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Policies and laws

Instructor responsibilities

As an instructor, you have the responsibility to ensure that the learning environment is accessible and usable by:

  • providing access to a classroom and materials
  • making reasonable accommodation
  • maintaining confidentiality

Instructor rights

You have the right to:

  • maintain academic standards for courses
  • determine course content and teaching approach
  • deny an accommodation request if a Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) advisor has not approved the student for it
  • award grades appropriate to the level of the student's understanding of the material
  • fail a student who does not perform to passing standards

You do not have the right to:

  • refuse to provide an approved accommodation for a student registered with CAL
  • challenge or inquire about the legitimacy of a student's disability
  • review a student's documentation, including diagnostic data

Provincial & federal laws

Human rights law

How it applies to accessibility

Section 8 of the British Columbia Human Rights Code prohibits the denial or discrimination in the delivery of services normally available to the public. This means that as an instructor at a public university, you have a legal obligation to remove barriers to participation experienced by students with disabilities.

Academic accommodations level the educational playing field for all students.

Failure to accommodate

Although you are not expected to meet any unreasonable demands made by a student with a disability, the failure to reasonably accommodate a student may result in a human rights complaint and an order from the Human Rights Tribunal to compensate the student for the harm they experienced due to discrimination.

More information:

Copyright law

Under Section 32 of the Canadian Copyright Act, exceptions can be made to copyright restrictions to adapt legally acquired material (books, journals, recordings, etc.) to formats that are accessible to people with disabilities.