Close-up shot of human finger while it pushes the blue register online button on aluminium computer keyboard on office desk.

Registering with Accessibility Services: The What, Why, and How

Registering with Accessibility Services has countless benefits, even if you never end up using your accommodations. You are evaluated on your specific needs and given certain accommodations that will make life easier for you as you head down your unique academic path. Keep reading to find out how to register! Step 1: Gather your documentation. To register, you will need to obtain documentation of your disability. The required documents depend entirely on your own individual disability. You can find more information on what documentation you will need at Step 2: Complete the online Student Intake form. When I first registered for Accessibility Services, I had to complete a thick pile of paperwork in order to qualify for accommodations, and luckily, you won’t have to. Accessibility Services has now streamlined the process so that you can fill out their new Student Intake Form online and attach your required documentation. Step 3: Time to submit your Intake Package. This consists of the Certificate of Disability (aka the medical documentation we talked about in step 1), the completed Student Intake Form, and any additional documentation relevant to your disability. Take a deep breath, and press submit. Step 4: After submitting your Intake Package, you will be contacted by Accessibility Services in order to schedule an appointment with an Accessibility Advisor. The advisor will go over your Intake Package with you and work with you to determine the individual academic accommodations that will help you with your program of study. Meeting with an Accessibility Advisor, what’s that like? The night before my meeting with an Accessibility Advisor, I was, safe to say, a little nervous. Okay, I was very nervous. There is something unnerving about meeting with an advisor to talk about your disability, because our disabilities are often extremely personal and intertwined in our individual lives. Nevertheless, I had hoped the meeting would turn out to be okay, at best. Boy, was I wrong! When I walked in to the office, my Accessibility Advisor, a petite, peppy, brightly-dressed woman was there to greet me. She noticed my anxiety right away, and explained to me what we would be doing in the hour I had with her. This helped to calm my nerves almost immediately, as did her sunny smile. We went over my Intake Package and she reviewed my documentation. Then, she explained to me the accommodations she thought would fit my disability specifically. We ended up choosing some others that I thought would be beneficial, and in the end, had come up with a concrete plan to help me through the school year. Another great thing about meeting with an Accessibility Advisor is that she was able to connect me to other resources on campus, such as a Learning Strategist, and gave me information for a couple of workshops and events, making the navigation around resources a lot simpler for me in the long run. I left the office feeling hopeful for the school year, and I’m sure you will too. Accessibility Services is a wonderful resource that many with temporary and permanent disabilities choose to use during their time here at the University of Toronto. It’s a simple and easy process designed to help you get the most out of your academics, working alongside your disability. If you choose to register, you are under no obligation to use the accommodations provided, but often it helps knowing you have assistance should you ever need it. I hope this guide was helpful, and I hope you all use look in to Accessibility Services to see if it’s a fit for you! Welcome back, U of T! Ps. Did you know about 85% of students last year registered with a mental health related disability at Accessibility Services, and over 90% with non-visibledisabilities?    

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