Instructors: Responsibilities

Quick Links

  1. McMaster University Policy on Academic Accommodation of Students With Disabilities & McMaster University Anti-Discrimination Policy
  2. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)
  3. The Ontario Human Rights Code (1981)
  4. Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001)
  5. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005)

For the past twenty years, McMaster University has made tremendous gains in providing an accessible learning environment for persons with disabilities. The creation of legislation federally and provincially, in addition to university policy, has contributed to an accessibly progressive campus.


An accessible campus environment is the result of efforts from across the entire campus, including those of instructors in the teaching and learning environment. Following the principles and regulations of legislation and policy will help meet the needs of all students.

  • Investigate “Universal Instructional Design” — it will ensure the classroom and all course work contained therein is accessible to all students, particularly those who possess a disability. You can learn more at the University of Minnesota Disability Resource Center, or contact the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning for more information.
  • Request students to meet with you in your office to review ALL accommodations as outlined in a letter of accommodation on SAS letterhead.
  • Assist students with accommodation needs including access to course material (e.g. lecture materials, assignments, test/exams.)
  • Assist students as needed with access to learning management systems, labs, and tutorial content.
  • Communicate with the coordinator of Library Accessibility Services (905-525-9140 x 26058 or liblas@mcmaster.ca for assistance with searching textbook titles previously available in print-alternative format.
  • Where SAS administers class tests to students on your behalf, please respond to e-mail messages regarding scheduling and provide to SAS an electronic copy of a test a minimum of two (2) days in advance of scheduled writing.


McMaster University Policy on Academic Accommodation of Students With Disabilities & McMaster University Anti-Discrimination Policy

Back to Quick Links



The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes the disabled as having full equality under the law: “Section 15 (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

Back to Quick Links



The Ontario Human Rights Code (1981)

Ontario Human Rights Code

The rights of individuals with disabilities have also been guaranteed in the Province of Ontario under the Human Rights Code (1981). The preamble to the Human Rights Code states that “it is public policy in Ontario to recognize the dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to the law.”

Part One of the Code states: “Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status or handicap.”

Back to Quick Links



Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001)

Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Ontario government has confirmed support to equal rights and the passing of the ODA. The preamble of the act states: “ The people of Ontario support the rights of persons of all ages with disabilities to enjoy equal opportunities and to participate fully in the life of the province.”

Part 1 of the Act states: “The purpose of this act is to improve opportunities for people with disabilities and to provide for their involvement, identification, removal and prevention or barriers to their full participation in the life of the province.”

Back to Quick Links



Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005)

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act was replaced in 2005 by the AODA, reaffirming Ontario’s stance as a supporter of equal rights for people with disabilities.

Part 1 of the Act states its purpose as being the “developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities…”

Back to Quick Links

Important Instructor Information: The Yellow File

The Yellow File is meant to provide instructors and the teaching team with basic information regarding students with disabilities, SAS and the academic accommodation process. This file is available for download here: SAS Yellow File 2017-2018.


Crisis Resources

Is your student in crisis? Refer them to these resources.