What is a Disability?

What is a Disability?

Not all students who use our services are comfortable with the term "disability," as it is sometimes viewed as too focused on personal limitations. We share this concern and prefer to focus on the strengths and abilities of our students.  

The term "disability" is used specifically to identify protection against discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and with regard to the funding that makes our programs and services possible. As per the University of Guelph policy, students must have a disability in order to register with Student Accessibility Services. Examples may include:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Hearing and/or vision impairments
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Dexterity or mobility impairments
  • Acquired brain injuries
  • Psychological/emotional disabilities

Common ailments such as the flu or a cold are not considered disabilities. Similarly, family responsibilities, religious observances, or other obligations do not fall within this category. If you are experiencing an interruption to your academics as a result of these kinds of experiences, you are encouraged to speak with your instructors and/or your program counsellor.

At this time, SAS is not able to assist with referrals for students who are seeking an initial diagnosis. Students should speak with their health care provider for assessment information.

Important: Tests & Exams

If you use the SAS Exam Centre, please remember that all test and exam bookings must be submitted at least 10 BUSINESS DAYS ahead of when you intend to write.

In addition, the last day any bookings can be received is the first business day in November, March or July as appropriate for the semester.
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