Mental Health Accommodation and Issues in the Classroom
Brock University is committed to fostering a community where all persons have equitable access to education and the opportunities it provides in an academic environment that is accessible and respects the rights, dignity, confidentiality and self-esteem of students with disabilities, and which promotes inclusivity, equality and understanding.
As mandated by the Ontario Human Rights Code, Brock has a duty to provide accommodations to persons with disabilities when barriers exist to their full participation in the educational setting. To this end, Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD) plays a dual role within the university – protecting the rights of the student and protecting the academic integrity of the institution.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) protects those with mental health disabilities from discrimination and harassment under the grounds of “disability.” The recent OHRC’s policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions, June 2014, provides detailed guidance on how to assess and respond to matters related to mental health or addictions.
All members of the Brock community have a Human Rights obligation and a shared responsibility to accommodate students with a disability whose needs have been assessed and approved by the Student Development Centre and SSWD. The provision of academic accommodations involves a collaborative process and is a shared responsibility among all stakeholders, including SSWD, faculty, teaching assistants and staff. SSWD maintains expert knowledge of disability impact, current legislation and best practices for accommodating students with disabilities at the post-secondary level. When appropriate, SSWD supports the educational process by arranging for and providing academic accommodations.
Please see the Faculty Resource Guide and Brock University’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Faculty Resource Guide for some strategies on how to respond to mental health issues in the classroom.