that they’ve read and understood it.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your instructor throughout the term, so that issues can be addressed as soon as they arise.
The accommodations you are provided may require the services of an accessibility assistant (AA). If so, an AA will connect with you before the first day of class to talk about next steps.

Each term (for example, Fall term or Winter term), you need to send an updated accessibility/accommodation letter to your instructors. There are two ways to request an updated letter:

Request through the portal

In many instances, the accommodations you need will be the same from one term to the next. If this is the case, you do not need to meet again with your learning specialist to develop a new letter. You can request an identical letter, but with an updated date, through the portal. Here's how you make that request:

  1. Log in to
  2. Navigate to the “Support” menu.
  3. Choose the Access and Disability Resources page.
  4. Scroll down the page to find the links for requesting forms.
  5. Choose “Request Accommodation Letter.”
  6. Complete the online form.

A learning specialist will contact you if a meeting is required.

Meet with a learning specialist

Sometimes, you may need to modify the accessibility/accommodation letter to address changes to your situation. Some common reasons for needing a new letter include:

  • Different courses, such as labs, may require a different range of accommodations.
  • The nature of your disability or medical condition has changed.
  • An instructor has different in-class requirements.
If you need a new letter (as opposed to one with just an updated date), you are required to meet with a learning specialist.  

We are here to support your education throughout the school year. 

For example, if the arranged-for accommodations are not adequate or don't meet your needs, please let us know so your accessibility/accommodation letter can be updated.

If your instructor denies accommodations, or struggles to facilitate an accessible environment, we encourage you to initiate a discussion with them first to discover any issues they might have. If the instructor is still unable or unwilling to help, get in touch with us. We can help sort out issues of this kind. Don’t wait until the situation becomes a serious problem.