Accessibility Services Updates

In line with BCIT's response to the recent COVID-19 developments, BCIT Accessibility Services remains committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community and supporting our clients needs. Equally important is our commitment to three core activities: We are working to identify effective solutions for a number of services for the online platform.

To best support the need for social distancing, all communications are being moved to phone appointments, virtual meetings and e-mail conversations. Please contact us by phone or email between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that our in-person services are suspended until further notice.

Students

For answers to common questions, see our FAQs below. If you still have questions, or need to discuss new barriers due to the new online learning format, please contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at 604-451-6963.

Stay up-to-date at bcit.ca/breakingnews.

Faculty

Please contact Accessibility Services at 604-451-6963 and ask to speak to any of our Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists for more information about the following: We will provide you with additional resources around accessible learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Accessibility Services centre still operational?

Yes, our centre is still operating Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. All appointments and services will be conducted via phone, email, or virtual appointment until further notice.

If you have a question or concern, please call 604.451.6963, email the front desk, or contact your assigned Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist.

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Are my accommodations still applicable with the new online format?

You are still entitled to accommodations, but there may be changes with how they are implemented in the new platform. You can speak with both your Instructor and your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at Accessibility Services to coordinate how best to make any necessary changes to your accommodations.

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How do I request exam accommodations for an online course?

As of Monday March 30, 2020, Accessibility Services is resuming our regular exam scheduling practices. Exam scheduling request forms should be submitted at least 5 business days in advance for midterms, and 10 business days in advance for final exams. Submit completed exam scheduling request forms to accessibility@bcit.ca.

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I previously had a note-taker for my in-person class. Now that the class is online, will I still receive a copy of the notes?

Once your Instructor has informed you how they will adapt the course for virtual instruction, please let your note-taker know if you would like to continue receiving notes.

You may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to the course design changes. For example, lectures that are pre-recorded videos can be watched at your own pace. On the other hand, some Instructors may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication. There may be other aspects of the online class format that you find helpful:

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How do I get a reader for my exams?

If you require a reader for an online exam, there are software options that will read content for you on your computer.

The first option is to determine if your computer already has reading technology. For example, if you have a Mac, highlight the text you want read out loud and right click, select Speech, then select Start Speaking to have the selection read out loud.  Please trial to ensure it’s functional.

There are also a number of reading software programs that you can access. Read&Write Gold is a program licensed by BCIT and available for free to BCIT students. Download the reading software or find it by searching Read&Write Gold on the BCIT website.

Read&Write Gold is a self-taught program, and the software contains short video tours to teach you how to use it. Once you download and open the program, click on the drop down menu found on the purple “rw” button at the top right and choose “All Video Tours”. This will open the list of all of the different tutorials. It may be useful to start with the “Speech Video Tour”.

There are other free to low cost reading and writing software programs on the market that are available for computers, tablets, and smart phones. Explore other possible options.

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I have 1.5x and a reader as exam accommodations. Can I have 2.0x as the reading technology/software slows the process?

Yes, 2.0x can be used if using reading technology/software. 

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With the switch to online instruction, I anticipate new barriers and would like to request new accommodations. What are my next steps?

If you are not currently registered with Accessibility Services, please follow our step-by-step instructions.

If you are already registered with Accessibility Services please contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, or reception at 604.451.6963.

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I am feeling anxious about COVID-19 and am experiencing a flare up of my disability. My courses are ending soon, can I have additional time to complete my course work or study for my finals?

Please schedule an appointment with your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist to discuss your concerns. Additional documentation from your specialist may be required regarding your recent flare up. Your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist will work with you and your program area to determine if additional accommodations are required.

Please remember that there are other student services at BCIT to support you, including Counselling & Student Development who are now offering services via phone and virtual appointments.

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I do not have an IAP, but I have been sick and may have COVID-19. I’ve been advised to stay home and self-isolate and I am unable to engage with my studies due to being sick. Does Accessibility Services help me to be able to write my exams and hand in assignments at a later time?

No. COVID-19 and similar acute conditions (e.g., flu, colds, sore throats, etc.) are not considered a disability and therefore are not accommodated for through Accessibility Services. Please contact your program area/Instructor for assistance pertaining to this matter.

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