November 17, 2018
Photo by TORIE ROTH Mary Ellen Palmer speaks with Lindsay Tessier, a first-year journalism print student, about registering with Disability Services.

By TORIE ROTH

 Students who don’t know if they actually have a learning disability can go to Conestoga’s Counselling Services for an assessment. However, if a student already has a diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability, he or she can go directly to Disability Services to register. This can take place at any time during the school year.

In addition to the intake process, the disability counsellors will also collect information on what that student’s learning disability is, and what exactly the struggle is within their academic program. Then a letter of accommodation is given to the student who, in turn, hands it to all professors.

The accommodation form does not explain the student’s disability. The student has a choice to withhold that information from their professors. The accommodation form is instead a list of the specific resources and adjustments the student needs to succeed in his or her academic program.

Accommodations could include extra time on tests to receiving lecture notes beforehand.

Disability Services has two methods of test booking. The preferred method is done electronically, according to the Disability Services website. If a student doesn’t understand how to book a test with Disability Services, he or she can go to their student portal under the services tab and click on the disability website. There, students will find a PowerPoint presentation that will walk them through how to book a test online.

“If in the event that they still don’t understand, they can always go to the disability office in the college and ask for help. Any counsellor or receptionist will be happy to help,” said Rhondda Lymburner, a Disability Services counsellor.

The department can also refer a student to other helpful outlets within the college, such as peer tutoring, learning strategists, writing and math help, and computer help.

Another resource that students registered with Disability Services have access to is the adaptive technology lab, where they can learn how to use voice recognition software and other technology.

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