Accessible Learning Services

Welcome to the Department of Accessible Learning!

 

The Department of Accessible Learning Services (DALS) provides support to North Island College students who identify as having a disability which may impact their ability to study. Faculty at DALS work to identify accommodations needed by students to enable them to fully participate in their classes and help implement these accommodations so that students do not face disability-based exclusion in any component of their courses.

If you identify as a student with a disability and require academic accommodations, please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our DALS faculty. We will need documentation of your disability to determine what accommodations need to be put in place to ensure you are able to participate fully in your courses at NIC. If you do not have documentation of your disability, please contact our office. We will be happy to meet with you and help you through the process of obtaining documentation of your disability.

Department of Accessible Learning Services faculty are here to help. Contact us for information on how we can help you.

Accessible Learning Services staff are here to help. Contact us for information on how we can help you.

Campbell River

Roslyn Gaetz
Ed Walker

Comox Valley

Niki Baird (co-chair)
Wendy Harris (chair)
Ed Walker

Port Alberni

Janis Almond
Ed Walker

Mixalakwila

Roslyn Gaetz

The Department for Accessible Learning Services (DALS) has services to help you transition to NIC whether you are starting your college career after being out of school for several years, or are coming to NIC directly from high school or another post-secondary institution.

Students who need support to complete a Placement Assessment and/or may need assistance in removing barriers they face in demonstrating their knowledge and skills in their courses (accommodations), are encouraged to set up an appointment with a DALS faculty member as soon as possible. DALS offer support for students who have conditions that may include any of the following (this is not a complete list)

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Health Disabilities
  • Neurological Disabilities
  • Chronic Health and Physical Disabilities
  • Visual Disabilities
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing

If you have information on the nature of your challenges, please bring it to your first appointment with a DALS faculty member. We can use this information to determine what academic accommodations will be helpful for you in your courses.

If you do not have information on the nature of your challenges, or are unclear about what is required for documentation, this is not a problem. Please contact one of our faculty to book an appointment (see contact details above). We will be happy to help you explore possibilities for obtaining the necessary documentation.

Some examples of the accommodations that DALS puts in place for students are:

Classroom accommodations

  • note-taker/digital recorder 
  • adaptive work station 
  • visual language interpreter/captionist 
  • adaptive software 
  • educational attendant 
  • laptop computer 
  • calculator 
  • FM system 
  • CCTV 

Exam accommodations

  • extra time 
  • separate setting (shared or separate space)
  • breaks 
  • adaptive software 
  • room with an opening window 
  • digitally recorded/reader 
  • scribe 
  • adaptive equipment (CCTV or workstation)
  • computer 
  • white noise 
  • calculator
  • large print

Before you begin the process of deciding what courses to take at NIC, you may wish to have a Math and/or English placement assessment to help you decide what your next steps will be. You should do a placement assessment if:

  • You are unable to obtain your high school transcripts

or

  • Your high school grades do not meet the course or program academic pre-requisites

or

  • Your high school grades are older than admissions requirements state

Accommodated placement assessments can be booked directly through DALS. A DALS faculty member will work with you to ensure that any accommodations you need are in place prior to your placement assessment and will conduct the placement assessment one-on-one with you.

How to Book your Placement Assessment

  1. Contact a DALS faculty member
  2. Pay the $15 placement assessment fee at Registration
  3. Prepare for your assessment by reviewing the preparation materials from Assessment Services
    1. English Assessment preparation
    2. Math Assessment preparation

DALS does not release or share any of the personal information of future, current, or past students who access or have accessed services through our office without a student’s prior, informed consent or required to do so by law. We will not discuss you or your situation with anyone aside from you. If you choose to be registered with our office, this will not be indicated on any of your academic records.

Once you are registered with the Department for Accessible Learning, you can meet with our faculty at any time to discuss your academic accommodations or to address outstanding concerns you have regarding access to your courses. We recognize that determining appropriate academic accommodations is a process and we are committed to supporting you in implementing them throughout your time at the College.

After your intake appointment with a DALS faculty member, they can help you with:

  • accommodations (classroom and exam)
  • registration
  • part-time study options
  • course material in alternative format
  • liaison with instructors
  • funding options for education, services and equipment
  • follow-up and check-in to monitor academic progress, and provide assistance as necessary
  • assistance engaging services of a note-taker, specialized tutor or academic learning strategist
  • assistive technology
    • reading and writing software: Read and Write Gold, Dragon Naturally Speaking
    • visual access: JAWS, ZoomText, Kurzweil 3000

Funding is available to eligible students with disabilities through StudentAid BC and through special programs offered by NIC. A DALS faculty member can answer your questions and provide guidance to funding. We will help ensure that you're aware of and have access to these specialized funding sources.

In addition to programs that assist with the costs of books and tuition, there are those that provide funding for exceptional educational costs including computers, tutors, interpreters, note-takers etc.

In addition to programs that assist with the costs of books and tuition, there are those that provide funding for exceptional educational costs including:

  • technology
  • tutors
  • access aids
  • note takers
  • braillers
  • spell checkers
  • interpreters
  • captionists
  • modified workstations
  • other related supports

Please book an appointment with a DALS faculty member to learn more about accessing these supports.

Once you and your DALS faculty member have determined what academic accommodations are necessary for you, your DALS faculty member will write an accommodation letter which will outline your academic accommodations and will send this to your instructors for the current semester. No information will be disclosed about the reasons for the accommodations, the purpose of the accommodation letter is to inform your instructor of what you need in order to access all the course components.

At the beginning of each following semester in which you require classroom or testing accommodations, you can reach out to your DALS faculty member and request your accommodation letter be released to your instructors. The information in the letter is only shared with your instructors and they are reminded that the information is confidential, only to be discussed with you privately.

It is not uncommon for students to realize in the course of their studies that there are barriers to their learning that are not addressed initially in their accommodation letters. If this occurs, students are strongly encouraged to reach out to their DALS faculty who will work with the student to put new accommodations in place if necessary.

Exams may be one of the components of your course that you require accommodations for. If you need to write an accommodated exam, you must complete an Exam Request form and submit it to the DALS office a minimum of ONE WEEK prior to the date your instructor has determined. Exam Request forms are available in hard copy from the DALS office or electronically on the DALS website. You may submit your request either in person or email your completed form to DALS as an attachment. If you experience any difficulty in finding an Exam Request form or submitting it, please contact your DALS faculty as soon as possible. We will be happy to help you through the process.

Accommodated exams will generally take place on the same date and start at the same time as the rest of your class. However, there may be circumstances that require you to write at a different time, such as an accommodation that specifies the time of day you can write an exam or a scheduling conflict that arises out of your extra time exam accommodation and the regularly scheduled time of another one of your courses. If you need to write your exam at a time other than the regularly scheduled date and time, please discuss this with your instructor and DALS faculty member as soon as possible so that all the necessary arrangements can be made for you to write your exam. Accommodated Exam Request Form