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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Appointments and accommodations

1. Who can register with the OSD?

You can register with the OSD if you are experiencing academic or physical barriers and have a documented disability, mental health disorder, chronic illness, or other impairment. It may be temporary (i.e. concussion, broken bone), permanent (i.e. dyslexia, diabetes), or episodic (conditions that may have fluctuating symptoms or variations in impairment). The OSD can support you in identifying barriers you are experiencing and provide support through accommodations if appropriate.

2. What accommodations can I receive?

Accommodations are based on the barriers that you experience. Some of the supports the OSD provides include exam accommodations, note taking support, learning resources, peer-to-peer supports, and assistive technology. Your accommodation plan is an individualized plan that is established between you and an Access Services Advisor.

3. What type of appointment do I need?

I am:

  • Not registered with the OSD and don’t have any medical documentation but am interested in learning about my options and access to services

    • Book a 15 minute info session in person or via Skype.

      • During an info session, you can learn more about the OSD, our mandate, what supports are available at McGill, and explore appropriate documentation for registration with our office.

    • Attend an info webinar

  • New to OSD and have the appropriate medical documentation (See Question #6)

    • Book 45-minute registration appointment in person or via Skype with an Access Services Advisor

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

  • Already registered with the OSD and…

    • I have a quick question. Book a 15-minute drop-in appointment with an Access Services Advisor.

      • You can stop by to get signatures on forms, submit updated documentation, and pick up letters or forms. You can also request clarification about academic accommodations, processes, and policies; discuss referrals to see a Learning Strategist, or the Adaptive Technologist.

    • I would like to review my accommodations, discuss a complex situation, or get additional support. Book a 30-minute returning student appointment with an Access Services Advisor.

4. How do I make an appointment 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. However, we are currently working on an online booking option – stay tuned!

5. When should I register with the OSD?

Students with documented disabilities can register at any point in the year, but we recommend registering as early as possible. We encourage students new to McGill to make an appointment before their semester begins.

6. What do I need to bring to the registration appointment?

To register with the OSD, please bring documentation from a relevant and licensed medical professional (doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.). The documentation must meet the following requirements:

  • Be on the official letterhead of the medical professional or clinic
  • Contain a diagnosis
  • Explain how your diagnosis currently impacts your academic experience
  • Contain the signature and license number of the medical professional

We recommend asking your health professional to complete the OSD referral form. Please be sure that your diagnosis was emitted by a recognized professional (Please see the PL-21 guide* for more information).

* Loi modifiant le Code des professions et d’autres dispositions législatives dans le domaine de la santé mentale et des relations humaines

7. What if I don't have documentation?

You can make an info session appointment (see question #3) to meet with an Access Services Advisor without documentation. Although medical documentation with a diagnosis is required to register with the OSD, your Advisor can help guide you toward getting appropriate documentation, or can assess whether registration with the OSD is appropriate for you.

The OSD is able to offer a limited number of ADHD and Learning Disability assessments per year at a reduced cost. This assessment process has eligibility criteria that must be met and may have a significant wait time. If this is applicable to your situation and barriers, your Access Services Advisor will discuss this process with you and complete an eligibility screening.

8. What happens if I miss an appointment?

We ask that you help us by keeping your scheduled appointments and notifying us in advance if your circumstances change and you need to cancel. When we have advanced notice, we are able to accommodate other students. Please call us at 514-398-6009 and we would be happy to reschedule your appointment, if needed. Remember that appointments can be held at our office or via skype. Students are encouraged to arrive 10 minutes prior to their appointment. Students who are more than 15 minutes late will likely need to be rescheduled to ensure other student appointments are not late.

9. How do I change accommodations?

If you experience new barriers or your accommodations are no longer addressing your barriers, please make a returning student appointment (see question #3) to discuss your situation with an Access Services Advisor. During this discussion your accommodation plan may be modified or new resources may be recommended where appropriate.

10. 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.

11. Will the OSD registration appear on my transcript?

Your registration with the OSD is confidential and will not be documented on your transcript or government student file.

For more information, please view our Confidentiality Commitment.

12. I'm not sure if I have a disability, can I make an appointment with the OSD?

We are available to meet with you if you feel you may have a disability. Together we can review the barriers you are experiencing, and if appropriate, suggest supports and resources. Contact our Front Desk to arrange a 15 minute information session with an OSD Advisor, at 514-398-6009.

13. How do I transfer my accommodations that I received in High School / CEGEP / at another university to McGill?

In order to receive academic accommodations at McGill , you must register with the OSD (see question #6). You may submit a Letter of Accommodation or equivalent documentation from your previous studies along with your medical documentation, however, please note that accommodations at McGill University may differ from those you have previously received.

Exams

14. Do I need to sign up to write midterms and final exams?

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

For final exams during the Fall and Winter semesters, the deadline to register is 4 weeks before the start of the final exam period. For all other tests/midterms, quizzes and Summer exams, you must sign up a minimum of 7 days in advance of the scheduled exam date.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. What if my midterm/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 with whom you last met with. For administrative reasons, we cannot guarantee that late requests will be scheduled.

Note taking

18. 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 are requesting a note-taker. After the add/drop period is over, note-takers will be assigned and your notes will appear on myCourses.

When logging into EZ Notes if you see a warning about the connection, please click “Advanced” and then “Proceed.”

19. 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.

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

  • Please make sure you have registered for your current semester’s notes on the EZNotes page.
  • Please make sure you select “Show ALL courses” on MyCourses to see the note taking page.
  • Please note that note-takers only begin uploading their course notes after the add/drop deadline every semester. We strive to ensure that notes will be made available from the first two weeks.

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

Access

21. How do I access the adapted transport van?

The adapted transport van is operated by Security Services at McGill. All submitted student requests are processed by the OSD, please fill out the adapted transport authorization form. Please note that the adapted transport van prioritizes students with permanent mobility impairments. It is helpful and important to communicate your flexibility in pick-up and drop-off times.

The adapted van will only transport you from one McGill building to another McGill building and within the downtown campus limits, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

22. How do I obtain accessible parking?

  • Medical documentation is required to attest to permanent or temporary disability.
  • Please submit your request on the Parking Authorization Form.
  • Requests will be reviewed within 48 hours.

23. Where is the OSD located?

The OSD is has two locations: our Main Office (accessible entrance on Sherbrooke, or Metcalfe entrance), and our Exam Centre. Find us on Google Maps!

Main Office

1010 Sherbrooke Ouest,
Suite 410,
Montreal, Quebec,
H3A 2R7
514-398-6009

Exam Centre

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

Miscellaneous

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

The OSD does not provide direct support regarding admission to McGill, however students can make an info session appointment with an Access Services Advisor without having been accepted to the University. You can discuss potential accommodations, barriers, and have your questions answered about how you may be accommodated as a McGill student.

25. What if my documentation is in a language other than English or French?

If your documentation is a language other than English or French, you will need to have it translated by a certified translator in order to register.

Please provide both the original and translated copies of your documentation during your registration appointment.

26. What happens to my file at the OSD after I graduate from McGill?

Once you leave McGill, we will keep your file for up to 1 year, after which it will be destroyed. If you would like to collect your documentation, you can complete the Release Form and email it to disabilities.students [at] mcgill.ca or submit in person to our front desk.