Duty to Accommodate

Accessibility & Accommodations Services is aligned with the mission of the Office of the Dean of Students, guided by federal and provincial human rights legislation, and defined by a number of University policies. The University of Alberta is obligated by legislation to provide accessibility-related accommodations to students with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

University of Alberta Policies

Canadian students using approved accommodation services with Accessibility Resources (AR) are required to apply for provincial and federal grants to defray the costs of those services. If these accommodations can be funded through provincial and/or federal sources, students are asked to complete the required funding applications. Accommodations are put in place for the student immediately, with the understanding that students will complete the funding applications. Typically, the University assumes responsibility for the balance of the cost of the approved accommodation service.

Failure to apply for both grants will result in an encumbrance placed on the student’s University file until the student makes up the shortfall.

All receipts for services must be submitted to demonstrate that grant funding has been used appropriately — any unused grant funds must be given back to Student Aid.

International students must work with their Accessibility Advisor to determine funds available to cover the costs of approved accommodation services.


Alberta Human Rights Legislation and Guiding Documents

In 2004, the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission produced the "Duty to accommodate students with disabilities in post-secondary educational institutions interpretive bulletin". It provides practical advice to both students and educators about how they can arrange effective accommodations, as well as associated responsibilities. It reflects the Commission’s position on the legal duty to accommodate, based on current human rights legislation and case law.

In 2005/2006, the Ministry of Advanced Education embarked on a forum and committee-work process to establish a new vision and policy framework for advanced learning. One of the documents used as background information by the Steering Committee was “The Future Starts with You” (PDF). The document presented findings and recommendations of an environmental scan which reviewed the status of accommodations for postsecondary students with disabilities.



Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law/affirmative action programs (Section 15).

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Subsection 1 does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.