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Accommodated assessment supports for 2023/24

August 1, 2023

Dear faculty and instructors,

We’re writing to provide information about accommodated assessments for the 2023/24 Winter Session. 

There continues to be a rise in the number of students with documented requirements for academic accommodations at Canadian post-secondary institutions, with an increased need observed last year and an expected increase again this coming year. Thank you to faculty and instructors for sharing your experiences, challenges and suggestions for improvement, and for your efforts to support students who require accommodations.

Given what we heard, our approach to accommodated assessments for the coming year will be similar to previous years, with scheduling supported centrally. To handle the anticipated increase in demand, we have set aside dedicated assessment spaces in the Clearihue Building and Human and Social Development Building and invested in additional term employees in the Office of the Registrar and Enrolment Management (OREM) to provide booking and invigilation support for accommodated assessments. 

We are working to make this interim process as seamless as possible for instructors. As an instructor, very little will change on your end, although you may be contacted by OREM if they are supporting your assessment. The Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) will continue to make determinations about students’ accommodation requirements and communicate those to instructors in an accommodation letter. 

By implementing this interim strategy for the 2023/24 Winter Session, we can support instructors while a Joint Working Group on Accommodation between the University and Faculty Association reviews assessment accommodations and provides more sustainable recommendations longer-term.

Based on what we have seen at comparator universities, we can decrease the number of assessments requiring accommodations at UVic by transitioning from an accommodation-centred pedagogical approach to an access-centred approach. Instructors can learn more by accessing the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI)’s universal design for learning guide. Thank you to those of you who have started implementing universal design for learning principles into your courses and assessments.

Another option for instructors for the coming year is to use UVic’s online assessment room. LTSI also provides support for creating exams in Brightspace, using Crowdmark, training for online exam invigilation, and best practices for academic integrity.

In the coming weeks as we prepare for the fall term, we will develop and share more information with you about the interim process for accommodated assessments. We will also update you on any longer-term solutions. Our goal is to reduce the burden on faculty and staff while providing better supports and outcomes for our students. 

Thank you again for your efforts to support our students.


Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Associate Vice-President Academic Programs
Jim Dunsdon, Associate Vice-President Student Affairs

Follow-up email

October 16, 2023

Dear colleagues,

We’re writing to provide you with further information on accommodated assessments for the 2023/24 Winter Session.

In August, you received an email outlining an interim strategy for handling the anticipated rise in demand for accommodated assessments for the coming year. We committed to sharing more details as they became available. Additional information can now be found on the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) website:

Please note that if the Office of the Registrar and Enrolment Management (OREM) is supporting you with your assessment, you must print your exam and drop it off at least two business days in advance. The CAL Exam Centre is able to print exams, but OREM does not offer printing services. Exams submitted late, or to the wrong office, may be cancelled.

We ask for your patience and understanding with frontline staff who are working to manage the high volume of assessments requiring accommodations, and who are providing support to both instructors and students during this busy time.

Final exams

The process to submit invigilation requests for final exams will be the same as in previous years. Instructors will be able to submit their requests through the loading sheet process or through the online CAL instructor portal, after the final exam schedule for December 2023 has been posted. Information will be available on CAL’s website and shared with instructors towards the end of October.

Future planning

As noted in the August email, our current process is not a sustainable solution for addressing the growing number of requests for accommodated assessments. The temporary additional supports made available for the 2023/24 Winter Session are still not enough. 

We as a community will need to shift to an access-centred approach and change our practices to provide a better experience for students while also alleviating faculty and staff workload. Removing time pressures is an important strategy. You can do this by providing appropriate additional time to all students, and/or having shorter exams in the same timeframe and alternative forms of assessment where appropriate. You can also reduce the number of assessments and/or those requiring accommodation.

If you are designing or redesigning your courses for the spring term, we encourage you to review UVic’s resources on Universal Design for Learning and alternative forms of assessment.

Please review the resources available and reach out to the Division of Learning and Teaching Support and Innovation (LTSI) if you have any questions or would like discipline-specific resources. LTSI can assist with:

  • Reviewing the frequency and time allocation for assessments;
  • Supporting the development of alternative forms of assessments; and
  • Technology for assessments, including the Online Assessment Room as an assessment platform.

It is essential that the transition to an access-centred approach to course and assessment design begin as soon as possible. We acknowledge and thank instructors who have already implemented this approach.

Additionally, the Joint Working Group on Student Accommodations and Faculty Workload, a collaborative effort between UVic and the Faculty Association, is meeting throughout the fall term and into the spring term to draft recommendations on assessment accommodations longer-term.

Thank you for your efforts to support our students.


Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Associate Vice-President Academic Programs
Joel Lynn, Acting Associate Vice-President Student Affairs