Accessibility & Academic Accommodations​

Welcome to the Accessibility Office at Yorkville University

Learn More About the Service We Provide

Yorkville University and the Toronto Film School strive to create a learning environment in which disabilities are not a barrier to completion of courses and programs. We do this, in part, by removing barriers to access, deploying technologies that facilitate access for differently-abled students, and providing academic accommodations.

An academic accommodation (e.g., more time to complete assignments, quiet space for exams) and support with various accessibility features/tools (e.g., screen reader) help to ensure differently-abled students have the tools and supports needed to be successful. Students may be eligible for an academic accommodation, whether they have a permanent, temporary, or episodic disability, or medical condition.

Academic accommodations do not reduce academic standards; the academic rigor of course work and assessments is not reduced. Instead, academic accommodations provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate mastery, knowledge, and skills to successfully meet the essential requirements of the program.

Discussions regarding your disability and how we can best support your learning are private and kept separate from your academic record. There is absolutely no sharing of information without your expressed consent. To speak to an Accessibility and Accommodations Specialist, email [email protected] or book a confidential appointment, by visiting yorkvilleu.janeapp.com

Yours truly

The Accessibility and Accommodations Team

Connect With Us

Email us to speak to an Accessibility and Accommodations Specialist

Book Appointment

Book a confidential appointment through PHIPA compliant software.

Faith-Based Accommodations

You are encouraged to consult with the Yorkville University Diversity Calendar to proactively plan for and request faith-based accommodation in a timely manner and before the end of the first 20% of the course. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate such requests, short of undue hardship. Yorkville University also recognizes that each individual’s needs are unique and must be considered afresh when an accommodation is made, as an arrangement that might work for one individual may not work for others.

Please note that documentation from faith-based institutions/leaders are not required for religious accommodation requests. Please submit the form directly to [email protected] so that the Academic Accommodations and Accessibility Office can prepare an Accommodation Letter.

Accessibility Apps

Reading

Read&Write is an easy to use Google Chrome extension that provides simple text to speech support for any web-based document. It is designed to help learners with various abilities engage with written material.

The text-to-speech function allows the user to hear words, specific passages, or whole documents read out loud with an easy to follow highlighter that focuses on each word as it is read. This makes reading textbooks easier and more convenient.

NaturalReader is a free text to speech extension for Google Chrome. The text-to-speech function allows the user to hear words, specific passages, or whole documents read out loud with an easy to follow highlighter that focuses on each word as it is read. This makes reading textbooks easier and more convenient!

Unlike many other text to speech software, Natural Reader allows the user to change the reader’s voice and speed. Its settings allow you to add closed captioning, highlight, magnify, and even converts written documents into a Dyslexia friendly font.  The Dyslexia typeface enhances the ease of reading and learning for students have been diagnosed with the learning disability. NaturalReader’s technology only retrieves relevant text on the webpage and avoids items like ads.

Open Dyslexic is a free font designed to mitigate common challenges for students who have dyslexia. The font is specifically created to address contrast blindness, letter confusion or rotation, and crowding. It is a free to use license for books, e-books, readers, apps, websites, and any purpose you need!

Writing

As part of your enrollment at Yorkville University you are provided with a free Microsoft Office 365 account. Microsoft Office 365 allows you to create documents such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint online. A powerful feature for many students is Word’s ability to dictate (text to speech). The dictation feature is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

The Dictate feature is a great assistive tool that converts spoken words into text. You can use dictation to write with your voice instead of typing on the keyboard. Dictate can be helpful for students with various learning disabilities such as dysgraphia and dyslexia, students who have motor skills issues, students who struggle with spelling, and students who think and speak faster than they can write!

Otter. AI is a web-based speech to text app that provides easy transcription. Otter converts any live speech to written text. It allows you to highlight, create comments and notes, and play back your recording. Unlike other dictate software/apps, Otter gives you the ability to replay your conversation to ensure accuracy of what was captured and transcribed. The free version provides users with 600 minutes of transcription with minutes resetting every month.

Organization

Mindly is a mind mapping program that allows users to easily organize thoughts while helping them focus and develop their ideas further. The app allows you to create mind maps, capture ideas, and organize/plan your projects and assignments all through the power of association. Association means creating a powerful links between ideas, which allows you to strengthen your memory. Mindly does not require a lot of typing, formatting, or adjusting.

Visual

Fokus is a text highlighting extension for Good Chrome. Fokus works by emphasizing anything you select on the web page. It covers the rest of the page in a semi-transparent black overlay so that the “noise” of the background disappears allowing you to focus on one section of text at a time.

Non-visual Desktop Access is an open source screen reader. Major highlights include: support for over 50 languages; support for popular apps including Firefox, Chrome, email, Microsoft Word and Excel; reporting of textual formatting such as font name and size, style, and spelling errors; automatic announcement of text under the mouse and optional audible indication of the mouse position; support for Braille displays; easy to use talking installer; and announcing controls and text while interacting with gestures on touch screens

Hearing

AVA is a program that combines audio and visual accessibility. It bridges the gap between deaf/hearing impaired and hearing people. AVA captions conversations in real time on your phone. You can invite peers, teachers, and friends to join and turn your phones in to power communication tools.

Accommodation Descriptions

Classroom Accommodations

An automatic one-week extension on the due dates for all course assignments, including the final assignment. This “revised due date” is considered firm and all work must be submitted by this deadline; failure to do so may result in zero on the assignment. Depending on individual circumstances, additional extensions may be available at the discretion of individual faculty members and will be subject to late submission penalties outlined in the relevant course syllabus. In responding to requests for additional time, beyond the one-week automatic extension, faculty may, if they choose, ask for supporting medical documentation (e.g., doctor’s note) as they would of any student. Please note: Assignment extensions do not include group work or discussion forum posts which must be done as per the posted schedule.

Zoom, or another live chat system, rather than email threads or discussion, boards will be needed for group meetings/interactions. Faculty are asked to provide any additional support and/or coordination that may be required.

Instructor is asked to provide handouts, slides, or presentations 48 hours prior to the beginning of each class, helping to ensure that the student has enough time to read or format accordingly. Classes where all materials are posted to Moodle, are excused from this accommodation as the materials are already available.

The instructor is required to wear a Voice Amplifier; this assistive hearing device will be supplied by the school. The instructor may be required to repeat comments/questions from others in the class. The student and instructor should meet before the first class to test out the technology.

Food/drink is allowed to be consumed in class at whatever time deemed necessary by the student. The student is expected to be discreet and, if working with specialized equipment, understands the importance of proper hygiene and care.

Instructor is asked to read aloud any and all information on the board.

Student may leave class, immediately and without permission, if sudden onset of conditions occur. Student will leave quietly, and as discretely as possible and will contact the instructor, as soon as able to do so, to discuss any missed work.

Arranged and moderated through Program Advisors.

Student will be accompanied by a Support Person, at all times. See Yorkville’s/Toronto Film School’s Attendant Policy for more information.

Student will audio-record faculty lecture, as per the terms set out in the Lecture Recording Policy. A Lecturing Recording Release will have to be signed both by the student and instructor. The signed release is to be submitted to the Accessibility and Accommodations department.

Student is excused from existing absence/tardiness policy. Student will work with instructor to negotiate how to best make up missed work and understands the importance of coming to every class, on time. Should faculty believe this accommodation is becoming problematic to the student’s overall success (e.g., a significant amount of time is being missed), they are asked to contact the Accessibility Office.

Student can use ear plugs or headphones to reduce ambient noise and aid with concentration. Headphones cannot be plugged in to any device unless approved by the Accessibility and Accommodations department.

Testing Accommodations

50% extra time additional time for all exams/quizzes.

Provisions need to be made for seating arrangements or alternative workspace (e.g., breakaway room with adaptive lighting, lowered ambient noise, space provisions for adaptive equipment). This must be brought to the  instructors attention at least 48 hours prior to the start of each quiz, text, and/or exam across all courses.

Provisions need to be made for specially printed examination papers (e.g., larger font size, cream paper for enhanced readability). This must be brought to the  instructors attention at least 48 hours prior to the start of each quiz, text, and/or exam across all courses.

Provisions need to be made for the use of text-to-voice / voice-to-text software, screen magnification, and spelling/grammar not assessed if not a language-based assessment. This must be brought to the  instructors attention at least 48 hours prior to the start of each quiz, text, and/or exam across all courses.

A student developed, instructor approved, cue sheet will be used during exams/quizzes. This sheet is not intended to replace learning of academic material and will not contain answers to questions or compromise course/exam integrity. All proposed cue sheets must be submitted to the course instructor at least 5 business days in advance of the exam or quiz.

During periods of heavy scheduling, student will need their exams spaced out. The student will reach out to the Accessibility and Accommodation Specialist to determine the best way to address this.

Short breaks will be needed for any exam or quiz that takes longer than 30 minutes. The student will negotiate the timing and duration of breaks prior to the start of each exam/quiz.

Student will need to answer questions directly on the test. If this is not possible, please contact the Accessibility and Accommodations Specialist to arrange an alternative mode.

The student is not to be penalized (i.e., deduction of marks) for spelling errors.

Expectations regarding APA formatting are to be relaxed. The student should be expected to meet the essential purposes of following APA such as proper acknowledgment of sources and consistency of style to ensure clarity of communication. The student must not be penalized for minor errors (e.g., margins, comma placement, space between punctuation) that can only be caught by a detailed edit and that do not impact the overall substance and quality of the work. Deductions for APA are to be capped at 50% of the value of this component of every assignment (e.g., if APA is worth 5, max deduction is 2.5 regardless of the number of errors identified).

Print Accommodations

Student requires their print materials to be produced in an alternative format. Student may also need an alternative form of the course textbook (online and e-reader accessible).

Curriculum and/or teaching materials (e.g., teaching/lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, reading lists) must be provided 2 weeks prior to the start of each term/trimester. The Instructional Design Department will send these materials to the Accessibility Office who, in turn, will send to the student.

Services

Student will be supported by a Tutor, as arranged by Program Advisors, and as per established tutoring policies.

Key stakeholders (e.g., Program Advisor, Academic/Program Head, Student Finance) are asked to work with the student to establish a reduced/adjusted course load that will allow the student additional time to complete program requirements, staying with overall completion deadlines.

The Program Advisor is asked to do a 1:1 walk to class with student, to provide a more in-depth orientation to the learning management system (Moodle). This walk to class should focus on ensuring the student is familiar key areas of the course, including the course syllabus, assignments (including how to submit), discussion posts / learning activities, readings and other course resources (e.g., access to tutoring services).

Contact

Mental Health & Wellness

Connect With Us

Email us to connect with the Director of Mental Health and Wellness.

Click on a link below to book a confidential appointment through PHIPA compliant software.

Contact

Accessibility and Accommodations Office

Email a Specialist

Email us to speak to an Accessibility and Accommodations Specialist.

Book an Appointment

Book a confidential appointment through PHIPA compliant software.

Are You in Crisis?

If you are…
• feeling desperate and hopeless
• worried you might hurt yourself, someone else, or commit suicide
• alone with no one to talk to

Please reach out to a Support Hotline in your region immediately for help.

Support Hotlines


911 – Canada Wide

Emergency responders and the 9-1-1 call centres who dispatch them fall within the jurisdiction of provincial, territorial and municipal governments.


Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS) – 24 Hour Hotline

Crisis Services Canada, enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support by phone, in French or English: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 Available 24/7


First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness

24 Hour Hotline: 1-855-242-3310


Ontario

ConnexOntario 24-hour Helpline: 1-866-531-2600

Good2Talk 24-Hour Hotline: 1-866-925-5454 or Text GOOD2TALKON to 686868


Quebec

Quebec National Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-866-277-3553


PEI

Prince Edward Island Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-800-218-2885


Alberta

Alberta Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-403-266-4357


Manitoba

Manitoba Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-877-435-7170


New Brunswick

New Brunswick Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-800-667-5005


British Columbia

British Columbia Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-800-784-2433

Here2Talk, 24/7: 1-604-642-5212 (Toll Free: 1-877-857-3397)


Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Line All Ages: 1-888-737-4668


North West Territories

NWT All Ages 24/7: 1-800-661-0844


Nova Scotia

Good2Talk 24-Hour Hotline: 1-833-292-3698 or Text GOOD2TALKNS to 686868


Nunavut

Nunavut Line – All Ages, 24/7: 1-800-265-3333


Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Crisis Line – All Ages: 1-306-525-5333


Yukon

Yukon Crisis Line – All Ages 7pm-3am (PDT): 1-844-533-3030


USA

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7: 1-800-273-8255

Trans LifeLine – U.S.A.: 1-877-565-8860

The Trevor Project Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386


India

SNEHA A Link With Life: 91-44-2464-0050


China

Beijing – Befrienders: 03-5286-9090

Hong Kong – The Samaritans: 2896-0000

Shanghai – Life Line: 021-6279-8990