Formal Requests to Course Directors for Academic Adjustments

Course Directors and Teaching Assistants receive various types of letters from students. There are often questions about the nature of a letter and what to do if there is a concern about the recommendations outlined in the letter. Below is information about different types of letters generated by offices within the Division of Students and who to contact with questions.

Type of letter

Letter of Accommodation (LOA)

Letter of Support

Letter/Email of support

Letter of Support

Who issues the letter

Student Accessibility Services

Student Counselling Health & Well-being (SCHW)

Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR)

The Centre

Who presents this letter?

Students with disabilities who are registered with Student Accessibility Services

Students in psychological distress who are engaged in counselling with a personal counsellor

Students in crisis and/or students dealing with multiple complex issues and are not registered with Student Accessibility Services.
**Note if the student is capable; we encourage them to try to self-advocate with instructors before we get involved

Students who have disclosed sexual violence (e.g., sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, sexual exploitation.)

Purpose of the Letter

Outline academic accommodations that are intended to “remove barriers” in the learning environment to allow students with disabilities an opportunity to demonstrate their degree of mastery of course content

To request academic consideration for a short-term event.

To request academic consideration for a short-term event.

To assist the student in requesting support as they move through their trauma.

Is there room for discussion/ revision if there is a concern with the content of the letter?

Yes - when accommodations unintentionally compromise academic integrity OR undermine essential core requirements of the course or program of study

Yes - The Course Director exercises their discretion in determining whether the request will be granted

Yes - this is a discussion about what is possible and what is best for the student based on the situation

Yes – the letter of support actively invites further discussion if there are any concerns

What information does the letter provide?

List of academic accommodations based on the functional limitations of the student.  May include recommended accommodations for tests/ exams, classroom and field placement.

Suggestions for how the professor can support the student often through extensions in course assignments or deferrals

A broad description of student issues/impact. Suggestions around how a professor can support often through extensions in course work or deferrals

Request for support, usually an academic accommodation or a letter of support for a petition process.

How is the content of the letter determined?

Accommodations are based on a review by the Accessibility Counsellor of the medical/ psychological documentation of the functional limitations associated with the diagnosed disability

The counsellor assesses the student’s need for academic consideration due to temporary extenuating circumstances

Staff at OSCR work with the student to understand their situation and the impact on their ability to function.

Often there is supporting medical documentation.

Staff at the Centre work with the student to understand their situation.

Often there is supporting medical documentation, a complaint or a police report.

Legislative and Policy considerations

Duty to Accommodate under The Ontario Human Rights Code
York Senate Policy on Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Compassionate Grounds

  • request may be granted at the discretion of the Course Director

Compassionate Grounds

  • request may be granted at the discretion of the Course Director

Policy on Sexual Violence

Who to contact for more information?

The Accessibility Counsellor listed on the LOA or the main office at (416) 736- 5755

The student’s Counsellor listed on the letter or SCHW (416) 736-5297

(416) 736-5231

The Centre
(416) 736-5211