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Glossary of Terms

Below is a list of commonly used terms related to Accessibility Services and accommodations at RRU:

Accommodation of a Disability

Any modification to the academic or physical environment made to provide the student equal opportunity to achieve education or access as those without the disability. The intent of an accommodation is to ameliorate the barrier(s) that the student’s disability creates. Accommodations do not compromise bona fide course requirements. Each student is required to provide timely medical documenation to accessibility services to be considered for Academic Accomodations. 

Assessment

A medical or psychological diagnosis of a condition.

Bona fide

Latin term meaning “in good faith”. When used in the phrase “bona fide course requirement”, it means that the requirement is necessary for mastery of the course subject.

Disability – Permanent

"A functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level and is expected to remain with the person for the person's expected natural life." This definition is taken from the Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities and the Canada Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities. The BC Human Rights Code does not define disability, but has allowed case law to point to its characteristics.

Disability – Temporary

A functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level. This definition is adapted from the definition used for permanent disabilities. The BC Human Rights Code does not define disability, but has allowed case law to point to its characteristics. Temporary disabilities do not include short periods of illness due to common conditions such as colds and flu.

Discrimination

Section 8(1) of the B.C. Human Rights Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210provides that:
A person must not, without a bona fide and reasonable justification,
(a) deny to a person or class of persons any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public, or
(b) discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public
because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or class of persons.

Documentation

Written report of a student’s disability. Physical disabilities must be documented by a physician or other licensed medical practitioner, psychological disabilities must be documented by a psychiatrist or psychologist, and cognitive disabilities must be documented by a registered psychologist. A “Certificate of Accommodation” must be completed to request accommodations on the basis of a disability.

Extensions for Medical Reasons

There are two types of Extensions:

1. More time for Individual Assignments (Guidelines for extension timelines are program specific), for 3 credit course work. This type of extension is limited in amount of time for extension, and valid for the timeline of medical barrier (some are short term ie: broken arm  some are long term ie perminant disabilty) 

2. More time for Major Project: all Medical Extensions for major projects (thesis, OMP, OLP etc) are 3 months in length, regardless of medical condition. A Medical Extension waives the extension fee. The project extension fee may be waived, up to a maximum of two extension fees. The second extension must be for a new presenting medical barrier to completion of the major project. It is highly recommended if the student cannot complete their major project within these guidelines, they take a Medial Leave of Absence.

Leave of Absence

A period during which a student is inactive and has no access to university resources. Students must apply for leaves of absence through the Faculty for approval by the Dean. Students are normally permitted a maximum of 12 months of leave during their program.

Medical Leave of Absence

All MLOAs are for one year in length, and all students must be medically cleared to return. Students holding medical leave status are not normally provided with academic supervision or access to the university’s facilities or services. Exceptions are granted with the express permission of the Dean or designate. The student may be required to repeat previously taken courses to ensure currency of material. The student will be responsible for clearing any outstanding balance with the university when granted this leave. Students who are unable to return within the predetermined timeframe will be required to obtain further medical documentation to substantiate a further extension or will be withdrawn.

***It is recommended the student contact Financial Aid and Awards to investigate the impact of the MLOA on Student Loans and/or other financial considerations.

Psychoeducational Assessment

Tests of cognitive function performed and interpreted by a registered psychologist. A psychoeducational assessment is conducted to diagnose learning disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodation

Accommodations relevant to the student’s disability that do not cause the university undue hardship.

Return to Study Work Plan

A description of the academic requirements for re-entering the program from a Medical Leave of Absence and a plan for degree completion if modified from the normal schedule. The Return to Study Work Plan is developed by the student and the academic lead, and must be approved by the Dean. Depending on the circumstances, students may be required to re-take courses and other academic work upon their return to ensure that they meet current degree standards

Undue Hardship

Operations of the university and/or programs would be fundamentally diminished or a program or service would cease to exist due to the financial burden of the accommodation, academic standards would be lowered or substantial alteration to course or program bona fide requirements would be required, or risk to safety would be created.