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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Our staff work collaboratively with students to determine appropriate accommodations. Where appropriate, staff and students work in conjunction with faculty, community and campus resources to develop and implement an individualized plan.

There are no costs to students registering with the Accessible Learning Centre (ALC). At times, there may be a cost associated with certain accommodations (e.g. purchasing technology for home use, tutoring, updated documentation, etc.). Students can discuss potential funding options with their disability consultant.


Transition Tips for Families

Congratulations on your hard work in getting your student to this point in his or her academic career. We highly encourage you to communicate with your student to learn about his or her journey with the ALC and ask for your patience in understanding that the ALC is obligated to treat students’ personal information as private and confidential.

Families provide an important element of stability at a time when many things are in a state of change for your student, and we welcome the opportunity to provide you with helpful information to support the transition process.

University Landscape

Under the Human Rights Code, universities are mandated to have accessible learning offices on campus to ensure access to accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The ALC offers accommodations often similar to those in high school, however there are some important distinctions:

  • Supports are mandated by Federal and Provincial Human Rights Legislation rather than the Education Act.
  • Personal information is protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). All documentation, communication, and student records are confidential and information is not shared freely with families.
  • ALC registration does not appear on any official Laurier documentation and limited information is provided to faculty.
  • Accommodations do not guarantee success; our role is to level the playing field by collaboratively removing barriers rather than modifying academic expectations/requirements.

Supportive Strategies

We recognize that the transition to university is not just for students; families also experience changes in their roles. We hope the following key strategies will assist you in helping your student achieve a smooth transition to university.

  • Ask questions to demonstrate interest in your student’s experience and investment in his or her success while respecting your student's autonomy.
  • Offer coaching to further develop skills needed to foster independence and a healthy identity, such as self-advocacy, tenacity, personal insight, problem solving and organization.
  • Show compassion for obstacles and upsets, because these can serve as essential learning opportunities that allow students to further develop their resiliency and self-confidence.
  • Be flexible when plans change. It is common for students to take a reduced course load or change academic programs, which can often lead to increased engagement, motivation and success.
  • Build capacity for problem solving by encouraging your student to reflect on challenges and help him or her identify solutions or resources to support your student in the future.

Transition Process and Expectations

The transition to becoming an independent adult is emotionally charged for many young people and their families. Layering in a disability can sometimes make it even more challenging. We encourage families to stay engaged and practice self-compassion throughout the process.

A central issue during this transition is figuring out how expressions of support and being needed have changed in your relationships, and shifting to new ways of demonstrating support. Transitioning from “doing for” to “offering encouragement” invites a change in perspective.

  • Don't: Check or respond to emails on behalf of your student.
  • Do: Encourage daily email checking and teach professional communication skills.
  • Don't: Choose courses for your student.
  • Do: Engage in conversation about areas of interest.
  • Don't: Call on behalf of your student.
  • Do: Discuss concerns, formulate questions, and encourage outreach as the ALC prioritizes returning student calls over parent/family calls.
  • Don't: Advocate on behalf of your student.
  • Do: Help your student to find his or her voice.

We find that "doing for" can undermine students' self-confidence, and limit their growth in taking responsibility for their own affairs.

Coach your student on how to express his or her needs, remind your student to book an appointment if he or she has a concern, or teach your student how to craft an email to a professor.


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