Accommodation Updates from Accessible Learning Services

While the move to online delivery has changed the way we operate, it’s important to remember that there are supports in place for both faculty and students. This is especially true when trying to arrange accommodations for our students when traditional ways are not available.

The Assessment Centre is still open virtually and will continue to provide one-to-one invigilation via webcam for students who require adaptive technology and/or reading/scribing. Accessible Learning Services is also open, working with students to set up their Accommodation Plans. Although the Brightspace Testing Labs are closed, there are still ways to use Brightspace to give more time for students who need it.

A quick guide for providing accommodations for your students

Answer the question below to get a quick response about how to provide accommodations for your students.

What type of accommodation does your student require?

You can add this via Brightspace. Please see further instructions below.

Your student will need to write in the Assessment Centre. Please see further instructions below.

Some additional things to consider

Virtual vs Face to Face Language on the Accommodation Plan

Some, but not all of the language on the accommodation plan has changed over the summer for the online environment. When we refer to the “classroom environment”, that could be the virtual Brightspace environment or a lab.

While we will continue to bring our language in line with the changing environment, we hope that you will understand that the nature of accommodations stays the same.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at George Brown College refers to Field Placement, Co-op, Clinical Placement and so on. Most programs offer a WIL opportunity, which allows students to apply classroom learning to a real-life situation, in-person, or virtual.

Accommodations for education and the workplace are legislated in Ontario through the Ontario Human Rights Code. Placement accommodations are different from academic or test accommodations. Students are welcome to book an appointment with their Accessibility Consultants to discuss placement accommodations. Placement accommodations are sent to placement supervisors, only when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the College moves courses to off-campus and alternate delivery, here are some general accessibility questions and answers to guide faculty practice and reduce barriers for students. Students will continue to have unique needs that require accommodation.

Contact the Accessible Learning Services at if you have any questions.

Do Academic Accommodation Plans still apply at this time?

The College continues to provide accommodation support to students with disabilities. Accommodation plans can be accessed through Stu-View. Students can continue to contact ALS for accommodations.

How do I ensure that my documents are Accessible?

Here are some resources to support accessible course content:

  • Consider the accessibility of documents before posting them to Brightspace
  • Librarians are available to provide remote academic support. Don't hesitate to contact us for teaching and learning research, for finding information in our online collections, and finding accurate information on the web. Find your liaison librarian.
How will accommodated testing work?

Test accommodations for extra time still apply for Brightspace tests. ​

  • Blackboard is an accessible testing platform. It allows faculty to manually enter extra time for students with accommodated time. Faculty please inform students once the time has been adjusted in Blackboard settings. 
What is the most accessible online learning platform?

Brightspace is the accessible platform used by GBC with support in place for both faculty and students. Avoid introducing new communication platforms if at all possible. Use Brightspace to post resources and communicate with students. 

What do I do when captioning is an accommodation and there are videos in the course?

Faculty who require videos to be captioned can contact Anne Villahermosa . There is a cost for this service and each program Chair must provide budget approval for all requests.

How can I best support online student learning?

Provide clear and simple instructions for students. Let students know when you are available for questions or checking in around accommodation needs.

Be flexible and accommodate student needs and requests with the goal of reducing barriers for students (e.g. where students are unwell, students who don’t have consistent internet access).  Allow students to select from multiple options wherever possible.

Do extensions and periodic absences still need to be honoured?

If a student has an extension or periodic absence accommodation, it must still be honoured. Contact the Accessibility Consultant in your area if you have questions or need further guidance.

Are medical notes for missed tests still necessary?

​Be mindful that due to quarantines, self-isolation, and the burden on the medical system, it may not be possible for students to access doctors' notes at this time. Students with extensions and periodic absence accommodations are not required to provide additional documentation for missed tests. Please contact the Accessibility Consultant with any questions.