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FAQ’s – Duty to Accommodate

  • Am I legally entitled to communication equity in post-secondary education?
    Yes, post-secondary institutions fall under the mandate of the British Columbia Human Rights Code that applies to services that are customarily available to the public.
  • What do you mean by reasonable accommodations?
    The post-secondary institution offers what it can to the best of its ability and the resources it has available. For example, if a qualified sign language interpreter is not available, the University may provide CART instead. This may not be a perfect solution to communication equity, but it is considered to be a reasonable accommodation.
  • Do I still have to meet all the program and course requirements?
    Yes, communication equity does not mean lowering the standards required by a program or a course. However, there may come a time when meeting a requirement may not be possible in the manner most individuals do so. For example, for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind students in an Educational Studies program, it may not be possible to do a practicum in a mainstreamed classroom due to a lack of qualified personnel for communication support. In such a case, the Education student may be required to take their practicum in a School for the Deaf.
  • How do I get communication equity for my post-secondary education?
    Before entering your program at the post-secondary institution of your choice, you must register with the institution’s Accessibility Services Office and meet with an Accessibility Coordinator to arrange for services.
  • What happens if I fail to register with the Accessibility Services Office at my school?
    If you fail to register with the Accessibility Services Office and enter a program or course  without arranging for the necessary accessibility supports, and do not do well or receive a failing grade, you cannot file a Human Rights claim against the post-secondary institution for inequity of access because the institution was not made aware of your need for communication equity.