Prospective Students

Note: Prospective students coming directly from a secondary school may wish to contact SAS to arrange a meeting to gather information about McMaster University and services for students with disabilities; in some instances this may be of assistance in choosing which universities to apply for.


  1. Students who have accepted an offer of admission to McMaster need to meet with an SAS Program Coordinator as soon as possible in order to arrange accommodations and explore services they may require for degree completion. Please see Registering with SAS for information on what to do to prepare for your first appointment.
  2. If sign language interpreters, CART (captioning), attendants or other personalized support are required, incoming students are strongly encouraged to make contact with SAS prior to registration for classes. This is extremely important as it can take time to ensure all arrangements are in place for the beginning of classes in the fall.
  3. Once accommodations and other service supports are identified, SAS will put accommodations in place and refer students to other services as needed (e.g. Housing Services, Library, Financial Aid, Parking and Security Services, etc.)
  4. Procedures for accommodation plans of graduate students and students in Medicine are somewhat different from those of other undergraduate programs; thus it is important to contact SAS early to explore accommodation needs.
  5. New students may benefit from workshops offered in our summer Transition Program. Please explore current offerings through the Transition Program for more information.


  1. SAS may request that you provide documentation pertaining to the nature of your disability, and how it impacts your functioning in academics. This is to help determine appropriate accommodations. Please speak with a Program Coordinator before seeking updated documentation.
  2. Students are responsible for informing the SAS of relevant updates and changes to their disability information. SAS may request documentation be updated from time to time.
  3. Any student eligible for OSAP and subsequently the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BWSD) can explore with a SAS Program Coordinator options to assist with cost recovery.
  4. SAS may from time to time request consent to consult directly with the author of the documentation.


  1. Students are primarily responsible for arranging and managing accommodations and supports. The student will always be the primary contact. Contact with parents can occur only with consent of the student.
  2. Students must contact SAS early in order to ensure timely implementation of any accommodations, services or supports.
  3. Regular communication with SAS is important  throughout the year to ensure accommodation and academic needs are met.

Housing / Residence

  1. Any student who requires consideration for housing on campus will need to meet with a SAS Program Coordinator before applying for housing.
  2. Accessible housing requires a supplementary application, which can be found at McMaster’s web site for Housing Services.
  3. Room allocations are by lottery unless specific requirements are to be considered. In order to bypass the lottery for room allocation, applications, including supplementary applications and deposit, must be received by Housing Services by the stated due date.
  4. SAS will work with Housing Services and any other University department necessary (e.g. Parking and Security Services) in order to coordinate needs and supports.

Financial Aid

  1. Incoming students are encouraged to apply for OSAP to determine potential qualification for any bursaries to assist with education and disability-related needs.
  2. The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) can be used only by those students who qualify for OSAP or those whose education and disability-related needs exceed OSAP criteria; thus students are encouraged to apply to better determine potential eligibility.
  3. BSWD can be used to assist only with coverage of education and disability costs; it cannot be used for tuition, books, supplies, living expenses, or medication. There are other restrictions as well. Consult a SAS Program Coordinator to explore options.
  4. A full range of external entrance awards and scholarships can be found at the website of the National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).


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