Disability Access Services

Accommodate portal for current DAS supported students

This portal is for students who have already completed the Self-Assessment and documentation process.  Check your accommodations, request accommodation letters each semester and request changes to your accommodations.

Accommodate portal for managers

Coordinators, exam staff and other administrators can log in here.  Review student requests and exams accommodations.

Not registered with Disability Access Services yet (formerly called Accessibility Services)?

No problem!  Get started here.  

What we do

Disability Access Services (DAS, formerly known as Accessibility Services) facilitates and promotes the ongoing development of an inclusive and accessible learning environment in which students with disabilities can participate in all aspects of campus life.

Disability Access Services aims to provide equal access to educational opportunities by working collaboratively with students with disabilities.

Please refer to the Accommodation for Students Policy here. 

A note to parents, caregivers, and advocates

This note is intended for parents, caregivers, guardians, and advocates of students with disabilities who are entering college for the first time. 

Accessibility Services student handbook

This handbook is designed to give students both a quick overview and a deep dive into all the services we provide.

How can we help you today?

Get started

Steps to plan and implement accommodations or supports.


See what medical documentation is required.


Types of accommodations and eligibility.


Just contact us!  We are here to help.

Ask Questions

Virtual drop-ins

Have a few quick questions? Meet with a member of our team in a virtual drop-in session.  

Participants will:

  • enter into a virtual waiting room
  • get moved into a private virtual room  when it's their drop-in session
  • have 10 minutes to ask questions
  • can return later for another session
  • check here to confirm no changes have been made to our virtual drop in schedule

*all dates and times subject to change or cancellation on short notice.  

Virtual drop-in schedule:

Mon July 15: 11am-12

Tues July 16: 3-4pm

Mon July 22: 2-3pm

Wed July 24: 10-11am

Tues July 30: 10-11am

Tues August 6: 10-11am

Submit a question

Fill out our online form if you have a question for the Disability Access Services department. We will do our best to respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

Attend a Virtual Open House

Disability Access Services hosts online Open Houses to provide new and returning students additional information about the services we provide.  Please check back for future dates.



Accommodation definition

An accommodation involves the removal of barriers (physical or instructional) to provide an inclusive learning environment. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • An adaptation to the physical and/or instructional environment
  • Alternate formats and methods of communication
  • The use of adaptive technology and/or adaptations to the examination environment 

An accommodation does not usually involve modification of curriculum or evaluation; a student must still meet the learning objectives and essential requirements of the course.

Types of accommodations

Services and accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Access to technical aids and adaptive equipment
  • Accommodated tests and exams
  • Alternate format text material
  • Assistance with funding for students with disabilities
  • Facilitation with note taking
  • Instructor liaison
  • Mobility and physical access assistance
  • Orientation to OC
  • Referrals to support services
  • Sign language interpreting


To receive academic accommodations, students must self-disclose their disability and work collaboratively with Disability Access Services to request and set up supports. We support students who live with disabilities that can include:

  • ADHD
  • Blind or low vision
  • Chronic/systemic health impairments
  • Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health disability
  • Mobility/functional impairment
  • Neurological disabilities


Depending on the disability, documentation should:

  • Be current
  • Outline the nature and extent of the disability
  • Explain how the disability impacts the student in an educational environment
  • Outline the functional capacity in an academic setting
  • Provide recommendations for supports that mitigate the impact of the disability in an educational setting

When a service dog is required, the student may be required to show evidence of BC certification for the dog. The student will also be required to provide medical documentation to support the need for a service dog.

Academic concessions (for temporary medical conditions and illness)

Students with a temporary medical condition (e.g. a broken arm) or illness should first contact their professors/instructors directly to implement temporary and reasonable academic concessions. If the prognosis proves to be longer than expected (more than one semester) or the professors/instructors are having difficulty determining a way to accommodate, the student should contact Disability Access Services.


New students to SM requesting accommodations should contact Disability Access Services at the time of acceptance into any course or program. Doing this approximately 3 months in advance of the program start date helps to ensure that appropriate accommodations can be planned and/or implemented. Although students can self-elect to these services at any time during their studies, the intake process takes time and students are responsible for reaching out with as much notice as possible. Implementing new accommodations during the month of a student's finals may not be possible.  

Moving toward an accommodation plan

Three easy steps

1. Complete a disability self-assessment

 Interested students will complete a Disability Self-Assessment before receiving a booking link for an appointment with a Disability Access Coordinator. 

2. Medical documentation

The input you provide on your Disability Self-Assessment is considered when developing an appropriate plan; however, current diagnostic documentation from a qualified professional can be critical when determining appropriate academic accommodations and supports. Please refer to the Medical Documentation Table for eligible provider information and types of documentation.

If you do not have current documentation, we strongly encourage you to print out the OC Disability Verification Form and have it completed by a qualified health care provider.

If you are unable to provide documentation, you are still highly encouraged to complete the Disability Self-Assessment after which you can meet with a Disability Access Coordinator to determine next steps.

3. We will contact you

When Disability Access Services receives the self-assessment and documentation, a Disability Access Coordinator will contact you to discuss what accommodations you may be eligible for while you are attending school. This is a collaborative process where the student must engage in ongoing accommodation and support planning with their coordinator.   


If you have any questions or concerns about this intake process, please contact the Disability Access Coordinator on your campus or email

Medical documentation

Acceptable documentation must be obtained from a certified health care professional who has specific training, appropriate professional designation, and expertise in the diagnosis of the conditions for which the accommodation is being requested. Examples of appropriate health care professionals include the following:

  • Certified audiologist
  • Certified school psychologist (CVASP registered if in BC)
  • Neurologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Physician or medical specialist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Registered clinical psychologist

The documentation we require for a learning disability must include a psychological-educational assessment from a registered clinical psychologist or certified school psychologist. The psychological-educational assessment must have been completed in the last five years or the assessment must have been made after age 18.

The documentation must speak to the degree and extent of the functional impact of the disability. It must also provide recommendations on what would be deemed appropriate and reasonable and/or services. When consulted, the Disability Access Coordinator will review the documentation and discuss with the student the appropriateness and reasonableness of the recommendations in relation to the university's academic standards and the essential requirements of the course and/or program.  


We have compiled some resources that we think might help you in your post-secondary journey. This is not an exhaustive list of resources, and we know that we have not covered everything disability related. We will continue to update this page with added information and resources as we come across them. 

Tap or click (enter or spacebar for keyboard users) to expand items below to learn more.

  • -  a resource to understand some types of learning disabilities, and strategies to support learning.  
  •  - from the Transition Resource Guide for students with disabilities.
  • - Resources from Dyslexia Canada.
  •  - stories from students, teachers, and parents. 

  • - this website has some useful information about Accessibility Services and the support available in college. While it is Ontario based a lot of the information is relevant nationally.  

  • (Video) - this video is an older one but contains some good dialogue around the experience of transitioning to college from high school.  

  •  - from the Transition Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities 

  •   - this one is great for looking at schedules, time blocking, motivation, morning routines and more. 

  •  - an excellent resource links to a bunch of other readings and some apps that may be helpful for you. 

  •  - going back to school at any age can bring up nerves – this article sets you up for success 

  •  - this one has some neat tips, too 

  •  - CHADD offers lots of archived webinars covering a broad range of topics relating to ADHD.  

  •  - From the Transition Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities.

  • Counselling Resources @ OC - Counselling Services has a list of resources to help support with everything from test anxiety to Mood disorders.  

  •  - free resources for mental health and substance use support. 

  •  - from the Transition Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities .

  •  - Looks at ways to overcome exam/testing anxiety.  

  •  - This is a collection of useful links and resources about coping with grief. 

  •  - For students who are Deaf, DeafBlind or hard of hearing.  Register for their free course - Transition into Post-Secondary Studies (TIPS) by emailing:   

  •  - PRCVI has assembled a transition resource guide to assist students with visual impairments 

  •  - Includes tips on how to apply for accommodated exams, as well as study strategies 

  • - Student Planner App 

  • - Study App/Student Planner 

  • - Task Manager 

  • – Time tracking app 

  • - Blocks websites, games and apps to boost productivity

  • – App & Website Blocker 

  • - Visual Timer 

  • – Pomodoro timer ()

Contact us

Our campuses

Kelowna Campus:
Student Services Building (S111)

Penticton Campus:
Ashnola Building (PL142)

Salmon Arm Campus:
Main Building (SA103)

Vernon Campus:
Administration Building (A300)

Our staff

Rhyscia Cerda

Disability Access Coordinator (she, her)
Office: Student Services Building 111H
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4730
Staff photo of Rhyscia Cerda, Accessibility Services Access Liaison

Rachael Wright

Disability Access Coordinator (she, her)
Office: A Building 104
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4279
Rachael Wright staff headshot

Gitan Rakhra

Disability Access Coordinator (she, her)
Office: Ashnola Building 105
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3242
Regional Dean's Office - Penticton - Gitan rakhra

Shelly Smit

Disability Access Coordinator (she, her)
Office: Main Building A307
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2672
Photo of staff member Shelly Smit

Shannon Kiehlbauch

Disability Access Coordinator/ Education Advisor (she, her)
Office: Salmon Arm Building 119
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8211
Educational Advising - Shannon Kiehlbauch