News Release - May 14, 1999
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
"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
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.
For more information contact:
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Phone: (306) 933-5952