Navi Dhanota wins the right to nondisclosure of mental health disability.
Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses
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Dear Community of Practice Members, 

The end of the academic year has blurred into the hazy months of summer, and the long days filled with sunlight have gifted us with the opportunity to reflect on the challenging issues that face us. There is no better time to consider the complex dilemmas facing students with mental health disabilities. How might these students be accommodated? We invite you to consider this question as you look through the different resources collected within this newsletter.

From the 14 recommendations outlined within the Guidelines for Academic Accommodations to the inspiring story of Navi Dhanota, a student who victoriously fought for the right not to disclose her mental health disability, we hope you'll find some thought-provoking evidence for the conscientious administration of academic accommodation. 
  • Mental Health Disabilities: Accommodation Resources
  • DRNBC Presentation
  • Webinar on Accommodations
  • Featured Stories in the News
Mental Health Disabilities: Accommodation Resources
Accommodation Scenarios Workbook

Mental Health Disability Accommodations Scenarios Workbook 

The HM|HC workbook is designed to help administrators, faculty, staff and students understand the complexities of mental health problems and recognize the opportunities accommodation can offer. Inside you will find eight different scenarios each describing a possible challenge and a series of instructional steps to facilitate an active group discussion around the process of academic accommodation. 

Learn more about the Workbook >>>

Guidelines for Academic Accommodations

Guidelines for Academic Accommodations

Guidelines for Academic Accommodations outlines a series of recommendations for the post-secondary sector that arose from a study carried out by researchers from Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. The report also includes a comprehensive assessment of the difficulties facing students with mental health disabilities in obtaining access to academic support, as well as a set of suggested guidelines for documentation standards. 

Learn more about the Guide >>>

Post-Secondary Students with Mental Health Disabilities

Students with Mental Health Disabilities

Post-Secondary Students with Mental Health Disabilities is a guide that outlines the process for obtaining academic accommodation and provides strategies for managing mental health in a question-and-answer format that directly addresses students with mental health disabilities. The goal of the guide is to help simplify the post-secondary experience for students by providing “need-to-know” information that is accessible and relevant. 

Learn more about the Guide >>>
Video Series

Video Series: Accommodating Students with Mental Health Disabilities

The video series provides information about the process of accommodating students with mental health disabilities in the context of post-secondary education. Practices can differ between institutions; however, the videos address common accommodation situations and outline ways to address them using a best-practice perspective.

Watch videos here >>>
White Paper Consultation

Disability White Paper Consultation 2014

The objective of this consultation was to ensure that the experiences, ideas, perspectives, and opinions of individuals living with mental health problems and/ or addictions inform the BC Government’s provincial consultation activities on disability. The report consists of a tabulation of community feedback transcribed from the dialogues that took place at the consultation.

Read the Full Submission >>>
Recommendations for the Disabled

Recommendations for Persons Living with Disabilities in BC

The Disability Without Poverty Network, a working partnership of six different organizations, published this series of recommendations to reduce barriers and increase accessibility for people with disabilities in British Columbia with a view to making BC the most progressive jurisdiction in Canada.

Read the Full Report >>>
Great Expectations: Disability Resource Network of BC Conference
May 17th - 18th, 2016

Disability Network Resource ConferenceThis two day annual conference was designed to offer an  opportunity for community members and educators to share  knowledge, new ideas and common experiences.  The conference provided an engaging keynote address by  Ryan Knighton, diverse workshop sessions, entrepreneurial  exhibits and networking opportunities related to post-  secondary programs, as well as employment and support services for students with disabilities. The conference theme - â€œGreat Expectations: The Post-Secondary Challenge” - focused on considering the expectations of the post-secondary experience for students, community, college and university personnel.

Our Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses team offered a workshop titled â€œAcademic Accommodations Related to Mental Health Issues: Dialogue and Action to Implement New Recommendations” that explored how recommendations for academic accommodations can be implemented in the various post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. 

View the Prezi presentation from the workshop here>>>

Academic Accommodations for Students with Mental Health Disabilities
The Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses co-hosted a webinar with the Ontario Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health — “Academic Accommodations for Post-secondary Students with Mental Health Disabilities: Recommendations from an Ontario-wide Research Study.”

The webinar presents findings and recommendations from a three-year research project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that was jointly undertaken by researchers at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. The project focused on academic accommodations in the post-secondary sector for students with mental health problems. The webinar focuses on the project’s three key deliverables:
  1. Recommendations regarding accommodations, which include documentation standards and guidelines, functional limitations as the basis for accommodation, temporary accommodations, retroactive accommodations, the roles of the Office for Students with Disabilities, etc. 
  2. Information and training for students, faculty, access/disability advisors, student leaders and administrators on how best to accommodate post-secondary students with mental health disabilities
  3. An informational handbook for students with mental health disabilities

In addition, there is a rich panel discussion with representatives from Ontario and BC who reflect on the implications of the new recommendations for practice and students.

Academic Accommodations Webinar


Please click on the following link to view the webinar. We also encourage you to join in the conversation by commenting in the working group on our online community platform at

View the Webinar here >>>
Featured Stories in the News View all news stories
Diagnosis not disclosed

York University student wins mental health accommodation battle

Navi Dhanota, a PhD student at York University, filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission to eliminate the requirement that students disclose their mental health diagnosis to receive academic accommodation. 

Read the full article >>>

Student Debt

Schools look to lessen student stress over debt loads

Canadian post-secondary graduates are leaving the academic world tens of thousands of dollars in debt and are more likely to report poor mental health in early adulthood as a result. More robust healthcare services on campuses are required to stem this growing concern.  

Read the full article >>>

Youth Suicide Crisis in Woodstock

Next Steps in Dealing with the Suicide Crisis in Woodstock, ON

In the aftermath of five young people taking their lives, residents of the southwestern Ontario city struggle to understand the tragedy and strive to implement long-term support for youth as a critical preventative intervention.

Read the full article >>>


Working with Students with Disabilities

Dr. Jeff Preston Reflects on the Current State of Support for Students with Disabilities

“The biggest difference, for me,” Preston says, “between a successful and unsuccessful academic experience has been how involved I was in my own education and accommodations. A major barrier I’ve faced throughout my academic life has been educators and administrators who think they can develop accommodation plans without my input.”

Read the full article >>>

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