Academic Accommodations & Accessibility

UBC is committed to creating an accessible learning environment in which all students can meet the essential requirements of their courses, including when learning online. Academic accommodations are available if you have a disability or ongoing medical condition which impacts your access to or engagement with activities. We also offer general tips below for accessing course content.

Requesting Assistance

Depending on your needs, official academic accommodations at UBC can arrange a variety of services for you. These services include helping you receive course materials in alternative formats, view closed captioning or sign-language interpretation of course content, access assistive technology, or coordinate alternate exam arrangements.

The UBC Vancouver Centre for Accessibility works to create accessible, inclusive, and welcoming environments for learning, living, and working. The Centre fosters the full and self-directed participation of students with disabilities in all facets of university life. UBCV students can contact the Centre for Accessibility to discuss their needs.

Learn more

The UBC Okanagan Disability Resource Centre offers programs and services to foster an accessible and welcoming campus. The Centre provides access to accommodations for students to overcome disability-related challenges that impede academic success. UBCO students can contact the Disability Resource Centre to discuss their needs.

Learn more

Tips for Accessing Course Content

There are also a few ways you can make accessing course content easier on your own.

General Tips

  • Share any accessibility needs and concerns with your instructor, if you are comfortable, ideally before the course begins. Instructors want to help you access the course content, so you can focus on learning.
  • You can customize the display of text in Canvas. Customizations include the option to change the Canvas language setting to a preferred language as well as use higher contrast in Canvas to help with readability.
  • If you instructor enables it in Canvas, you can download Canvas course content for offline viewing.
  • Try to match your browser and screen reader with the Canvas recommendations. For the best experience, Canvas recommends using a combination of Firefox / JAWS (Windows) or Safari / VoiceOver (Mac).

Online Lecture Tips

  • Download any documents and files ahead of time that you know you will need to access during the class. It is easier to do this before your computer is also having to stream the lecture.
  • For the best audio experience, consider using a headset with a built-in microphone, or use an external microphone that plugs into your computer. With this arrangement, you will be able to hear and be heard more clearly.
  • You can turn closed captioning on or off in Zoom by clicking the captions option in the bottom bar of the Zoom application. If you don’t see this option, ask your instructor to ensure it is enabled.
  • In Zoom, you can “pin” another person’s Zoom video to make it consistently available on your screen (e.g., to highlight an interpreter on your screen during class).