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Saturday, December 20, 2014
Saskatchewan

STUDENT SETTLES DISABILITY COMPLAINT WITH COLLEGE

In a settlement negotiated by the Saskatchewan Human Rights

Commission, a former student at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated

College (SIFC) in Regina was awarded $5,000 after he complained to the

commission he was discriminated against because of his disability.



Jeffery Bird, who had been diagnosed with a learning disability,

enrolled for classes at SIFC in the fall of 1995. Bird had made

arrangements, through the Special Needs Office at the University of

Regina to write his professors detailing the accommodations he needed

to participate in classes.



After classes began, however, Bird alleges the accommodations he

sought were largely ignored. He was not allowed to take oral exams

and was refused permission to have more time to complete papers and

exams.



"Colleges and universities may be required to modify their policies

and procedures to ensure students with disabilities are not excluded,"

Donna Scott, Chief Commissioner and Director of the Saskatchewan Human

Rights Commission said. "This case shows some of the problems faced

by people with disabilities. If a student needs some form of

accommodation - more time to complete assignments, oral exams and

professor's lecture notes - the education institution must take

reasonable steps to provide it unless those steps would cause undue

hardship."



Without admitting liability, SIFC agreed to pay Bird $5,000. The

university has since established a Special Needs Policy, with a

special needs officer whose role is to address the requirements

of special needs students.



The university has also instituted a formal written policy to

deal with special needs cases.



The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on

the basis of mental or physical disability.



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For more information contact:



Donna Scott

Chief Commissioner/Director

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission

Saskatoon

Phone: (306) 933-5952
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