Accessibility Services

One male and one female student sitting at a round table with notebooks and calculators

How we can help

Accessibility Services (AS) facilitates and promotes the ongoing development of an inclusive and accessible learning environment in which students with disabilities can participate in all aspects of campus life.

The purpose of Accessibility Services is to provide equal access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities at Okanagan College.

Accommodation definition

An accommodation involves the removal of barriers (physical or instructional) to provide an inclusive learning environment. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • An adaptation to the physical and/or instructional environment
  • Alternate formats and methods of communication
  • The use of adaptive technology and/or adaptations to the examination environment 

An accommodation does not usually involve modification of curriculum or evaluation; a student must still meet the learning objectives and essential requirements of the course.

Types of accommodations

Services and accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Access to technical aids and adaptive equipment
  • Accommodated tests and exams
  • Alternate format text material
  • Assistance with funding for students with disabilities
  • Facilitation with note taking
  • Instructor liaison
  • Mobility and physical access assistance
  • Orientation to OC
  • Referrals to support services
  • Sign language interpreting

Eligibility

To receive academic accommodations, students are required to self-disclose their disability and request supports to Accessibility Services. We support students who live with disabilities that can include:

  • ADHD
  • Blind or low vision
  • Chronic/systemic health impairments
  • Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health disability
  • Mobility/functional impairment
  • Neurological disabilities

Temporary Disabilities

Students with a temporary disability (e.g. a broken arm) should first contact instructors to discuss temporary and reasonable accommodation and whether the instructors can provide them. If instructors are unable to provide the accommodation or if the prognosis for the temporary disability proves to be longer than expected (more that one semester), the student should contact Accessibility Services. Depending on the disability, documentation should:

  • Be current
  • Outline the nature and extent of the disability
  • Explain how the disability impacts the student in an educational environment
  • Outline the functional capacity in an academic setting
  • Provide recommendations for supports that mitigate the impact of the disability in an educational setting

When a service dog is required, the student may be required to show evidence of BC certification for the dog. The student will also be required to provide medical documentation to support the need for a service dog.

Intake process

  1. Make an appointment to meet with an Accessibility Services Coordinator on your campus approximately 3 months prior to the commencement of your program.
  2. Gather relevant documentation on your disability to bring to your appointment.
    NOTE: Current documentation is required to receive accommodations. If you do not have medical documentation, the Accessibility Services Coordinator will provide you with a medical form for your doctor to complete.
  3. Meet with your Accessibility Services Coordinator to discuss what you may be eligible for while you are attending school.

Whenever possible it is best to register and establish accommodations prior to the beginning of the academic semester, however a student may initiate the process at any point.​

Should you have any questions or concerns about this intake process, please contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator on your campus.

Book an appointment

Book an appointment using our online booking system.

Appointment Types: 

  • Initial Consultation (Accessibility Services Coordinator Appointment) (60 mins)
  • Follow-up appointment (30 minutes)

Ask a Question

Fill out our online form if you have a question for the Accessibility Services department. We will do our best to respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

Medical documentation

Acceptable documentation must be obtained from a certified health care professional who has specific training, appropriate professional designation, and expertise in the diagnosis of the conditions for which the accommodation is being requested. Examples of appropriate health care professionals include the following:

  • Certified audiologist
  • Certified school psychologist (CVASP registered if in BC)
  • Neurologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Physician or medical specialist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Registered clinical psychologist

The documentation we require for a learning disability must include a psychological-educational assessment from a registered clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist. The psychological-educational assessment must have been completed in the last five years or the assessment must have been made after age 18.

The documentation must speak to the degree and extent of the functional impact of the disability. It must also provide recommendations on what would be deemed appropriate and reasonable and/or services. When consulted, the Accessibility Services Coordinator will review the documentation and discuss with the student the appropriateness and reasonableness of the recommendations in relation to the university's academic standards and the essential requirements of the course and/or program.  

Contact Us

Our campuses

Kelowna Campus:
Student Services Building (S111)
250-862-5451
 

Vernon Campus:
Administration Building (A300)
250-545-7291

Penticton Campus:
Ashnola Building (PL142)
250-492-4305

Salmon Arm Campus:
Main Building (SA103)
250-832-2126

Our staff

Kimberley Bailey

Accessibility Services
Office: Main Building A306
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2209
Accessibility Services - Kim Bailey

Paula Faragher

Accessibility Services
Office: Ashnola Building 105
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3242
Paula Faragher

Shannon Kiehlbauch

Accessibility Services / Educational Advising
Office: Salmon Arm Building 120
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8211
Educational Advising - Shannon Kiehlbauch

Samantha Matychuk

Accessibility Services
Office: Student Services Building 111G
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4477
Accessibility Services - Samantha Matychuk