Many students have questions about what kinds of documentation is needed in order to receive accommodations and services at Fleming. In the pages here we provide the information you need to understand why documentation is important, what kind of documentation you need and how you can get your documentation. There is also a page that talks about your high school IEP.
If you don’t have documentation and would like to get your health care provider to provide you with disability-related documentation, we encourage you to use the OSAP Disability Verification form If you plan to apply for OSAP, you will also need to send the completed OSAP Disability Verification Form to the financial aid office at email@example.com
Does my documentation have to include my diagnosis?
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has ruled that students with mental health disabilities do not have to disclose their diagnosis to their college or university in order to access disability accommodations.
At Fleming, we have broadened this ruling to include all students with disabilities. You do not have to provide your counsellor with your diagnosis, but you may do so if you choose. There are a few things you should know before you make the decision as to whether or not to disclose your diagnosis:
- Whether you choose to share your diagnosis with your counsellor or not, you will have equal access to the accommodations and services you need.
- Counsellors are professionals who adhere to their professional ethics and privacy laws so if you disclose your diagnosis to your counsellor, they will not share that information with anyone else without your express permission.
- Counsellors have experience and expertise in dealing with accommodations issues in the college environment and play an important role in the process of planning and implementing individualized academic accommodations.
- One of the main reasons students don’t want to disclose a mental health diagnosis is fear of stigma. However, your counsellor is trained and accustomed to working with students with any number of disabilities. In fact, counsellors are involved in on-campus activities and initiatives to reduce stigma.
- If you were diagnosed fairly recently, you may yourself be struggling to understand your symptoms, what works to improve your functioning in school and the rest of your life, how to talk about your condition with others. Your counsellor can work with you on all of these issues but generally it is much easier to do this work if your counsellor knows what condition you are dealing with.
- If you have a learning disability, your documentation will be a psycho-educational assessment. These reports contain the diagnosis. However, it is generally in your best interest to share your learning disability diagnosis. Approximately half of the students with disabilities at Fleming have learning disabilities so the counsellors are quite familiar with the challenges students with LDs face in post-secondary education and may have ideas for accommodation that you never even heard of.
If you are still not sure whether to disclose your diagnosis, you can talk with your counsellor about this when you meet with them.