University can be overwhelming for any student. When you have a disability, however, there are additional challenges that one must consider. The U of M has many resources and services for students with disabilities that can be utilized to make your university experience easier and more enjoyable.
Carolyn Christie, coordinator at Student Accessibility Services (SAS), explained that in order for students to access these services, an in-person meeting with an advisor should be arranged. Students need documentation from an accredited health profession outlining their disability. If students do not have this documentation they can still contact the office to receive a referral for assessment.
SAS is specifically available to students with hearing, injury-related, learning, mental health, medical, physical, visual or temporary disabilities.
Services available include alternative test arrangements, note-taking services, sign language interpreters, adaptive technology, and on-campus transportation. Individual accommodations plans are adapted to fit each student’s unique need.
Support programs that the SAS provides include an academic attendant program, adaptive technology, alternate format materials programs, and coaching programs. There are also note-taking programs and different workshops that allow students to develop self-advocacy techniques, explore job-searching tools and increase management and coping skills.
Support from peers may be one of the most vital ways to ensure that university is enjoyable and manageable for students. Workshops are offered through SAS that allow students to connect with peers who may be dealing with similar situations or challenges.
Christie welcomed enquiries of any kind and encouraged students to contact SAS if they are experiencing any difficulties. Even if SAS is not the right fit for your concern, the staff there will ensure that you are referred to the proper resource on campus.
“Our goal [ . . . ] is to collaborate with the [U of M] to ensure equal access for students with disabilities by providing supports and programs that recognize our diverse student environment, promoting partnerships between students, faculty, and staff; and educating the university community about accessibility,” said Christie.
There may be areas of the university that remain inaccessible. Christie invites individuals to contact SAS to inform them of these areas in order to ensure that the campus is accessible to all.
Staff members who specialize in accessibility are also available on the Bannatyne and Inner City campus on a regular basis.
Students can contact SAS by calling 204-474-6213 or 204-474-9790 (TTY). SAS is located at 155 University Centre. On the Internet, SAS can be found by going to umanitoba.ca/student/saa/accessibility or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.