Parents and guardians

Letters about eligibility for accommodations at UVic:

General letter to parents and guardians

Learning Disabilities letter to parents and guardians


Do students with disabilities receive special consideration in the application and admission process?

If your student does not meet the regular requirements for admission, they may be eligible for the Special Access admission category.

How do I know if my student qualifies for accommodations and how do they access the programs offered?

If your student has been accepted to study at UVic in a for-credit program, they can submit medical documentation and some basic information using the online pre-intake and an advisor will be in touch to discuss.

Do students receive the same accommodations as they did in high school?

Your student may have had an IEP in high school that included accommodations and services that helped them reach their potential and ensure their success. Accommodations at the university level are based on formal documentation that demonstrates barriers to equal participation and may sometimes differ from those given in high school.

Accommodations at university provide students with equal opportunity to participate in courses and programs and students are expected to meet the same standards and achieve the same outcomes as students without disabilities. The university will provide tools for success, but a student's success is ultimately up to them.

Some accommodation requests from the high school context go beyond the scope of this goal and are not accepted:

  • Changing the instructional level
  • Changing the content of a course or program
  • Shortening the length or requirements of assignments
  • Lowering student performance expectations

Who will manage their academic accommodations?

Students are ultimately responsible for managing their own accommodations.  The staff at CAL will assist new students in understanding the accommodation process, CAL's procedures, and how their disability may affect them in the university environment.

Why will UVic staff not disclose information to me about my student?

Talk with your student to find out how involved they want you to be – and respect their choices. Staff must have a student's permission to disclose information to others, including their parents. Talk with your student to establish an information-sharing arrangement you are all comfortable with. If possible, try to maintain open communication with them so that you are kept up to date on what they are doing, from their perspective.

What are my responsibilities in the transition to university?

Parents and other guardians have a role to play in supporting their student with the transition into post-secondary education. The transition works well when parents are proactive, instead of reactive.

To be involved, you can familiarize yourself with the campus, the resources that are available, and the program your student will be enrolling in. 

Encourage your student to ask questions, and feel free to ask questions as well.

The transition to university is different for everyone, but help them realize that they are not alone. There are resources, supports, and others who are there to help them make the transition a smooth one.

How can I help develop self-advocacy skills?

As an involved parent or guardian, you have been your student's advocate for years and it has become a role you are both familiar with. Now as an adult in the post-secondary environment, it is important to support them as they develop and strengthen their self-advocacy skills. As your student pursues university, there will be times when they need to independently manage issues that arise in the classroom and beyond. Knowing how to self-advocate is crucial.

Help your student identify and access the resources they will need. Discuss how they will handle certain situations to see what they would say and do. You may want to role-play some discussions they may need to have with a professor, roommate, or classmate to get used to advocating for what they need. You can provide feedback so they are more prepared when faced with similar situations.

Help your student to identify their strengths and areas where they are confident and comfortable. They can draw upon those experiences, and strengths, and apply them to areas that are more challenging to them.

Please see the Transition Resource Guide for More information:

Is there a transition program about the campus and resources?

UVic Orientation is a great resource for this

There are also campus tours throughout the year

Are there travel orienters/trainers for non-sighted students?

The CNIB on Richmond Road provides specialized travel training to physically orient visually impaired users to the campus and surrounding areas.  Please give their staff lots of notice for travel training requests. 

Contact info:

Phone: (250) 595-1100,  

Address: 2340 Richmond Rd, Victoria, BC V8R 4R9


How do I find out about funding sources like grants to cover services and technology?

If your student is a person with a permanent disability and wants to apply for disability grants, discuss with an advisor at CAL who can provide information.

Disability grants depend on at least one dollar of approved full time or part time financial assistance application through government student loans.  Contact Student Awards and Financial Aid to explore which kind of application you need to establish.

Are there programs and services to improve academic success?


CAL's Learning Assistance Program (tutors, learning strategists, notetaking).  CAL's learning assistance program curriculum, resources, and employee training are based on the principles of Universal Design. This means we build our services to support the success of all students looking for personalized learning tools. This is a fee-based program and financial assistance through grants may be available to your student. 

Study solutions in the Library.

Counselling Services has a series of workshops that may be helpful. 



Are there any specific courses you recommend students take to help them academically?

We recommend the following for-credit course:

ED-D 101: Learning Strategies for University Success (Course Description: Becoming A Self-Regulated Learner)


How do we find out about making course selections and how to register for classes?

Here are some links with very specific information about these topics: 

Program Planning

Having trouble with program and degree planning? Your student can Call or email their academic adviser for assistance and support.

How to register for classes

Do students with disabilities have to take a full course load?

Students with a disability often reduce their course load and either take additional semesters to complete their degree, take courses during the summer session or take an additional course while on a co-op term.  

It is important to note that the average time to complete an undergraduate degree in North America is not 4 years anymore.  Students with and without disabilities are taking 5.5 years on average to complete.  

They are opting to take less courses during each term while successfully managing disability and other life-related issues, and achieving higher grades as a result.

My student would like to live on campus due to health-related needs. How do we apply?

Students with specific on-campus housing accessibility needs can request priority consideration from UVic Residence Services

How do we locate a personal care attendant?

CAL recommends enquiring with the local Health Authority for sources of trained personal care attendants. UVic does not recruit or train personal care attendants, so obtaining an attendant is the responsibility of the student and/or family.

My student needs a wheelchair or scooter. Does UVic loan these mobility devices?

UVic does not have mobility devices for loan.  CAL recommends checking with the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan program to obtain equipment for either short or long term.

High school compared with university: 

Learn about how university will be different from high school and the kinds of supports you may need in a new environment of learning and living.