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Queen's University

University fails to admit a student with dyslexia


This case is against a university who failed to admit a student to its degree course on the grounds that she had Dyslexia. The university determined that any person with Dyslexia,  a learning disability which causes difficulty with reading and writing, would not be able to undertake the course and was therefore unfit to be a nurse. An occupational health professional advised the university that this particular student would be able to undertake the course with reasonable adjustments; in fact she had already successfully completed a nursing prep course at college.  The university, unwilling to provide such accommodation, excluded the student from its professional program.


The DRC became involved  2003.  According to their website, this case is of special interest because it highlights a university's duty to consider the individual, not the disability, as well as its duty to accommodate: "This case is an example of a university making general assumptions about a disability and not considering the individual.  It is also an attempt to hide behind professional standards despite advice that the student is able to undertake the course. The university is also failing to consider its duty to make reasonable adjustments."


The claim has been issued and served.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000