Accessibility FAQ

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions resource for the Blundon Centre, the home of Memorial's Accessibility Services for the St. John's Campus.

To assist you with accessing the appropriate information related to accessibility, academic accommodations and other vital information, our Accessibility Services staff have created the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource for students and instructors.  

Questions and answers will continue to be added to this resource so please check back frequently.

If you don't find what you are looking for, please email us at blundon@mun.ca and will work with you to find the answers you need.

Last Updated: January 11, 2021

Current Students

How do I register for my accommodations?

Will my accommodations be met while I am remote learning?

My accommodations have expired, what do I do?

How do I book tests and exams with the Blundon Centre?

I usually get extra time for tests and exams. Will I still get that extra time even though I am not writing my exams with the Blundon Centre?

How do I access an alternate format of a textbook?

How can I apply for grants for students with disabilities?

Can the Blundon Centre help me obtain a tutor?

Are there any career development supports available for students with disabilities?

I have been approved for extra time to complete my tests and exams.  Where will I write my tests?

Future Students

When should I contact the Blundon Centre if I am a new student?

How do I request accommodations for Housing?

How do I request an accessible parking permit?

What documentation do I need to register with the Blundon Centre?

Faculty & Staff

How do I add extra time to tests or quizzes for a student in Brightspace?

Do accommodations still apply as I teach remotely?

Where can I learn more about teaching in an accessible and inclusive way?

I have alot of students requesting academic accommodations, but very few have been able to provide supporting documentation. If I haven't received communication from the Blundon Centre regarding a student's need for an accommodation, or a student cannot produce documentationt to support an accommodation, am I required to provide academic accommodations?

I received an email and letter indicating the students in my course that have accommodations, and what those specific accommodations are. I haven't 'approved' them because I am not sure if I can implement them. Is that fine?

Current Students

How do I register for my accommodations?

Each semester you must complete the self-registration process to notify your professors of your accommodations. The steps are listed below and pictorial directions can be found here: www.mun.ca/student/new-student-experience/Register_for_accommodations.pdf

Your first step is to go login at my.mun.ca and there is a self-activation process there. After you log in, click the Students tab, then Student Services – Launch in orange. Next there is a pop-up, scroll to the bottom and you will see Blundon Centre.

Next:

  1. Self-Registration
  2. Accommodations
  3. Request (any of the request buttons will be fine – they will take you to the next window)
  4. You will see your accommodations on the left and courses on the right. Choose the courses you are currently registered in.
  5. In the middle you will see “My accommodations are correct the way they are”, click that if they look fine. Let me know if they do not look right.
  6. Hit “I agree to the terms” and click Submit. This will send the accommodation letters to your professors in the courses you clicked above.

For any online/distance courses, your accommodations are now activated for the rest of the term. For on-campus courses, I would advise that you follow up directly with your instructor on when and where any tests/ exams will happen. Typically, you would schedule tests/exams with us, but in these circumstances you will connect with your instructor to set those up.

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Will my accommodations be met while I am remote learning?

Every effort is being made to assist instructors and students to ensure that appropriate accommodations are made during this period of online and remote learning. When you self-registered for your accommodations, your instructors are sent notification letters advising them of your accommodations. Now that classes have moved online, your instructors will be able to add your time accommodation to any online timed assessments. There will be no on-campus invigilated exams, including those typically invigilated at the Blundon Centre.

If you have any concerns with the way your accommodations are provided to you once the assessment is complete, we encourage you to reach out to your instructor directly.  Feel free to copy our office (blundon@mun.ca) so that we may assist.

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My accommodations have expired, what do I do?

Depending on the disability type and the documentation you provided, your accommodations may have an expiry date. If your accommodations have expired and you would like to request an extension, please contact your Accessibility Advisor. They may need you to provide updated documentation to extend the accommodations.  Alternatively, you can email blundon@mun.ca and we can connect you with an Accessibility Advisor.

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How do I book tests and exams with the Blundon Centre?

Please note that during this period of remote learning, test/exam bookings are not available.  All exams and tests will be administered by instructors or departments.

All exam-related accommodations (extra time, etc.) will be the responsibility of your instructor.  Instructors are working with our office as well as the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning to make those accommodations available in online tests and quizzes.  If you have any questions about your accommodations, we encourage you to discuss this with your instructor.  You can always contact your Accessibility Advisor to discuss concerns. 

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I usually get extra time for tests and exams.  Will I still get that extra time even though I am not writing my exams with the Blundon Centre?

Students with extended time test accommodations will still receive the appropriate amount of extra time to complete their tests and exams.  The amount of extra time you require will be communicated to your instructor and they will add that extra time to your timed test or exam.  Important: some instructors are giving all students extra time for tests and exams given the challenges (computer issues, internet problems, etc.) that a larger number of students are experiencing.  In situations where all students are getting more time, your extended time test accommodation may be met by this "universal extra time".   Extra time is determined based on how long a test or exam is designed to take, and not on how much time all students get to complete the exam.  Be sure to clarify with your instructor how much time you will have to complete the exam.  If you have questions, reach out to your Accessibility Advisor or the main Accessibility Services Office at blundon@mun.ca.

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How do I access an alternate format of a textbook?

Alternate formats for some textbooks, such as PDF’s, may be available. The Blundon Centre can request an alternate format of a text on your behalf. In order to do so you should send an email to blundon@mun.ca and include the information requested here: Alternate Format Request.

Proof of purchase of the textbook is also required before we can contact any publishers on your behalf; please include that in your email.

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How can I apply for grants for students with disabilities?

The NL Student Aid program offers students who identify as having a permanent disability access to additional funding for their university studies. To be eligible, you must have applied for Student Aid and be approved for funding. Visit the NL Student Aid website for more information: https://www.gov.nl.ca/aesl/studentaid/

Step 1 - Ask your doctor, psychologist or another professional who is familiar with your learning needs and/or disability to complete the Verification of Eligibility form. https://www.gov.nl.ca/aesl/files/studentaid-apply-2019-2020-Verification-of-Eligibility.pdf

  • Send the Verification of Eligibility form to Student Aid or ask the Blundon Centre to forward it for you.
  • Once approved, you will automatically access the Canada Student Grant for Persons with Permanent Disabilities ($2,000 a year) every year that you apply for a loan and receive funding. You will only need to submit the Verification of Eligibility‚Äč form once during your studies.

Step 2 - Meet with your advisor at Blundon to discuss the services and equipment covered by the Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities. The grant allows for up to $20,000 in expenses per year. You can apply each semester. https://www.gov.nl.ca/aesl/files/studentaid-apply-2019-2020-equipment.pdf

  • Determine what services or equipment you will need (eg. a computer or tutoring).
  • Contact a store or a service provider to get an estimate on the cost. (See guidelines for getting a quote and a list of providers used by other Memorial students).

Step 3 - Complete the first page of the application form for the Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities https://www.gov.nl.ca/aesl/files/studentaid-apply-2019-2020-grant-services-equip.pdf

  • Bring, fax or email the first page of the form and your estimates to your advisor at Blundon. They will complete pages 2-4 of the form and submit the form and the estimates to Student Aid.
  • You have up until 8 weeks from the first day of classes during the fall, winter, and spring semesters to apply for services and equipment from the $8,000 annual grant. For six-week sessions, you can submit up until 2 weeks after the first day of classes.

Step 4 - Student Aid will inform you by email if your application has been approved and will explain how to access the funds.

  • If you make a purchase before you receive the approval email, Student Aid will reimburse you - as long as the expense is approved and the money was spent during that semester.
  • Do not purchase anything before getting that email - unless you are prepared to cover the cost if it isn’t approved.
  • At the end of the semester, submit copies of your receipts to Student Aid to confirm that you purchased the approved equipment or services. Any funds not used for the intended purpose must be returned to Student Aid.

NOTE: Students from other provinces and territories are eligible for similar funding from their student aid programs. The Blundon Centre can also assist with applications to those programs. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid/grants-loans/province-apply.html

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Can the Blundon Centre help me obtain a tutor?

The Blundon Centre does not officially endorse any tutor services, but can provide a list of services we have received positive feedback from from students. Contact blundon@mun.ca for this list. If you are wondering about funding for a tutor please see the Student Aid section of this FAQ.

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Are there any career development supports available for students with disabilities?

There is a Career Advisor that works directly with the Blundon Centre and Career Development to support students throughout their career journey and their transition from post-secondary into the workplace. Some of the supports available include:

  • Exploring Career Options
  • Resume & Cover Letter Support
  • Interview Preparation
  • Workplace Accommodations
  • Job Search & Accessible Employers
  • Building your Professional Network

If you have any questions or would like to further discuss you can connect with Claire LeDrew directly via email claire.ledrew@mun.ca.

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I have been approved for extra time test accommodation. Do I write my exams at the Blundon Centre?

No.  While classes are remote, the Blundon Centre's physical location remains closed.  No tests or exams will be written at the Blundon Centre this semester.  If you have exam accommodations, your instructors will implement these in your course assessments.  Many instructors are choosing not to even have exams.  If your course does have exams, it will likely be online.  In that case, your instructor will add the extra time to your test in Brightspace.  While your accommodations have been communicated to your instructors, we encourage students to talk to their instructors about their exam accommodations.  If you have any questions, you can always reach out to your Accessibility Advisor.

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Future Students

When should I contact the Blundon Centre if I am a new student?

If you are new to Memorial, we suggest you contact our centre 6-8 weeks prior to the start of your first semester to begin the registration process. Current students can contact the Blundon Centre at any time to schedule a meeting with an Accessibility Advisor to discuss accommodations.  

Please note (from Procedure for Arranging Student Accommodations):

"Accommodation cannot be guaranteed for the current semester, session, course, work placement, event or activity, if students do not identify themselves in a timely manner as follows:

a. At least six weeks before course registration in the case of new students

b. At the start of each semester or session in the case of returning students

c. As soon as possible, in the case of students who develop a disability, either permanently or temporarily, and students with a Disability whose health status changes significantly during their time at the University

d. Normally, at least two months in advance of a course, presentation, event or activity requiring sign language interpretation

e. Normally, at least six months in advance of requiring special or additional resources not regularly available within the University

f. Normally, at least six months in advance of required structural changes to existing premises

g. At least two weeks before a scheduled in-class assignment or test

h. At least one month before a final examination..."

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How do I request accommodations for Housing?

Given that fall semester will mainly be remote for the majority of students, student residences are not open in their usual capacity.  We encourage you to check the Residence Life website to determine availabilty.  If in fact, you are approved to live on campus for fall semester and will need anaccessible dorm room, you will need to meet/speak with an Accessibility Advisor and provide supporting documentation. Please contact the Blundon Centre at blundon@mun.ca to arrange an appointment with an Advisor.

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How do I request an accessible parking permit?

If you have a government issued accessible (blue zone) parking permit you can contact the Parking Office directly to request to purchase a Memorial parking permit. Information on this can be found here: Accessible Parking Access.

If you require a parking permit for medical reasons but do not currently have a blue zone permit, the Blundon Centre can support your request with the parking office. To request support from our office, please email your request to blundon@mun.ca.  Please ensure to include you name and student number and attach any supporting documentation.

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What documentation do I need to register with the Blundon Centre?

All requests for accommodation (e.g., additional time to write a test) and services (e.g. housing requests, parking requests) are based on documented need. It is the responsibility of the individual requesting an academic accommodation to provide the necessary documentation to the Blundon Centre.  

Information on documentation can be found here: Documentation.

Please note: For students with learning disabilities who - due to the pandemic - were unable to get an updated pychoeducational assessment perform before the end of the school year, we encourage you (and your family) to obtain copies of:

  • your most recent psychoeducational assessment (these are typically required to be less than 5 years old, but due to the pandemic, we will accept an older assessment as long as it is accompanied by the documents that follow);
  • your most recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP);
  • your most recent Record of Accommodations (RoA);
  • the 'File Review' that your school guidance staff prepared for your transition to postsecondary.

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Faculty and Staff

How do I add extra time to tests or quizzes for a student in Brightspace?

For students with extra test time accommodation, you can easily adjust this setting within the "Assessment" tab in your Brightspace course website.   Check out this resource (video; 3:48) created by the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning that demonstrates how to make this particular accommodation in Brightspace.

The Blundon Centre is working closely with CITL to develop a number of additional resources to assist you with this, and other accessibility-related accommodations in Brightspace.  Please checkout CITL's Instructional Continuity website for more great ideas about remote and online instruction.

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Do accommodations still apply as I teach remotely?

The short answer is, yes. Some accommodations are not applicable now that courses are being taught remotely or online.  Still others may be a little more challenging to provide.  In any event, we still have a responsibility to meet students' academic accommodations. In some cases, this takes a little creativity.  We are happy to chat with any instructors who would like to problem solve how to best accommodate students' learning needs.  If you have questions surrounding how to implement specific accommodations for students during this time of remote and/or online instruction, please reach out to our staff by emailing blundon@mun.ca.

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Where can I learn more about teaching in an accessible and inclusive way?

Accessibility Services staff at the Blundon Centre is collaborating closely with the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning on developing resources for instructors on designing, planning and delivering accessible courses.  Check out CITL's calendar of events for upcoming events:  https://blog.citl.mun.ca/technologyresources/workshop-consults/

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I have alot of students requesting academic accommodations, but very few have been able to provide supporting documentation.  If I haven't received communication from the Blundon Centre regarding a student's need for an accommodation, or a student cannot produce documentationt to support an accommodation, am I required to provide academic accommodations?

If a student in your class has registered with the Blundon Centre and is approved to receive an academic accommodation(s), you should receive an automated email from our 'Clockwork' data managemet system outlining approval for a students' academic accommodations.  In some cases, students have informed us that they wish to provide this information to instructors themselves.  We encourage students to do this when and where they are comfortable.  Whether from our office, or from the student themselves, it is totally reasonable for you to expect formal documentation supporting the student's approved accommodations.  If you ever have a question about whether a student in your class requires academic accommodations, please email us directly and we can provide that information. 

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I received an email and letter indicating the students in my course that have accommodations, and what those specific accommodations are. I haven't 'approved' them because I am not sure if I can implement them. Is that fine?

The email and letter that are automatically generated and sent to course instructors contains academic accommodations for students that have already been documented, vetted and approved by our team of Accessibility Advisors.  The email sent to instructors is simply a mechanism to make you aware of a student's approved accommodations.  The email and letter are simply asking you to acknowledge that you received the email containing the student's accommodations.  So, in short, we encouraged all instructors to formally "ackowledge" students' academic accommodations using the mechanism we provide. If instructors have questions or concerns about how (not if) to to implement the approved accommodations, one of our staff will be glad to brainstorm and provide solutions, or where appropriate, alternatives.  

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Contact

Student Life

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000