Winter 2021
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Dear students,


Welcome back! We hope you had a restful and relaxing holiday break! As we continue in the remote learning environment for the Winter 2021 term, the OSD is committed to ensure that accessibility is prioritized during these ever-changing times. Rest assured that accommodations will be available and in place in your online learning and assessment environment.


To this end, our team has put together a list of resources for students registered with the OSD.


In this message:
Tips to remain on track this semester | In-person exams
Inclusive pedagogy and Assessment Design
Additional resources - Remote Student Life, Teaching and Learning Services, Fitness Access McGill

your accommodations! 


After meeting with an Access Services Advisor, you would have received an email (to your McGill email address) detailing the accommodations that are part of your Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP).


If you are unsure of the accommodations you established with an OSD advisor, search your inbox and re-read that email before the start of the semester. 

Register for exam accommodations early!


To get an early start with your exam accommodations, please complete the online exam sign-up form as soon as your syllabus is ready! You can request exam accommodations for ALL of your timed assessments within the same course code by completing a single exam sign-up form. Click on "Other upcoming assessments" and input the release date of your assessment.



For all time-based assessments scheduled on or after February 1st, 2021, accommodation requests must be submitted 14 days prior to the exam start date, using the online exam sign-up form.

Book an appointment with an advisor! 


If you wish to schedule a virtual appointment with an advisor, please consult our Bookings page and pick a day and time that works best for you.


If you are unsure of the type of appointment you need, please consult Question #3 in our FAQ.


If you already know the type of appointment you would like, select the option below:

  1. Drop-in
  2. Returning Student
  3. Information Session
  4. New Student Registration

Stay organized! 


The Tutorial Services website contains videos, apps, worksheets and other tools. They also offer webinars to support you in building the skills you need to succeed.

Like us on Facebook to stay connected with the OSD and receive updates on job opportunities, accessibility resources, and other campus initiatives!

Ask questions! 


The OSD website contains a detailed FAQ page that can respond to the majority of students' questions. This page is updated frequently as new information becomes available.

If you have a more specific question, do not hesitate to reach out to our front line team via email.

Be aware of timelines!


Please note that certain requests are time-sensitive.


For more information about exam accommodations, note-taking support, reasonable consideration requests to professors, please review the instructions on the OSD website. 

In-person exams

The OSD will have a limited on-campus presence for Winter 2021 and will adhere to all safety measures and protocols in place by McGill University.


Picture by Derah Onuorah


As the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, including the Ingram School of Nursing plan to host in-person examinations in 2021, only students requiring specific accommodations (specialized software and/or equipment) will write their exam at the Exam Centre. If this applies to you, you will be contacted directly by a staff member of the OSD Exam Centre prior to the date of your scheduled exam. All other in-person exam accommodations for students registered with the OSD will be coordinated and proctored by their Faculties.


If you anticipate needing accommodations for Medicine or Nursing exams, please fill out the appropriate exam sign-up form (for UGME students, for Nursing and Med-P students) as soon as possible.


If you anticipate requiring accommodations for any other in-person exams scheduled by your Faculty, please contact as soon as possible.

Inclusive Pedagogy and Assessment Design

What is inclusive pedagogy?


During the remote learning period, instructors have been strongly encouraged to design their courses and assessments with accessibility in mind.


The desired outcome inclusive pedagogy are to make both learning and assessment goals accessible to all learners.


One inclusive assessment strategy is when all students in a course—including those with individual time-based accommodations—receive at least double the time that students are expected to need in order to finish an exam.

How does this work in practice?


For example, for a 1-hour assessment, your instructor provides all students with at least 2 hours to complete the assessment.


It is important to note that when this strategy is adopted, most students receive more time from their faculty (at least double time, i.e. 100% extra time) to complete the assessment than they would from their OSD exam accommodations (e.g. 33% extra time). Remember that exam accommodations are based on the designed length of the exam (e.g. 1 hour), and not the scheduled length.

Why use this strategy?


This inclusive assessment strategy aims to create greater access for all learners, recognizing that many students face barriers, including disability, particularly in a remote learning environment:


Are there any exceptions?




While the extended time is intended to reduce time constraints, address barriers for all students and mitigate most need for individualized time-based accommodations, there may be exceptional circumstances in which disability-related accommodations may still be needed.


If you feel this is the case for you, please reach out to us at so that we may assess the situation and coordinate with your instructor, when necessary.

Additional resources for students


Remote Student Life Website


Woman works on computer at home


Find resources and information to help you navigate McGill from your living room—whether you're an undergraduate or graduate student, living in Montreal or across the globe.


Please visit the website, which brings together all the information you may need to engage in remote student life at McGill this fall, and beyond!

Teaching and Learning Services

Someone sitting in front of an open laptop


TLS has a number of Remote Learning Resources to help students stay on track while continuing their studies remotely.


TLS has also developed a Guide to Getting the Most Out of myCourses Discussion Forums video that encourages students to engage in discussions to deepen their understanding of course content, expand their thinking, and connect with classmates.

Fitness Access
McGill (FAM)



FAM is a program that helps and supports McGill students with physical disabilities, chronic illness, or other impairments, to access physical activity opportunities. In the online edition, participants receive a custom workout plan tailored to their bodies, have access to drop-in virtual group training sessions, and will learn skills to assist in maintaining a physically active lifestyle.


Click here to apply!

Visit the archives to take a look at past emails.


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