Coronavirus (COVID-19): Read the latest updates about TRU

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Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary
Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary

Accessibility Services: Education Within Reach

Covid-19 Updates

Appointments with the Accessibility Services Advisors, the Assistive Technology Specialist, the Learning Strategist, and the Accommodations Coordinators are available phone or through Blue Jeans video conferencing.  In-person exams in the AS Test Centre are postponed until further notice.  Please email with any questions.  To book appointments email and you will be contacted by the appropriate staff member.

Accessibility Services would like to remind all students that Read&Write software is freely available for at-home use. This program can read PDFs, Word documents, and web pages out loud, including Moodle content. It includes a dictation feature called Talk&Type, so you aren't limited to your keyboard when writing. It can also help you make more efficient study notes, provide word prediction when writing essays and reports, and so much more. Read&Write is freely available (and completely optional) to all TRU students, staff, and faculty, and can be accessed by following these steps:

  1. If you haven’t already registered for Microsoft Office 365 through TRU (also free for the entire TRU community), you can do that first by clicking the link and following the instructions there.  
  2. After you’re registered for Office 365, you can go to this link to access Read&Write. There’s a privacy/consent piece to read, and then a form to fill out at the bottom. After you fill that out, you’ll see instructions to download Read&Write. Please sign in to Read&Write with the Microsoft option, and use the same TRU-provided email address that you used to register for Office 365.
  3. After you’ve installed Read&Write, feel free to play around with the program and see what it can do. If you find it helpful to learn from videos, we recommend a really great YouTube playlist that goes over the features in more detail. There are more resources available on the Accessibility Services Resources page (scroll to the very bottom) and IT Services' Read&Write page.

If you have any questions about Read&Write, or encounter compatibility issues with Moodle or other online content, please don’t hesitate to email Kathryne Brattland, Assistive Technology Specialist, at

For the latest information on COVID-19 and the impacts to TRU, please visit


We provide academic accommodations and services to all eligible TRU students, both on campus and Open Learning. We facilitate equal access to educational opportunities by reducing physical, attitudinal and systemic barriers.

Important Dates and Information

To ensure accommodations are in place prior to final exams, students must meet with Accessibility Services by Friday March 6, 2020 for the Winter 2020 semester.

The deadline to book final exams in the AS Test Centre is Friday March 20, 2020.

Law Students: Please consult with the Associate Dean’s Office for law specific deadlines.

Open Learning students: To ensure exam accommodations are in place, students must meet with Accessibility Services four weeks before the Open Learning final exam booking deadline.

* Exceptions to the March 20th exam deadline will only be considered in consultation with the Director, Student Access and Academic Supports.

 Our mandate

Equal access to education is achieved when barriers to learning are removed. This is accomplished through increased disability awareness and the facilitation of student independence, self advocacy and personal responsibility. Accessibility Services is committed to facilitating and providing services and reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities in a manner that is consistent with TRU's educational mandate and academic principles. These objectives will enable students with disabilities to participate on the sole basis of their academic skills and abilities.


Persons who have verifiable disabilities such as:

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

Students with a temporary disability (e.g. a broken arm) should first contact instructors to discuss temporary and reasonable accommodation and whether the instructors can provide them.
If instructors are unable to provide the accommodation or if the prognosis for the temporary disability proves to be longer than expected (more than one semester), the student should contact Accessibility Services.

 Accommodations and services

Academic accommodations and services are tailored to a student's needs based on documentation provided by an approved and qualified health care professional, and the extent of the functional impact of the disability. Services and accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Accommodated tests and exams
  • Alternative format text material
  • Facilitation with note taking
  • Sign language interpreting
  • Access to technical aids and adaptive equipment
  • Learning strategy tutoring
  • Assistance with applying for disability related financial aid if eligible
  • Assistance with registration and admissions
  • Instructor liaison
  • Mobility and physical access assistance
  • Orientation to the university
  • Referral to other TRU services and community resources

Accommodations will be provided based on the functional impact of the disability as outlined by the appropriate medical professional. This will be determined by an Accessibility Services Advisor and, when necessary, in consultation with the Manager of Accessibility Services. The appropriateness and reasonableness of the recommendations will be reviewed in relation to the university’s academic standards and the essential requirements of the course and/or program.

It is your responsibility to make contact with Accessibility Services and meet with an Accessibility Services Advisor at the beginning of each academic term in order to access services. We must be informed of your needs and courses each academic term.

 Accommodation letters

Accommodation letters give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to your instructors and develop a good working relationship with them, as well as provide them with information about your accommodations. Your accommodation letter will be e-mailed to your instructors at the beginning of each semester at your request. Please note: You must inform your Accessibility Services Advisor if you drop or add any courses so that a new letter can be prepared.
Please note that your accommodation letter expires at the end of each semester. You must contact your Accessibility Services Advisor to advise them of your new course schedule well before the end of the semester.

 Changes to accommodations and deadline to register

Requests for new accommodations or changes or continuation to current accommodations must be made at the beginning of each term, to allow for sufficient processing time. You must contact your Accessibility Services Advisor with updated documentation so adjustments to service levels and a new accommodation letter can be prepared for you if necessary. Requests for new accommodations or changes to existing accommodations will be considered up to 5 weeks before the last day of classes. For Open Learning students, the deadline to register with Accessibility Services is four weeks before the Open Learning final exam booking deadline. Exceptions to deadlines will only be considered in consultation with the Accessibility Services Manager.

Policy: Academic Accommodation and Disability Services
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