Academic Accommodations for Postsecondary Students with Mental Health Disabilities

CICMH Webinar Series

Click the button below to view the webinar recording (the panel discussion beings at 1:28 in the recording)

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This webinar presented findings and recommendations from a three-year Ministry-funded research project, jointly undertaken by researchers at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. The project focused on academic accommodations in the postsecondary sector for students with mental health problems. The webinar focused on the project’s three key deliverables:

  1. Recommendations regarding accommodations: these fourteen recommendations deal with documentation standards and guidelines, functional limitations as the basis for accommodation, temporary accommodations, retroactive accommodations, the roles of the Office for Students with Disabilities, etc. The Functional Limitations Assessment Form developed as part of the project will also be discussed.
  2. Information and training for students, faculty, access/disability advisors, student leaders and administrators, on how best to accommodate post-secondary students with mental health disabilities
  3. An information and resource handbook for students with mental health disabilities

In addition, after the webinar Shaylyn Matiichine, the coordinator of Health Minds | Health Campuses at CMHA BC, moderated an exciting 30-minute panel discussion with representatives from Ontario and BC to reflect on the implications of the new recommendations for practice and students. From Ontario, we were joined by a representative from the Ontario Inter-University Disability Association (IDIA) as well as the Ontario College Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI). From British Columbia, panelists included a representative from the BC Articulation Committee on Disability Services as well as the VP Academic from the University of British Columbia Student Union (UBC AMS).

Key Learnings
  • Learn about the findings from a province-wide study on the challenges of accommodating students with mental health problems and their implications for postsecondary institutions.
  • Learn about the importance (from both the professional practice and human rights perspectives) of focusing on functional limitations rather than on diagnoses in developing accommodations
  • Review recommendations regarding challenging accommodation requests (temporary accommodations, retroactive accommodations, fieldwork) and how to handle these
  • Review information and training resources for students and faculty
Presenter Bio

Michael Condra Ph.D.
Recently Retired Director, Health, Counselling and Disability Services, Queen’s University

Dr. Condra is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and recently retired as Director of the department of Health, Counselling and Disability Services at Queen’s University. Dr. Condra has taught in the undergraduate and graduate programmes in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s and in the faculties of Education and Law. He consults with the university’s senior administration on issues involving mental health and lethality and has extensive experience in the provision of education and training on the topics of mental health, stigma-reduction, crisis-intervention and suicide-risk assessment. He is also the Principal Investigator for two projects on mental health funded under the provincial Mental Health Innovation Fund.

Panel Presenters

Jenna OmassiJenna Omassi, VP Academic & University Affairs, AMS Student Society of UBC Vancouver




Nora SimpsonNora Simpson, Professional Development Representative for the College Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI), and Associate Director, Accessible Learning Services – Humber College



Cheryl SokolCheryl Sokol, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist and the Coordinator of the Disability Resource Centre at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Member of the BC Articulation Committee on Disability Services




Somei TamSomei Tam, M.Ed, Chair, Inter-University Disability Issues Association (IDIA), Disability Advisor, Carleton University

Presentation Slides
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