Communicating with professors
1. What key people could my son or daughter work with at George Brown?
In addition to our professors and academic program coordinators, we have a skilled team of people at Accessible Learning Services who may work with your son or daughter:
- Intake Coordinator — registers students and connects them to their individual Consultant.
- Consultant — works to get the most appropriate learning accommodations for the classroom and for tests and exams. They also support liaison between students and professors.
- Learning Strategist — helps students with a range of skills, from time management and organization, to study and test taking.
- Adaptive Technologist — connects students to technology to help them to read, spell, write, take notes, and stay organized.
- Sign Language Interpreters — for Deaf and hard of hearing students. Translate between American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
- Computerized Notetakers — for Deaf and hard of hearing students. Transcribe classroom content to a computer monitor which can be viewed in real time.
- Intervenors — for deafblind students. Communicate through modified sign language techniques.
Many other George Brown staff and students offer learning supports to help your student succeed:
Our Library Learning Commons (LLC) offers customized accessible library services for students with disabilities, including students who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.
- Retrieval of books and materials from the shelves
- Extended loan policy
- Assistance with photocopying
- Library tours
- Research assistance
- Library instruction workshops
- Assistive devices, computers and adaptive technology
The LLC also provides materials in alternative formats:
2. What is an accommodations package?
An accommodations package includes a list of academic accommodations that your son or daughter will have in the classroom and during tests.
- Each semester, students meet with their consultant to get their Student Accommodation Forms updated.
- The package includes information for the student’s professors, which outlines their responsibilities and explains the Assessment Centre process.
- Accommodations are offered across all three George Brown campuses and at Ryerson, based on the students’ needs, related to their programs and disabilities.
Accommodations should be set up as early as possible to ensure they are in place when they are needed. Accommodations may also need to be changed or modified depending on differences in the type of course, academic expectations, or changes in the student’s disability needs. Students with temporary accommodations will need to review their accommodations with their Accessibility Consultant each semester.
George Brown College recognizes that, as adult learners, students have the responsibility to access their accommodations as recommended by Accessible Learning Services.
3. What happens when my daughter or son drops a course?
If your daughter or son wants to drop a course, she or he should make an appointment with the coordinator of their program to discuss options to reduce their course load, and find out which courses are prerequisites or co-requisites for moving forward in the program. They should also talk to their Accessibility Consultant about reduced course load and modified tuition fees.
Deadlines are important
Students should reduce their course loads before the drop/add dates, listed under Important Dates for Students. This affects course refunds and transcript information as well as when they can graduate.
4. How does my son or daughter book their test accommodations?
Students must book their tests five business days in advance. They need to inform their professors that they will be writing tests in the Assessment Centre.
Ryerson students can book their tests online or by calling 416 -979- 5000, press 1 then extension 7932.
5. What if my son or daughter forgot to use their accommodations and failed?
In most cases, students are expected to arrange their accommodations in advance of tests or deadlines. Not doing this may result in a poor mark or a failure. However, some students have disabilities which do not always allow them to predict when they may experience a problem which interferes with their ability to meet a deadline or course expectation. In these cases, students should let their Accessibility Consultant know as soon as possible about their situation.
Communicating with professors
6. Should my son or daughter talk to professors about their disability and accommodations?
Ensuring success for students with disabilities is a dynamic partnership which involves students, professors and staff, supported by Accessible Learning Services. While students do not need to disclose the nature of their specific disability to their professors, if they choose to use classroom or test accommodations, their professors may need to see their Student Accommodation Plan. Their Accessibility Consultant will communicate with their professors about their plan, as required.
It can be very important for students to talk to their professors about whether their accommodations are working and about how best to implement the accommodation for their particular need. If your son or daughter is concerned about speaking to their professors or is unsure how to do this, they should speak to their Consultant
7. Will my daughter or son fail a course if they do not submit the work on time?
Students should consult their course outlines about penalties for late submission, which in some cases could result in a failed course.
Staying in close contact with professors is important. Students should let their professors know when they will not be attending class and make arrangements to get the material they have missed. Your son or daughter’s Consultant will work with them to stay on track with accommodations and ongoing needs.
George Brown College recognizes that the nature of some disabilities makes it difficult for a student to predict when they may experience symptoms that result in them missing tests or deadlines. In this type of situation, your son or daughter should speak to their Accessibility Consultant as soon as possible.
8. When accommodations change, do students have to inform their professors?
Yes. Students need to keep their professors informed about new accommodations by ensuring they give them their updated or new Student Accommodation Plan. The Consultant will communicate with to the professors, on the student’s behalf, as required.
9. How does OSAP work?
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a repayable loan to help Ontario students pay for their education.
- If your student is eligible for OSAP — the funds will be approved and deposited into the student’s bank account. This could take a number of weeks.
- If your student is not eligible for OSAP — he or she should meet with the consultant to discuss some options. You can check whether you have funding available through your insurance. There may also be community assessments available on a sliding scale.
10. What is the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD)?
Students who are eligible for OSAP are also eligible for a Bursary for a Student with a Disability (BSWD):
- provides up to $2,000/year for learning services or equipment — such as tutors, note-takers, interpreters, braillers or technical aids
- does not pay for books
- does not have to be paid back, but will be claimed on the student’s tax form
To be eligible for the OSAP bursary, students must have a permanent disability and provide documentation.
To apply, your daughter or son should contact their consultant to receive assistance to fill out the application and help to seek approval from the Financial Aid department at George Brown.
11. What other funding options are available for my son or daughter?
- Canada Study Grants for Persons with Permanent Disabilities — Your daughter or son can apply for an additional $2,000/ year for any purpose - e.g., rent, food or books. His or her consultant can provide advice about eligibility. To be eligible for the Canada Study Grant, students must have a permanent disability and provide documentation.
- Modified tuition fees — the consultant can also advise whether your son or daughter is eligible for reduced fees at George Brown College. Students who receive OSAP funding and want to reduce their course load through the modified fees process, need to talk to their Accessibility Consultant about OSAP’s criteria for eligibility.