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Queen's University

University Residence fails to accommodate a student with post traumatic stress disorder


This case is against a university who failed to accommodate a student with post traumatic stress disorder. As a result of being exposed to a highly traumatic experience, the student had developed a set of symptoms including avoidance of reminders exposure to which would cause extreme distress. For example, he would have panic attacks if he was exposed to loud noises and traffic. In the past he had tried to live in shared accommodation but this exacerbated his condition.

The student therefore requested a self-contained, single, on-campus residence room located on an upper floor, away from the clamor of traffic. The university initially agreed to provide him with this accommodation, but later offered him with unsuitable, off-campus, accommodation. Consequently, the student missed a full year of university and experience significant distress.

When the student, with the support of the DRC, brought to county court to argue his case, the university became pressured him aggressively to withdraw the claim.


According to the DRC, there were two main points of interest in this case: it deals with the question of what constitutes reasonable accommodation by a university and also with the issue of pressuring students to withdraw claims.


The case was settled out court. The university offered to provide appropriate residential accommodation to the student at a reduced rate for the remainder of his case, and paid him for injury to feelings.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000