Access Awareness Day is back!

On Thursday, March 23, 2023 join SAS from 9:30 am – 2:00pm in UMSU University Centre for a Community Connections fair featuring games and prizes! We are proud to be hosting community organizations, student groups and University of Manitoba Student Support offices. 

Students – Please remember that you need to book your tests with 2 weeks notice for the winter term.  
March 15 was the month of April test and exam booking deadline.  

Student Accessibility Services scheduler page.

The SAS scheduler is open 24/7. Please click on the link above and book your tests and exams now.

Get the latest information on service disruptions.

How to register with Student Accessibility Services

Arranging for academic accommodations and support takes time. We highly encourage you to contact our office before you apply and immediately after accepting offers of admission in order to make your transition into university life successful.

Step 1: Submit the Disability Assessment Form

Complete the Disability Assessment Form (PDF) with a registered health professional and then call, email or drop in to make an appointment with SAS staff. We keep all medical documentation confidential. 

If you cannot fill out the form, you can instead provide the following medical documentation to SAS:

  • A clinical diagnosis of your relevant medical condition(s)
  • The name of the person who made the diagnosis
  • The date of the testing
  • Indicators of how your condition(s) affect you day to day
  • A recommendation of accommodations you need, such as: extended time for tests/exams, note sharing, braille or large-print textbooks
  • Duration of your condition(s) (temporary or permanent), and length of time you’ll need accommodations 

If you or your registered health professional is unsure about the type of information required, please contact our office directly. 

Download the Disability Assessment Form (PDF)

Step 2: Meet an accessibility advisor

Meet with your accessibility advisor so we can plan out your academic accommodations. During the meeting, we will discuss:

  • The accommodations to be provided
  • Why and when they will be provided
  • Who is responsible for providing them
  • How they will be provided

Please phone 204-474-7423 or email to book a meeting.

Step 3: Communicate with your instructors

Once we have your permission, Student Accessibility Services will email each of your instructors, detailing your academic accommodations. 

You must contact the office each term for your accommodations to be in place. 

At this time, you may want to set up a meeting with your instructors. Open communication can help set expectations, making your experience more successful.

Step 4: Follow up if you need more help

Contact SAS if the accommodations have not been implemented in a timely and effective manner. We will advocate on your behalf.

Get in touch

Assistance for accessibility at the U of M

SAS offers a broad spectrum of assistive technologies and programs. Read on to find out how we can support you.

Exam accommodations

Students requiring exam accommodations can use the SAS Exam Centre. The Exam Centre has rooms equipped with assistive technology, ergonomic seating, incandescent lighting and other assistive devices. An accessible washroom is located inside the Centre. 

The SAS Exam Centre follows the UM Final Examinations Procedure. Please note you are not permitted to bring personal items, such as backpacks, into the rooms. Storage is available. We advise against bringing valuables to exams as the storage is in an open area. 

Due to space limitations at the SAS Exam Centre, students may write their exams at a different location arranged by SAS.

Tests need to be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Schedule your exam

Notetaking Program

Students - If you need help to take notes in class, you can access them via our notetaking program. Please check out our tutorial for how to request a volunteer notetaker. 

Requesting a Volunteer Notetaker (PDF)

Volunteer notetakers
Volunteering with SAS is a great opportunity to get valuable volunteer experience, and students are now able to receive recognition on the Co-Curricular Record (CCR) for your time.

Sharing your notes to help your peers reach their academic goals can motivate your own attendance and help you be more attentive in your note taking. For instructions on signing up, please check out this link.

Sign up as a notetaker online here

Assistive technology

As a student you have access to assistive technologies through SAS. Ensure you complete your Disability Assessment Form — our team will work with you to select the right solutions.

  • Kurzweil 3000 is a text-to-speech program that reads documents to you while taking advantage of ocular tracking (highlighting each word as it reads, similar to karaoke). Kurzweil allows you to highlight your text in a variety of colours, which you can then extract into a new document. In addition, Kurzweil has a variety of writing tools, including mind-mapping and word web, which can easily be converted to an outline and draft. Available for PC and Mac.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking (PC) and Dragon Dictate (Mac) is a computer voice-control program, allowing you to complete all keyboard and mouse tasks with voice commands. Where Dragon really excels is in its speech recognition and speech-to-text typing. Dragon learns your voice, improving its functionality the more you use it, as it comes to recognize your unique speech patterns. Dragon even allows for custom vocabulary, perfect for academic writing.
  • JAWS and NVDA are screen readers. Intended for users who are visually impaired, they allow you to navigate your computer without sight, using only the keyboard.
  • Zoomtext Magnifier is a screen magnification program, generally used by those with low vision. It allows for easy magnification of the entire screen or a selection of the screen, and includes features such as screen masking, colour contrasts, and changing the way your mouse works.

Contact us to explore options


Student Accessibility Services runs the Assistive Technology (AT) lab at the U of M. The AT lab is available as a safe place to study for all students registered with SAS. We recommend emailing ahead to reserve a spot.

Location and opening times
335 UMSU University Centre at our Fort Garry Campus
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Five private cubicle-style workstations, each with a desktop computer, fan, and lamp
  • Two height-adjustable tables and two stationary tables
  • Three PCs with Kurzweil 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Zoomtext, JAWS, and NVDA installed
  • Two 27” iMacs with Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon Dictate installed
  • The Tutorial Room, a private room ideal for student training, group work, or working with a tutor

Peer Mentor Program

Our Peer Mentor Program pairs new SAS users with experienced SAS users from other faculties, for one-on-one advice about SAS programming and accessibility on campus. 

Peer mentors are now in the UMSU Accessibility Centre, 113 Helen Glass. 

Winter term hours are:
Monday  9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday 1 to 3 p.m.
Wednesday  10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.
Thursday  1 to 4 p.m.
Friday  1 to 2 p.m.

Faculty resources

Instructors – You can view student accommodations through the SAS scheduler by logging in here 

Here are instructions for adding extended time to UMLearn tests

  1. Click Assessments 
  2. Select Quizzes (or Tests, you may have your own title) 
  3. Click on the test title name 
  4. Select the “restrictions” tab 
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see a button to select “Add users to special access” 
  6. Scroll to the bottom and you can search for the students name (We would advise setting up one student at a time) 
  7. Click in the box beside the students name (this selects the student) 
  8. Scroll back up and you can set the amount of time the student has (select “Enforced time limit” and there will be a box with time limit (in minutes) and you manually can enter this in. 
  9. To finalize – click on the blue button at the bottom of the screen that says “Add Special Access” 
  10. To confirm the time, go back into the restrictions tab and scroll to the bottom Underneath the “Add users to special access” button you will see a listing of the student’s name, the amount of time they have to complete the test, and the availability of the test (e.g. begins March 16th 2020 8:00 AM, Ends March 17, 2020, 8:00 AM).

Accessible course and test content

Please review our materials on the website under “Making Accessible Documents”. Or click here: Making Accessible Documents. The Centre has excellent resources for transitioning to an online format. We are available to assist you in creating alternate formats tests, (e.g. large print, Kurzweil). The student’s letter will state “Assistive Technology for tests/exams”. Please contact Erika at for assistance. 

Faculty and Staff
The Handbook for Faculty and Staff (PDF) is an information and resource guide for academic staff members at the University of Manitoba. It may also be a useful guide for senior and academic administrators and staff who wish to learn more about services at the University for students with disabilities. 

For information relating to faculty or staff personal accessibility accommodations, visit the Employee Wellness page.

Test and Exams
You can access student accommodation information on the SAS scheduler. Access the SAS scheduler by logging in here

Accessing Accommodation Letters (PDF)
Accessing Course Information (PDF)

Test uploading 
If you do not want to upload your test, you can drop it off at 155 University Centre, email, or fax 204-261-7732. Students may need large print, e-text or assistive technology friendly versions of your test. Due to this, tests should be delivered 3 days prior to the exam date. 

Students write in a variety of spaces across our campuses due to our limited 8 space exam centre. Please visit the Test Centre, or contact them at 204-474-6213  to find out where your student(s) are writing. Students will be in semi private or small group spaces. Students using assistive technology with sound may write in a separate space. All students are supervised by exam invigilators.

Volunteer notetaking
Instructors are asked to request volunteer notetakers on behalf of SAS for their classes if Volunteer Notetaker is listed as an accommodation in the letter of accommodation.

A sample announcement for your request is below.

Student Accessibility Services requires volunteer notetakers for this class. If you would like to volunteer and receive recognition on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) for your time, please login to upload notes directly online. Thank you.

A PowerPoint slide with this information is available.

Creating accessible documents

Why Accessible Documents?

It is important that all materials you provide to your class are accessible to every student.  This means that all learners can access the information within the documents you are providing.  If you have any questions or concerns about these documents please contact

Quick Tips

Microsoft Word

  • Ensure there is white space within your document
  • Ensure hyperlinks and images have descriptive text 
    • Convey information from diagrams and charts with actual text as well
  • Use black font on a white background
  • Use 12 pt font or larger 
  • Fonts should be sans-serif (e.g. Verdana, Arial, Helvetica)
  • Limit use of italics 
  • Use bullets or numbers to indicate lists
  • Document should be formatted with heading styles (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc)
  • Don’t convey information with colour; avoid animated text 

Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Use pre-defined slide layouts
  • Have a title for each slide
  • Avoid text boxes (they appear as graphics to screen readers)
  • Add descriptive text to any images
  • Keep use of tables limited; use appropriate slide layout to insert
  • Avoid animation and use of colour to convey a message 
  • Use high contrast colour schemes

Microsoft Excel

  • Use descriptive text for any images
  • Limit use of charts and graphs; add to separate worksheets
  • Avoid a lot of white space
  • Ensure rows and columns have headers/titles
  • Name the sheets within your document 

The following links will take you to the Microsoft accessibility website with tutorials on how to create accessible MS Office documents 

Using MS Office Accessibility Checker:

Making Accessible MS Word Documents (Office 365, 2019, 2016):

Making Accessible MS Excel Spreadsheets (Office 365, 2019, 2016):

Making Accessible MS PowerPoint Documents (Office 365, 2019, 2016):

Making Accessible PDF Documents:

By creating accessible MS Office documents, you can then easily successfully covert those documents into HTML or PDF files. 

Transportation at Fort Garry campus

The U of M operates an accessible van to transport people with disabilities between Fort Garry campus facilities. This service is free and organized through SAS. To use this service, please contact the SAS Exam Centre:


Convocation assistance

If you are a student and require convocation assistance, contact SAS to make arrangements. Ushers are also on hand to help during convocation for guests with accessibility requests.

Email SAS to request assistance 

Career search assistance

SAS and Career Services can provide assistance in your career search. As you begin your job search, ask yourself: as a future employee, and a person with a disability, what do you want and need in a workplace? This should help guide your job search.

Following are some common questions you may ask in the process.

Do I need to disclose my disability?

Ask yourself: will disclosing my disability help me get the job, and will it help me get the accommodations that I will need to perform the job?

You are not required to disclose your disability if:

  • You can do the work without accommodation
  • Your disability will not pose a danger at work to you or others
How and when to disclose your disability

There are several times within the hiring process when you can disclose your disability:

  • When the interview is scheduled, if you require any accommodations for the interview itself
  • During the interview
  • When the job is offered

If and when you do decide to disclose your disability, there are some things employers may ask to know:

  • The impact of your disability on the job regarding safety, efficiency and reliability
  • Your self-management skills and how you would handle the duties of the job

Stay positive. The focus should always be on your skills and qualifications, not your disability.

How do I request workplace accommodations?

Employers have a duty to accommodate the disabilities of potential and current employees, to an extent as defined by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Example accommodations include:

  • Scheduling accommodations, such as modified shifts or job sharing
  • Environmental and technological accommodations, including modified lighting, assistive devices, software or automatic door openers

If you are requesting workplace accommodations, you should:

  • Know your needs and be able to describe what type(s) of accommodations you would require on the job
  • Be prepared to provide the sources and approximate costs of these accommodations, as well as potential sources of funding if applicable

What if I experience discrimination during my job search?

Disability is a protected characteristic under the Manitoba Human Rights Code. Discrimination based on disability, or any of the other protected characteristics under the Code, is prohibited. If you feel you have experienced discrimination by a potential or current employer, contact:

Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Phone: 204-945-3007
Toll free: 1-888-884-8681
TTY: 1-888-897-2811


Accessibility maps and floorplans

More accessibility resources

Student Accessibility Services

Fort Garry campus
520 UMSU University Centre
66 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

SAS Exam Centre
155 UMSU University Centre
66 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

Bannatyne campus
S211 Medical Services Building
750 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W2 Canada

204-474-7423 (Fort Garry campus)
204-474-6213 (Exam Centre)
204-272-3190 (Bannatyne campus)
Fax: 204-474-7567