Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not answered in the list below, please submit the question to us through our Ask the OSD form and you will receive an answer within 48 hours. If the question is urgent please contact us at 514-398-6009 or disabilities.students [at] mcgill.ca.

Appointments and accommodations

1. Who can register with the OSD?

Students who have documented disabilities, mental health issues, chronic illnesses, or other impairments can register with the OSD. These can be temporary (i.e. concussion, broken bone), permanent (i.e. hearing loss, dyslexia, diabetes), or episodic (conditions that may have fluctuating symptoms or variations in impairment).

2. How do I register with the OSD?

You can schedule an appointment to meet with an Access Services Advisor by calling 514-398-6009 or coming in person to the front desk at the OSD. Your appointment can either be in person or by Skype. Please note that appointments cannot be made over email, to book an appointment you must call the office.

3. When should I register with the OSD?

Students can register at any point in the year, but we recommend registering as early as possible. We encourage incoming students to register before their semester begins.

4. What happens at the first appointment? 

You will meet with an Access Services Advisor to (a) discuss the barriers you experience, (b) review your documentation, (c) draft an individualized accommodation plan, and (d) learn about additional supports across the university.

5. What should I bring to the first appointment?

You should first and foremost be present and ready to discuss the barriers you face academically. Documentation isn’t necessary in order to make an appointment. Students can ask questions or consult with an Access Services Advisor before they make a decision whether or not to register with the OSD. In order to complete your registration, however, you should bring documentation from a relevant and licensed medical professional (doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc…).

6. What if I don't have documentation?

You can still make an appointment to meet with an Access Services Advisor without documentation. Although it is needed to register you with the OSD, your Advisor can help guide you toward getting appropriate documentation, or can assess whether renewed or updated documentation is needed.

7. What accommodations can I receive?

Accommodations are based on the barriers that you face. Some of the supports OSD provides include exam accommodations, note taking support, learning resources, peer-to-peer supports, assistive technology, and alternate text creation. Your accommodation plan is an individualized plan, so it will depend on your particular experience.

8. How do I change accommodations?

If you face new barriers or your accommodations are not addressing your barriers, please make an appointment to discuss this with an Access Services Advisor. During this discussion your accommodation plan may get modified or new resources may get recommended.

9. Do I need to re-register every semester?

No. While we encourage you to make a yearly appointment to review your accommodation plan and to discuss your barriers, you do not need to re-register with the OSD once you are actively registered. If you have registered with the OSD for a temporary impairment and your barriers persist, please contact us.

10. Will the OSD registration appear on my transcript?

No. Your registration with the OSD is entirely confidential. Disclosure to other students, professors, or professionals is entirely up to the individual student.


11. Do I need to sign up to write exams?

You must sign up for all your exams (including midterms, tests, quizzes and finals) using this exam sign-up form

For final exams, the deadline is 1 month before the start of the final exam period. For all other assessments, you must sign up a minimum of 7 days in advance of the scheduled exam date.

12. Is the exam sign-up procedure different for Continuing Studies exams?

Yes. You need to download the File OSD accommodation form for continuing studies exams and email it to John Veli (john.veli [at] mcgill.ca) 3 weeks prior to the exam date for midterms and quizzes and 4 weeks prior to the exam date for final exams.

13. How do I register to write placement exams or summer exams with the OSD?

The process for writing placement and summer exams remains the same in that we ask you to fill out our exam accommodation form at least 7 days in advance.

14. What if my exam is assigned with less than 7 days notice?

For exceptional situations, please email exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca and copy the Access Services Advisor you last met with.

Note taking

15. Do I need to sign up for note-taking every semester?

Yes. In order to solicit new note-takers in your courses, you must sign in to EZ Notes at the beginning of every new semester, and “register” for the courses in which you require a note-taker.  After the add/drop period is over, note-takers will be hired and your notes will appear in your myCourses.

If when logging into EZ Notes you get a warning about the connection, please click “Advanced” and then “Proceed.”

Due to difficulty in finding a note-taker late in the semester, we are asking that students register for the service no later than Friday March 15, 2019. After the deadline, students requesting notes will be given access to those available, but no new note-takers will be recruited.

16. How do I reduce the amount of notifications I receive in myCourses?

You can choose not to receive notifications from specific courses by following the instructions under “Excluding courses from notifications” in this article from the McGill IT Knowledge Base.

17. What do I do if I don't see my note taker notes?

  1. Please make sure you have registered for your current semester’s notes on the EZNotes page.
  2. Please make sure you select “Show ALL courses” on MyCourses to see the note taking page.
  3. Please note that note-taking only begins after the add/drop deadline every semester.

If you still can’t see any course notes, please email notetaking.osd [at] mcgill.ca and copy the Access Services Advisor you last met with. For any issues with the myCourses platform, please contact the IT Service Desk.


18. How do I access the adapted transport van?

The van is run by Security Services at McGill. Please fill out the adapted transport authorization form and contact the van driver directly at 514-238-0764. The adapted transport van prioritizes students with permanent mobility impairments, so it is helpful to communicate your flexibility in pick-up and drop-off times.

19. Where is the OSD located?

The OSD is has two locations, one is our main office, and the other is our exam centre. The addresses are provided below.

Main Office

1010 Sherbrooke Ouest,
Suite 410,
Montreal, Quebec,
H3A 2R7

Exam Centre

Redpath Library Building, Suite RS56
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 0C9

Find us on Google Maps!


20. Does McGill have any scholarships for students with disabilities?

McGill offers certain entrance bursaries for students with disabilities to apply for. By disclosing your disability status on your application for financial aid, you will become eligible for entrance bursaries reserved for incoming students with disabilities. Please see our Scholarship page for more information on external awards and scholarships.

21. What services does the OSD offer to students during the admission process?

The OSD can not provide any direct support regarding being admitted to McGill, but students can make an appointment with an OSD advisor without having been accepted to the university. You can discuss potential accommodations, barriers, and have your questions answered about how you would be accommodated as a McGill student.