Instructor Resources

The ultimate goal in an ethical learning environment is to achieve a state of universal design, where no barriers exist. Until then, the Student Mental Health Framework empowers the Royal Roads community to help remove barriers and to create an equitable learning opportunity, where reasonable, and without impact to academic integrity or the goals of the Learning Teaching and Research Model.

In an effort to encourage a community of care, and for everyone to enjoy the benefits of efficiency, program areas are welcome to consider individual assignment extensions to support a student’s healthy learning journey when a temporary health challenge arises.

Examples of a temporary health challenge

  • A short term health condition like the flu
  • Undergoing or recovering from minor surgery
  • Minor health conditions of a spouse or dependent requiring care


  1. Student submits a written description of temporary health challenge to the program office. The requirement for supporting documentation is at the discretion of the program area.
  2. The Program Head or designate determines what a reasonable individual assignment extension might be depending on the pace of the course (for example, 2 or 5 days), and a reasonable timeframe for when the extensions are valid (for example, a specific assignment or 1 month).
  3. The Program Head or designate emails the student and relevant instructors approval (or denial) of the extension, clearly describing the parameters.    

Contact the Manager of Student Success if concerning patterns emerge. Perhaps learning strategy or counselling support is required.

When to refer to a Counsellor

Refer to Counselling in cases of unhealthy stress or anxiety, or if the student would prefer to discuss their situation to only one person in a confidential relationship. Ongoing support will be offered, and referral to Accessibility Services if necessary.

If the Counsellor feels that the student would benefit from a little leeway, but is otherwise ok to carry on in the program, they will issue a Letter of Consideration to the student or the program office.

Letters of Consideration and appointment booking instructions are available on the Counselling webpage.

When to refer to Accessibility Services 

Refer to Accessibility Services in cases of a temporary health challenge where the student appears to need more access support than assignment extensions.

For a permanent disability, it is Royal Roads’ duty to provide accommodations that aid in equitable access to learning; however, assumptions that accommodations are required should never be made. It is, therefore, the student’s responsibility to self-declare to Accessibility Services and supply appropriate medical documentation.

Examples of conditions that typically require accommodations

  • A healable injury such as a broken limb or concussion that creates a functional limitation to learning
  • Low vision or blindness
  • Hard of hearing or deafness
  • Limited mobility
  • A chronic health condition
  • Psychological or neurological conditions such as learning disorders, ADD/ADHD, and mental health disorders

An Access Advisor will work with the student to determine the functional limitation to learning and provide a Letter of Accommodation to the student and the program office. While it is the student’s responsibility to provide the letter to the instructor, it is good practice for program staff to supply the letter to instructors.

Please note that if a student chooses not to self-declare to Accessibility Services, they are not entitled to accommodations. Retroactive accommodations may only be considered if the student was mentally or physically unable to make appropriate arrangements at the appropriate time.

Accommodations, procedures, and appointment booking instructions are available on the Accessibility Services webpage.

More About Universal Design

The Success Team is building a series of online resources with hopes to contribute to the development of universal design. Check out some of the current resources:

Accessibility guidelines for course development (webpage)

Creating Inclusion for students with vision loss (video)

Tips for Supporting a Student who is Blind or Partially Sighted (blog)

Emotional Support Animals (blog)