The British Columbia Human Rights Code makes it clear that the College must not deny a service customarily available to the public or discriminate against any person or group on the basis of religion. Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees, within certain limits, a fundamental freedom of religion. To ensure these freedoms and to protect against discrimination, Langara College implemented the Human Rights policy (B3008). This policy promotes a climate of understanding and mutual respect, and prevents discrimination, harassment and differential treatment based on one or more of the protected grounds.
In keeping with the intentions of our Human Rights policy and the law, the College has established the following guidelines for the Accommodation of Religious and Spiritual Practice.
Responsibilities in the accommodation process
Accommodation is a collaboration between the requester and the College. It is achieved through cooperation and communication. Both parties have responsibilities in the accommodation process.
- The requester must make a timely request with sufficient notice so that the request can be considered and implemented before it is needed.
- The requester must provide sufficient information about the request so as to aid understanding, and must provide suggestions as to the kind of accommodation requested. This could include dates/times of anticipated absences, exemption from certain activities, access to certain resources etc.
- The receiver of the request must give full and fair consideration to the request, and ascertain how the request might be implemented. A requester is not normally required to provide “proof” of religious or spiritual observance, although it may be requested in certain circumstance.
- The receiver is encouraged to discuss the request with the requester to obtain more information, explore options and come to an agreement.
- A person seeking accommodation has a duty to accept a reasonable accommodation, even if it is not exactly what is wanted.
- The receiver is required to implement the accommodation, and confirm the accommodation in writing if possible.
- The receiver must seek expert advice if the request appears highly unusual, excessively challenging or untenable.
- The requester must notify the receiver if needs change or if the accommodation is no longer needed. Both the requester and receiver must be willing to review and modify the accommodation agreement if circumstances change or if the agreement is no longer working.
Regardless of any accommodation that is implemented, students must meet the essential requirements of the course or program.
Steps to request and obtain accommodation for religious or spiritual practice
- Inform your instructor about the need for accommodation, preferably in writing as early as possible. For students, this would be within the first two weeks of classes. Include the following information.
- Explain with sufficient detail to aid understanding, why accommodation is required.
- If appropraite, support the request for accommodation with written information from a reliable source about the specific religious or spiritual needs or practices needing accommodation.
- Suggest appropriate accommodation measures.
- Indicate how long accommodation will be required.
- Allow a reasonable amount of time for your instructor to reply to your request for accommodation.
- Listen to and consider any reasonable accommodation options that your instructor proposes.
- When agreement is reached, ask your instructor to write down the terms of the accommodation.
- Cooperate to make the agreement work.
- Advise your instructor as early as possible if your accommodation needs to change.
- Tell your instructor if the need for accommodation ends.
Exam accommodations for students
Except in unforeseen circumstances, students seeking accommodation for religious or spiritual practice in the form of an absence from the exam, must submit a formal request to the course instructor as soon as exam schedules are made available. Forms for this purpose are available on‐line. Students must submit a separate form for each course in which exam accommodation is requested.
For students who are registered with Disability Services and have approved exam accommodations, please consult with Disability Services to discuss/facilitate possible exam rescheduling.
For the complete Guidelines click here.