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Improving academic accessibility

Queen's University is committed to ensuring students receive the academic accommodations they require to help them overcome barriers they face to education due to disabilities. Queen’s is enhancing the academic accommodation process by adopting Ventus Accommodation Management for Students, an online portal for managing accommodations.

“Ventus will help to create a stronger culture of accessibility at Queen’s,” says Klodiana Kolomitro, Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning). “The portal will streamline the accommodations process, helping all stakeholders coordinate to ensure students are getting the support they need in a timely manner.”

Scheduled to be operational in spring 2022, Ventus is an online interface originally developed at the University of Ottawa that connects students, Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS), the Exams Office, instructors, and other support services in the process to manage and implement academic accommodations. Ventus streamlines communication and organizational needs and manages the documentation processes for QSAS and the central Exams Office by allowing students to engage with a central hub. The interface also connects instructors with the essential information required for providing students with the appropriate accommodation. Ventus also enables students to view details of their accommodation arrangements for in-class work, quizzes, exams, and more. The privacy of all students requesting accommodations will be protected by Ventus.

After the initial implementation of Ventus in spring 2022, the project team will continue to seek and address user feedback to further enhance the system for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond.

“Once the portal is launched across the university, the Ventus Project Management Team will continue to engage stakeholders about their use of the platform,” says Alan Jeans, Manager, QSAS. “We are dedicated to ensuring that the transition to this solution is as seamless as possible for all users.”

The initiative to implement an improved accommodations management system started in Student Wellness Services (SWS) two years ago and is a partnership between SWS, ITS, the Exams Office, and the Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning). A Ventus Project Management Team has been created to coordinate the implementation of the portal at Queen’s. The project team is co-chaired by Klodiana Kolomitro, Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning) and Cynthia Gibney, Executive Director, SWS, and has representation from units across campus including ITS, Student Affairs, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, as well as faculty and student representatives. An Instructor Feedback Group and a Student Feedback Group have also been formed to provide input on the development of the Ventus portal. Members of the Queen’s community can also share their feedback on the transition to the Ventus via vptl@queensu.ca.

The current accommodations management portal will be phased out with the launch of Ventus.

Learn more about Ventus on the Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning) website.