The Student Success Centre promotes equitable access to educational programs for students. In particular, the SSC is concerned with equitable access for:
- students with disabilities
- students at risk academically
If you encounter a barrier to participation, the SSC helps you address these difficulties using a self-advocacy model.
I have a disability. What should I do?
Talk to the Disabilities Liaison, Crystal Johnson (403-782-3381 ext. 4141), in the Student Success Centre, she will explain how to document your disability with the University and, if you are a Canadian with a permanent disability, she can help you access Canada Study Grant funds.
Are there funds available to help students with permanent disabilities?
Yes, when you fill out a loan application there is a section for studnets with permanent disabilities.
There are also funds that come to Burman University for Alberta students with disabilities, above what they will receive from their student loans.
Canada Study Grant Information
The Canada Study Grant program for students with permanent disabilities is designed to help students overcome educational barriers that they may have due to their permanent disability. Students may be eligible to receive non-repayable grant funding (up to $5,000 per program year) from the federal government to purchase adaptive equipment and support services to help access public or private post-secondary institutions.
For Canada Study Grant purposes what is the definition of a disability?
The definition of a permanent disability for the Assistance Program for Students with Permanent Disabilities (APSD) and the Canada Study Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG for SWPD) is "a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment that restricts the ability of a person to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a post-secondary level and is expected to remain with the person for the person's expected natural life."
How do I apply?
Talk to the Disabilities Liaison for more information. Forms can be obtained from the Alberta Government website for Alberta residents.
See also the Canada Study Grant website. This grant is only available to Canadian students.
Burman University Disabilities Policy
Policy for students with Disabilities
Burman University shall take all reasonable measures, short of undue hardship, to provide accommodation to students with any form of disability. The reasonable accommodation of students with disabilities shall not require Burman University to lower its standards, academically or otherwise, nor shall it relieve a student of the responsibility to develop and demonstrate the essential skills and competencies expected of all students pursuing post-secondary studies.
2.0 Rationale and Guiding Principles:
This policy is intended to support Burman University’s mission and the provision of an accessible environment in support of teaching and learning excellence, as well as in the education of students to think with discernment, believe with insight and commitment, and act with confidence, compassion and competence.
This policy is guided by federal and provincial human rights legislation and by the following principles:
2.1 Burman University is committed to the principles of equality and inclusion.
2.2 Members of Burman University's community are required to act in compliance with federal and provincial legislation regarding the accommodation of persons with any form of disability and the regulations and rules set out in this policy.
2.3 Students with disabilities have an equal right to access all Burman University programs and services subject to the University policies, regulations and procedures that provide for admission to programming which regulate student conduct.
2.4 Students with disabilities are responsible for identifying all need(s) for academic and/or physical accommocation to Burman University's Student Success Centre in accordance with this policy. A student's responsibility to identify the need for accommodation is an on-going responsibility that may begin at the admission stage and continue throughout the student's enrolment at Burman University.
2.5 Upon admission into a Burman University program, students with disabilities are presumed to be capable of fulfilling the academic requirements of their program with the provision of reasonable accommodation.
3.0 Scope and Definitions:
This policy pertains to students with disabilities who apply to and, having satisfied admission criteria, are enrolled in Burman University programs and courses including off campus activities such as Outward Pursuits, Study Tours and Practicum Placements. Academic activities undertaken off campus are addressed by agreement with the third party involved.
Accessibility refers to the extent to which services and facilities can be used by all regardless of disability.
Accommodation means the process of making alterations to the delivery of services to become more accessible to students with disabilities with the goal to ensure full participation in all aspects of their educational experience (Alberta Human Rights Duty to Accommodate Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Institutions, interpretive bulletin, August, 2004, pp. 2-5).
Disability encompasses the definitions of the terms "physical disability" and "mental disability" that are included in provincial human rights legislation (Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act, Section 44).
Duty to Accommodate refers to the requirement under federal and provincial legislation to make arrangements, adjustments and alterations in the educational environment to ensure that it does not have a discriminatory effect on a student because of the student's disability.
Reasonable Accommodation under provincial legislation and the Supreme Court of Canada, refers to the requirement of educational institutions to provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship, that is, the provision of accommodation to a standard that overcomes a discriminatory effect, but does not require the institution to choose the most expensive or comprehensive level of accommodation.
Shared Responsibility refers to the expectation that accommodation is a shared responsibility between the student and the institution, and that arriving at accommodation is an iterative, consultative process.
Undue Hardship, under both provincial and federal legislation, is deemed to have a very high standard and would include, but is not limited to, the following: financial cost that hurts the viability of the service, program or institution; a situation in which students cannot meet the requirements for entering or completing a program; significant interference with the rights of other students; health and safety concerns; and/or the cost of making structural changes will cost the institution such an excessive amount that it would cause undue hardship on the institution. The institutional responsibility requires due diligence and may require adjudication under legislation.
Student Success Centre means, but is not limited to, the Burman University department responsible for coordination of reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.
4.1 The Vice President for Student Services and the Vice President for Academic Administration are responsible for the overall management of this policy.
4.2 Under the authority of the Director of Counselling/Disabilities Advisor the Disabilities Department at the Student Success Centre is responsible for the administration and coordination of Burman University's duty to accommodate students with disabilities in accordance with this policy.
4.3 The Director of Plant Services is responsible for the administration and implementation of alterations to the physical environment of Burman University facilities in accordance with this policy.
Burman University's Responsibilities to Students with Disabilities
4.4 Burman University acknowledges and accepts its duty to accommodate students with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship.
4.5 Burman University shall foster and support positive relationships between itself and students with disabilities through open communication regarding the duty to accommodate. To this end, communication between Burman University and its students with disabilities will be made accessible to all such students from the time of inquiry.
4.6 Where deemed by Burman University to be reasonably necessary, Burman University shall retain qualified and knowledgeable consultants to facilitate the assessment and coordination of accommodation to students with disabilities.
4.7 Burman University shall educate all members of its community, including faculty, staff, students and contractors, on the duty to accommodate students with disabilities and the existence of this policy.
4.8 The Disabilities Department operated out of the Student Success Centre shall publish a Handbook for Students with Disabilities in accordance with this policy.
Responsibilities of Students with Disabilities to Burman University
4.9 In addition to the responsibilities of all students; students with disabilities who seek accommodation are also responsible for the following:
4.9.1 To provide all required documentation in support of the request for accommodation in a timely manner to the Disabilities Advisor located in the Student Success Centre in accordance with published procedures (4.8).
4.9.2 To abide by all recommendations and procedures for accommodations developed or coordinated by the Disabilities Advisor located at the Student Success Centre.
Documentation in Support of a Request for Accommodation
4.10 Documentation in support of a request for accommodation must meet guidelines as developed and published in the Handbook for Students with Disabilities and as noted below:
- the documentation must be completed by a qualified professional - registered psychologist or registered member of a government medical association with specific training and expertise in the diagnosis and description of the condition(s) for which accommodation is being requested. The information required needs to confirm your diagnosis, permanence of disability, and recommendation for supports.
- describe the nature of the disability and provide an explanation of the functional impact(s) of the disability.
- describe the student's current functioning.
4.11 In exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Disabilities Advisor, at the Student Success Centre, a student will be provided accommodations on an interim basis without documentation.
4.12 A student is not required to reveal the specific details of his or her disability to anyone other than the Disabilities Advisor at the Student Success Centre.
4.13 All information obtained bye the Student Success Centre will be treated as confidential and according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. Personal documentation held by the Student Success Centre will be destroyed consistent with the institution's Records and Information Management Policy and any relevant professional body's regulations.
Decisions Regarding Recommended Accommodations
4.14 The Student Success Centre will review the documentation submitted by a student with a disability and conduct an assessment of the individual's need for accommodation.
4.15 To determine the appropriate reasonable accommodations, consultation will take place between the student and the Disabilities Advisor and, where necessary, the appropriate academic personnel. The student and/or the Disabilities Liaison will document the recommended accommodations in a letter of introduction. The student will deliver this letter to each instructor. Efforts will be made to provide timely notice to instructors of the needs of students with disabilities in their classes.
4.16 The determination of reasonable accommodations for an individual may vary between courses, including required off campus components of programs, and/or over time depending upon individual circumstances. Burman University reserves the right to alter or discontinue the provision of accommodations upon review of individual needs and relevant course or program demands.
4.17 If an instructor does not agree with the recommendations of the Disabilities Advisor, he or she will communicate this disagreement to the Student Success Centre in an attempt to reach a resolution that meets the duty to accommodate.
4.18 If a resolution is not reached in 4.17, the Disabilities Advisor shall discuss the matter with the Chair of the academic program. If necessary, the Disabilities Advisor may consult with the Dean of the department in which the instructor teaches. If this is still not resolved, the Disabilities Advisor will consult with the Vice President of Academic Administration, legal and/or human rights counsel to facilitate a resolution that meets the duty to accommodate.
4.19 Students wishing to appeal matters pertaining to this policy must follow the regulations as set out in the Student Handbook under Academic Grievance Procedure (In Academic Calendar on the Bumanu web site).
Burman University Harassment Policy
Scope: All Students, Employees, Volunteers and Visitors
Burman University is committed to a healthy, harassment-free environment for all employees and students. Burman University has developed a campus-wide policy intended to prevent any type of harassment of its employees and students and to deal quickly and effectively with any incident that might occur. Underlying this policy is the desire that all students, employees, visitors and volunteers will, embracing the principles of Luke 10:27, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself."
Definition of Harassment
Harassment occurs when an employee or student is subjected to unwelcome and vexatious verbal or physical conduct because of race, religious beliefs, colour, place of origin, gender, mental or physical disability, ancestry, marital status, family status, source of income, or sexual orientation. Alberta human rights laws prohibit harassment in the workplace and on campus on these grounds.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Unwanted sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favours, and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when
1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of, or condition of, an individual's employment or academic standing.
2. Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual affects that individual's employment.
Sexual harassment, being discrimination on the grounds of gender, is a violation of the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.
If your are being harassed or witness harassment take place
1. Inform the harasser his/her behaviour is unwelcome and ask him/her to stop.
2. If at any time you believe you or another person is in danger, immediately get help from the appropriate campus or law enforcement authority.
3. Keep a record of incidents that includes dates, times, locations, name and status of the persons involved, possible witnesses, what happened, its effect on you (or the victim) and your response. Save copies of any related written, printed or electronic communication. You do not have to provide a record of events in order to file a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case and help you remember details over time.
4. File a complaint. If, after asking the harasser to stop his/her behaviour, the harassment continues, initiate a complaint with the Harassment Advisor or the appropriate vice president.
5. If you are unsure if what you are experiencing or have witnessed is harassment please seek the assistance of the Harassment Advisor and/or the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Stages of Complaint
The following process describes two stages: informal resolution and formal resolution. In all but the most serious cases, participants should strive to resolve harassment complaints through personal resolution or the informal resolution stage.
Any of the time frames for the steps outlined below may be extended upon mutual agreement of the parties. In extenuating circumstances, the Harassment Advisors may also extend a time frame. In all cases, the Harassment Advisors will advise the parties of the reason for and period of the extension.
A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage in this process. Burman University may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its legal obligations.
Stage 1: Informal Resolution
1. The Harassment Advisor will make contact with the respondents to discuss the complaint. If the respondent fails to respond to the request for a meeting within ten (10) working days of the request, the Harassment Advisor will report the refusal or failure to the appropriate vice president for possible disciplinary action against the respondent.
2. The Harassment Advisor will work with the parties to resolve the matter. Any information obtained from this process is without prejudice and will not be introduced automatically as evidence in any subsequent investigation or hearing. Participants in a dispute resolution process cannot be compelled to provide evidence in any future or concurrent Burman University proceeding regarding any information disclosed during the formal resolution process.
3. If an informal resolution, acceptable to both parties, is reached, the Harassment Advisor will send a written report to the Burman University President, who will communicate in writing to both parties, setting out the understandings and/or agreement. Receipt of this written communication and confirmation in writing regarding the agreement must be acknowledged by both parties. The Harassment Advisor will then follow through with any action needed to complete the resolution. Where a complaint is resolved informally, the Harassment Advisor will retain the complaint as a confidential document and no reference to its existence will be contained in either the complainant's or the respondent's official student or personnel file. All documentation will be placed in a sealed "For My Eyes Only" file and placed in a secure location that only the Harassment Advisors can access. Such files will be kept for seven (7) years and then destroyed.
4. Informal resolution shall normally be completed within forty (40) working days of the Harassment Advisor making contact with the respondent to discuss the matter.
5. The matter will move to formal resolution when
- Alternative dispute resolution measures do not succeed.
- Both parties are not willing to attempt informal resolution.
- The behaviors continue.
- The behavior is of a more serious nature than can be dealt with by informal resolution.
- Informal resolution is not appropriate to the specific case.
Stage 2: Formal Resolution
1. A request for formal resolution will be taken to Burman University's President by the Harassment Advisor. the decision on whether or not to proceed with formal resolution shall be made by Burman University's President.
2. If Burman University decides not to proceed, the complainant shall be informed in writing of the final decision.
3. If Burman University decides to proceed, the complainant and respondant shall be notified within ten (10) working days of receipt of the formal complaint. They shall be provided with details of the complaint and advised of the procedure to be followed in the resolution of the complaint.
4. Throughout this process the Harassment Advisors will advise both the complainant and the respondent of support services available which they may wish to consult.
5. The investigation will be conducted by the President and/or his/her designee(s) and the Harassment Committee. (This committee will be formed following the same procedures used to create a Grievance Committee.)
6. Both the complainant and alleged harasser will be interviewed as will any individuals who may be able to provide relevant information.
7. If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of harassment, the harasser will be disciplined appropriately. Discipline may include loss of rank or privileges, transfer, suspension, or dismissal.
8. No documentation will be placed in the complainant's file where the complaint is filed in good faith, whether the complaint is upheld or not.
9. If the investigation fails to find evidence to support the complaint, there will be no documentation concerning the complaint placed in the file of the alleged harasser.
10. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant or the respondent, either or them may appeal through the appropriate campus grievance process.
Other Provisions and Definitions
After a complaint is made, the Harassment Advisor, in consultation with the President of Burman University, will determine if any immediate action or interim measures are required to protect Burman University, its community or any of its members, and/or the integrity of the process. These measures may include limiting access to facilities, making arrangements for alternative grading or supervisory relationships, or discontinuing contact between the complainant and the respondent during the period of the proceedings.
Interim measures, if required, must be authorized by the President of Burman University and are to be implemented by the appropriate Burman University personnel. Both parties to the complaint shall be notified of any interim measures required. Interim measures are not to be viewed as a disciplinary action or a transfer within the meaning of any Burman University policies. In addition, where a complaint proceeds to the formal resolution stage, interim measures may also be enacted as part of formal resolution processes under the procedures governing that process.
Confidentiality is required in all procedures and of all participants under this policy. Those making complaints should not discuss the mattere other than with the appropriate parties. Breaches of confidentiality may result in disciplinary action.
Confidentiality does not mean anonymity. The respondent must be informed of who has made the allegations, and the specific nature of the allegations, at the earliest possible point in the process.
Where there exists a clear, serious, and immediate threat to safety of an individual or the community, Burman University has a legal duty to warn any community members at risk. This may mean, for the purposes of safety, the procedures outlined in this policy, including confidentiality, will be set aside.
Presumption of Innocence
Those named in complaints under this policy will be presumed innocent until a formal decision to the contrary is reached under the terms of this policy.
Role of the Harassment Advisor
Harassment Advisors are appointed by the President of Burman University. The role of the Harassment Advisor is to
- Offer a "listening ear" to complaints,
- Offer support, guidance and advice to the complainant as to whether the alleged behaviour falls within this policy,
- Outline and advise the complainant on options for resolving the problem, including personal resolution, informal resolution using alternative dispute resolution measures, or pursuing more formal resolution,
- Assist the parties to informally resolve matters, as required,
- Coordinate the investigation process in a consistent, timely and fair manner,
- Assist those with supervisory responsibilities in the resolution of human rights concerns,
- Make referrals to other Burman University departments or outside organizations who can further support or assist the complainant in resolving the matter, and,
- Bring to the attention of those in positions of responsibility any Burman University policy, procedures or practices that appear to discriminate against individuals or groups based on prohibited grounds.
1. Any person involved in an informal complaint may seek support or representation from another person of her/his choice, such as a faculty or staff. The Harassment Advisor and all participants must be notified in advance if any party will bring a personal advisor to any meeting.
2. Participation or representation by personal advisors at any formal proceedings is at the discretion of the President.
Resolution of Formal Complaints Between Students
Formal complaints between students shall be dealt with as alleged breaches of the campus code of conduct. The Harassment Advisor will refer such matters to the Vice President of Student Services for investigation, adjudication and sanction. The Harassment Advisor shall play an advisory role in ensuring that the investigation and adjudication of complaints between students are handled in a manner consistent with the spirit and procedures within this policy.
Resolution of Formal Complaints Involving Visitors and Volunteers
Where a formal complaint is made against a visitor or volunteer, the Harassment Advisor will consult with affected parties and relevant Burman University staff, managers, and/or senior administration to determine whether that person should simply be denied further access to Burman University's campus or whether an investigation under this policy is appropriate. In determining how to act, the following factors will be considered:
- The severity and frequency of the actions complained about. Any continuing threat or risk to the Burman University community.
- The person's reason for being on Burman University premises and whether that person has any continuing need to be on Burman University premises.
- The person's response to the complaint and willingness to resolve the matter.
- Burman University's legal duty to provide a safe and healthy work and learning environment for its students, employees, volunteers and visitors.
When the Harassment Committee recommends sanctions against a volunteer or visitor, the appropriate vice president or his/her designee will ensure that those sanctions are carried out. Should the person refuse to participate in the investigation or resulting sanctions, or should the behaviour continue, Burman University retains its right to have that person legally removed from campus as part of its continuing duty to provide a safe and healthy work and learning environment for its employees and students.
Resolution of Complaints Involving Senior Administration
If any accusation is made regarding senior administration or a Harassment Advisor, the issue will become the immediate responsibility of the President. If any accusation is made regarding the President, the responsibility for action will be with the Board of Trustees, through its Chair. In these cases and where an informal resolution is not appropriate or possible, the respondent may choose to have an investigation completed according to the North American Division policy for harassment in force at that time, rather than through the process described in this policy.
Bad Faith Allegations
It is a violation of this policy for any person to
- Make a frivolous, vexatious, malicious or bad faith allegation,
- Initiate a procedure under this policy in bad faith, or
- Influence an ongoing procedure under this policy in bad faith.
A written complaint that a bad faith allegation or action has been made will be treated as a formal complaint under this policy. If such a complaint is substantiated, it will be subject to the same consequences as harassment.
A member of the Burman University community who comes forward in good faith with reports or concerns about compliance with Burman University policies or procedures shall not be subject to reprisal or retaliation for making such a report. Any such reprisal or retaliation shall be considered harassment under this policy.
Burman University thanks the following institutions for allowing their related policies to be used in the development of this document: Brock University, the University of Alberta, Andrewa University, Walla Walla University, and Trinity Western University.
(Disability Handbook next)