The University recognizes that a studentís ability to meet his/her academic responsibilities may, on occasion, be impaired by physical or mental illness. Illness may be acute (short term), or it may be chronic (long term), or chronic with acute episodes. The University further recognizes that physical or mental illness situations are deeply personal and respects the need for privacy and confidentiality in these matters. However, in order to ensure fairness and consistency for all students, academic accommodation for work representing 10% or more of the studentís overall grade in the course shall be granted only in those cases where there is documentation indicating that the student was seriously affected by illness and could not reasonably be expected to meet his/her academic responsibilities. Students are expected to act in a timely manner when seeking and arranging accommodations.
If the Academic Counselling/Deanís Office determines that accommodation is warranted, the accommodation period will normally be the period specified on the medical documentation unless the student demonstrates an ability to resume responsibilities sooner, for instance, by taking on a significant academic commitment (such as an examination) earlier.
Academic accommodation may include extension of deadlines, waiver of attendance requirements for classes/labs/tutorials, arranging Special Exams or Incompletes, re-weighting course requirements, or granting late withdrawals without academic penalty. Academic accommodation shall be granted only where the documentation indicates that the onset, duration and severity of the illness are such that the student could not reasonably be expected to complete his/her academic responsibilities, and only when the medical professional providing the documentation is able to make a reasonable assessment of the studentís physical or mental state during the period for which accommodation is sought. Minor ailments typically treated by over-the-counter medications will not normally be accommodated. Note that there is no expectation that a student must be in optimum physical condition to carry out his or her academic responsibilities.
Documentation from Family Physicians/Nurse Practitioners and Walk-In Clinics
A Western Student Medical Certificate (SMC) is required where a student is seeking academic accommodation. This documentation should be obtained at the time of the initial consultation with the physician/nurse practitioner or walk-in clinic. A SMC can be downloaded at: http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/medicalform.pdf.
Documentation from Student Health Services
At the time of illness, students should make an appointment with a physician at Student Health Services. During this appointment, request a Student Medical Certificate from the Physician.
Documentation from Hospital Urgent Care Centres or Emergency Departments
Students should request that an SMC be filled out. Students may bring this form with them, or request alternative Emergency Department documentation. Documentation should be secured at the time of the initial visit to the Emergency Department. Where it is not possible for a student to have an SMC completed by the attending physician, the student must request documentation sufficient to demonstrate that his/her ability to meet his/her academic responsibilities was seriously affected.
Accommodation by Instructor for work worth less than 10% of the overall grade in a course
Instructors are encouraged, in the first instance, to arrange participation requirements and multiple small assignments in such a way as to allow students some flexibility. A student seeking academic accommodation for any work worth less than 10% must contact the instructor or follow the appropriate Department or course specific instructions provided on the course outline.
In all cases where accommodation is being sought for work totaling 10% or more of the final grade in a course, students will be directed to the appropriate Faculty Academic Counselling/Deanís office.
Students who have been denied accommodation by an instructor may appeal this decision to the appropriate Faculty Deanís office but will be required to present appropriate documentation.
Academic Handbook, Rights and Responsibilities, Accommodation for Medical Illness