Access and Equity Services

Access and Equity Services, formerly Disability Services for Students (DSS), is guided by Saskatchewan's Human Rights legislation and the duty to accommodate individuals requiring accommodations based on disability, religion, family status, and gender identity.

Address
E1, Administration Building, University of Saskatchewan

Contact & hours

General hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Access and Equity Services is currently staffed remotely, maintaining regular office hours. We are not able to accept in person visits. You will still be able to contact us with questions and to book appointments, which will either be over the phone or virtually. For the most efficient response, please email us at aes@usask.ca

Virtual Drop-in hours:

AES offers 15 minute virtual "drop-ins" with an AES advisor if you have questions. 

Mon. and Thurs. 9:30am to 12:00pm (noon)
Tues. and Wed. 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Request a drop-in

Advising

Our advisors are here to help you navigate the registration process and can inform you of all the necessary supporting documents required. We encourage you to register with Access and Equity Services as early as possible if you require accommodation. You can register with AES for temporary or permanent conditions. 

If you are unsure of whether or not registering with AES is right for you, you can contact us.

Registration process

Obtain documentation

Step 1 - Obtain the appropriate documentation

For medical-based disabilitiesa licensed health care practitioner must fill out a medical questionnaire.

For learning disabilities, you will need a psycho-educational assessment that was completed by a registered psychologist within the past five years.

For other accommodations (prohibited grounds, religion, genders identity or family status) supporting documents vary on a case to case basis. Our staff will advise you.

The documentation can be forwarded directly to AES by the licensed health care practitioner or the student can forward it via email or fax. Drop-off is currently not an option at this time.

Review documents

Step 2 - AES will review your documents

Once the documents have been reviewed you will receive an email to your USask email account inviting you to call us to make a registration appointment.

This may take up to two weeks if we need to follow-up with the licensed health care practitioner.

Registration

Step 3 - Book a registration appointment with AES

Contact us to book a one-hour appointment to finalize your registration.

Registration can proceed only if the documentation is on hand at the time of the appointment.

Deadlines

While there isn't a deadline to register with AES, there are exam accommodation deadlines that you should be aware of. Visit the Exam and Academic Accommodations page for more information or contact your AES advisor. If you are not yet registered with AES, please email aes@usask.ca.

For information about student loan grant application deadlines for students with permanent disabilities, please email aesassistivetech@usask.ca as the deadlines vary by province/territory.

Programs & services

Access to most services and programs provided by AES is restricted to students who have registered with the office. Services include:

Accommodations

What is an accommodation?

Accommodations are supports or services that allow a student with a disability, or other accommodation needs, a fair opportunity to engage in academic activities and fulfill essential course and program requirements. Accommodations are meant to level the playing field for students; they are never meant to provide an advantage to students. Accommodations are not the same as modifications; you must still meet the learning outcomes of your program.

Students with disabilities

We encourage you to register with Access and Equity Services as early as possible if you identify with one or more of the following broad categories (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Brain Injury or Concussion
  • Chronic Health Issues (Bowel Diseases Epilepsy, Migraines)
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental Health (Anxiety or depressive disorders, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders)
  • Mobility/Functional Issues
  • Low Vision/Legally Blind
  • Temporary conditions

Types of disabilities

In order to register with AES as a student with a disability you must have a Medical-based or Learning Disability:

  1. Medical-based Disabilities - any degree of physical disability, mental disorder(s), infirmity, malformation or disfigurement.
  2. Learning Disabilities: any intellectual disability or impairment, learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in the comprehension or use of symbols or spoken language (this does not include struggling with English as a second language).

By law, AES defines disability according to Section 2(1)(d.1) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code

Students diagnosed with COVID-19

If you are absent from a final examination through no fault of your own, for medical, compassionate, or other valid reasons, you may apply for a deferred exam. An application must be made to an academic advisor in your college within three business days of the missed examination. 

If you become ill during a final examination or cannot complete the final examination for other valid reasons you must notify the invigilator immediately of your inability to finish and then apply for a deferred examination by contacting an academic advisor in your college.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, students should not be asked to supply sick notes from a health professional, and instead may be asked to submit a Declaration of Absence form.

Students with other accommodation needs

If you require an accommodation based on your religion, family status (including pregnancy) or gender identity, please contact aes@usask.ca or phone 306-966-7273.

You have a right to an education, and USask will make reasonable accommodations to ensure you are not discriminated against on the basis of:

  • religion
  • creed
  • marital status
  • family status
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • age (18 or more)
  • colour
  • ancestry
  • nationality
  • place of origin
  • race or perceived race
  • receipt of public assistance
  • gender identity

By law, AES defines 'prohibited grounds' according to Section 2(1)(m.01) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code

Duty to Accommodate Policy

The University of Saskatchewan is committed to establishing and maintaining a learning environment that fosters equitable opportunities for academic success and personal development without discrimination or harassment.

This policy replaced "Students with Disabilities: Academic Accommodation and Access" policy originally approved March 1, 1997, amended September 1, 2011.

Funding

There may be funding available to you to purchase assistive technology or to subsidize the cost of a psycho-educational assessment through Student Loans. Book an appointment with an advisor for more detailed information.

Faculty information

If you have a student in your class that needs accommodations and you have questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Instructor guide for accommodating students with disabilities

Information for instructors regarding accommodations for students is available, including updated information for remote learning accommodations.

Frequently asked questions

Do students diagnosed with COVID-19 need to register with AES?

The University of Saskatchewan does not require students to register with Access and Equity Services for a diagnosis of COVID. No formal medical documentation needs to be presented to an instructor; use of the student-signed Declaration of Absence form is acceptable if necessary. Also, note that the Student Wellness Centre does not provide a medical note for missed academic requirements (including exams) because of illness.

Students who are feeling unwell should contact their instructors who will be able to guide the student with regard to departmental and/or college procedures to determine next steps related to requesting deferred exams, postponing non-final exams, or requesting extensions on outstanding work.

Should you require further information, please contact your department head or associate/assistant dean.

 

How do I submit medical documentation?

If you are submitting your completed AES Medical Questionnaire or a Psychoeducational Assessment to our office, email is best: aes@usask.ca. If you do not have access to a scanner, many smartphones offer that capability either through free apps such as Microsoft Office Lens or the built-in iOS Notes App.

 

Can I still register with AES during the pandemic?

You can still register with Access and Equity Services, though registration appointments will be over the phone or virtually via WebEx or Zoom.

 

Do I still have access to my accommodations in an online format?

Accommodations for students registered with the Access and Equity Services office will remain in place, however some may no longer be applicable in an online environment. Please contact your AES advisor or aes@usask.ca if you have questions about the applicability of your accommodations in an online course.

 

Am I able to request accommodations now if I have not had them before?

Yes, you may request accommodations at any point during your education. If you encounter disability-related barriers in the context of online education (or for any other reason), you are warmly encouraged to reach out to the Access and Equity Services to discuss accommodation possibilities and other ways we can support you.

Students do not need to be on campus to request accommodations or work with the Access and Equity Services. You may request new accommodations or changes to current accommodations at any time by submitting the appropriate medical documentation. Students who have never worked with the AES office should complete the appropriate documentation to register.

Students who are already registered with the AES office should not fill out a new request form. Instead, request to schedule a meeting with their AES advisor or assistive technology advisor by contacting aes@usask.ca.

 

Do you have advice if I am feeling stress and anxiety right now?

This is a very difficult and complicated time for the entire community. Please know that AES is here for you, we understand the importance of accessibility at any time, and we look forward to working together to address issues and answer questions as they arise.

The move to an online or distance learning environment may pose unique challenges for people with disabilities, and AES and our partners across campus are working to anticipate needs, educate faculty, and support students to the very best of our abilities.

Instructors are being encouraged to be flexible with students and to communicate their expectations clearly.

Students are encouraged to communicate openly with their instructors and advocate for their needs. Reaching out to instructors is recommended even if you have had conversations with them about accommodations in the past. If you encounter a new access barrier in the online learning environment, please reach out to AES for help.

Student Affairs and Outreach is available to students in distress and/or connect them to mental health providers in their home communities.