The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa is committed to providing equal opportunities to all qualified students. Students with disabilities are expected to accomplish the “core competencies” of the program. As described in the document “Essential Skills and Abilities Required for the Study of Medicine”found on the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website at Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC),“all students must have the required skills and abilities described in the Section on Technical Standards. All individuals are expected to review this document to assess their ability to meet these standards. This policy does not preclude individuals with disabilities. Students who anticipate requiring disability-related accommodation are responsible for notifying the medical school.”
Accommodations are meant to reduce barriers, in order to allow otherwise qualified medical students with disability to succeed in the academic MD program. An accommodation is defined as any adjustment or modification made to give students with disability equal opportunity for success, while ensuring that all academic and professionalism requirements are met. A reasonable accommodation does not alter the nature of the training program or change requirements for promotion, progression or graduation. It is not meant to provide an unfair advantage to any student. A reasonable accommodation is meant to provide an effective and accessible learning environment for all students.
Accommodations are unique to each individual. Keeping in mind the added responsibility of medical students regarding patient care and safety, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa has established a Student Accommodations Committee (SAC), who has the mandate to review all accommodations request for medical school and recommend specific measures. Unlike most undergraduate programs where the University’s Access Services grants accommodations, all requests for medical students have to be discussed at this committee and then granted by the medical school. For medical students wishing to request an accommodation, the step-by-step process of is described in the next section.
The need for an accommodation is assessed in regards to the student’s functional limitation, as documented by expert opinion, and the specific goal of the accommodation. Such need may fall into one of the following categories: