Skip to main content

Understanding your disability documentation

It is important to understand what your disability documentation says about your conditions. Consider the following questions as you review your medical documentation:

  • What is my disability diagnosis?
  • How recent is my disability documentation and does it accurately reflect my current level of functioning?
  • What is the potential impact of my disability within post-secondary environment?
  • Does my documentation indicate consideration of other professional or community supports that may be helpful while I am studying?
  • Is there additional information that I need that is not addressed in my disability documentation?

Documentation guidelines

Disclosure of a specific diagnosis is NOT required to access academic accommodations, services and support. However, disclosure of a diagnosis or disability type is often useful to the professionals specifically trained in the provision of disability accommodations to better understand a student’s needs. There are certain circumstances where a diagnosis is required to establish eligibility for certain private (external) and federally or provincially-funded supports and/or services.

When requesting accommodations for your disability, you will need to provide us with written confirmation of the functional limitations of your disability, that is, how your disability impacts your ability to manage your program or course requirements.

A functional limitation is any restriction to a person’s ability to perform daily activities necessary to participate in post-secondary studies.

All documentation submitted as part of registration with BCIT Accessibility Services should contain information relevant to the development of an academic accommodation plan and include comprehensive information about the functional limits you experience because of your disability or medical condition.

It allows us to better understand how your disability impacts your ability to manage your course(s) /program requirements. Although we encourage you to have the BCIT  Medical Form [PDF] completed, we can accept a comprehensive report from your regulated health care professional that meets the following criteria:

  • Has been completed within the past 3 to 5 years;
  • Confirms you have a disability/diagnosed health condition;
  • Provides information regarding your functional impairments (refer to BCIT medical form if unclear and;
  • identifies how your limitations specifically impact your participation in post-secondary studies.

The documentation must speak to the degree and extent of the functional impact of the disability. A Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist will review the documentation and discuss with you reasonable recommendations in relation to the BCIT academic standards and the essential requirements of the course and/or program.

Students are responsible for paying any doctor’s fees related to the completion of the BCIT Medical Form [PDF] for any other reports or documents. New or returning students may be required to provide updated documentation in some cases, in order to assess and adjust required accommodations, or as required by specific program licensing boards (i.e. ITA exam).

Temporary disabilities

We recognize that there may be medical, physical, or mental health conditions that pose temporary barriers to a student’s academic performance. Every student with a diagnosed, disabling condition (whether permanent or temporary) is encouraged to register with Accessibility Services. Access to our services, even temporarily, requires medical documentation from a Regulated Health Care Professional outlining the functional limitations resulting from the disability or health condition and anticipated date of recovery.

A brief medical issue that is common to the general population (such as a flu virus) and requires academic consideration should be discussed with an instructor who will then advise the student of the appropriate BCIT policy (e.g. exam deferral, make-up exam) and accommodate the student.