What is the PMC?
The Paul Menton Centre (PMC) is the designated department at Carleton University responsible for coordinating disability services on campus. The PMC works in partnership with the Carleton community to increase accessibility and integration of students with disabilities into all aspects of university life. Lots of information can be found at https://carleton.ca/pmc/.
PMC/ GSA Contact list first?/ Getting started?
The PMC can help you arrange accommodation for your program. If this is your first time seeking accommodation, contacting the PMC is a good place to start. No matter the accommodation you are seeking, the onus will be put on you to provide the right documentation. They can provide information on where and who to contact for assessments. The PMC may be able to offer other services while waiting for your updated or new documentation.
Carleton does offer some funding for this but it can be tied to OSAP status or undergraduate. Most costs associated with provided accommodations are tax-deductible. https://carleton.ca/pmc/current-students/financial-aid/
Changes from undergrad
As is the case in most undergraduate programs, in order to maintain your accommodation you will need to self-advocate for your accommodation and additional services. This document is designed to help you get started and will remain an important resource throughout the academic year.
In some instances, services available or contacts available to you as a GSA member will change when you begin your graduate studies, some of the changes may affect certain types of accommodations (e.g., extended test-writing, modified due dates, etc.). However, the PMC can offer other services for the graduate level.
Rest assured, you can still access customized support based on your particular needs through the PMC. In general, accommodations are often focused on evaluations( test and examination), and if your program no longer requires this in a major way it can feel like your accommodations do not matter.
The PMC offers mental health and time management and organizational assistance if you feel like you need help adjusting to Graduate studies. Keep in mind things are often more nebulous at Graduate school and it is important to talk to your programs’ Graduate Supervisor, Thesis Supervisor, Graduate administrators, and instructors, self-advocacy is key to working out what will work for you. The PMC can also help you navigate mandatory requirements and readings.
Link to GSA website for mental health: Healing space: https://gsacarleton.ca/healingspaces/
Link to PMC centre that refers to “mental health and time management, etc.”:
Customizable supports available
Mandatory Programs Requirements
This will change depending on the program you are in and how it relates to your disability. Mandatory Requirements can be altered to better fit your needs. For example, those who have struggled with Language-based learning can have mandatory language requirements that can be altered. We always advocate for you to talk with your Graduate coordinator first and see what the department is willing to accommodate, then if necessary contact the PMC, if you feel more is required.
None standard reading lists
Graduate class can change wildly over the course of the semester and readings can be unpredictable. If you require scans of readings for assistive technologies, talk to your instructor as soon as possible. Often they are willing to share reading lists in advance so you can find scans or see if they can provide scans. If you’re comfortable, provide them with an understanding of how long it takes to prepare your readings so that they understand the work it takes.
Additionally, if you need help with taking notes, ask the professor to put out an anonymous call at the start of class. If no one is willing to take notes they might be open to you recording the class. Online courses might already be recorded along with the chat, do not be afraid to ask for a copy.
Assistive technology and services
If you are new to assistive technology or from another institution, it is important to note that Carleton offers a variety of Microsoft products (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more!). If you come from other institutions you might have received training for Kurswell and Dragon Naturally speaking. Having to relearn assistive technology can be time-consuming.
You can always talk to your coordinator about having the university provide you with funding to buy these programs. Additionally, if you buy these yourself they can be claimed on your taxes. Finally, keep a lookout on the GSA Grants. Tech-related grants could work to cover costs for these expenses. The GSA emergency grant can help cover 500 dollars.
The PMC can offer editing services on assignments by fellow students. The library also offers numerous editing/ writing services as well. While this might be an additional cost you might want to consider using professional edited services. Using internal or external editors will require time management as it can take up to a week for assignments to be returned.
How to get started
To register with PMC, all new students should email PMC@Carleton.ca and a staff member will respond to begin the intake process.
- completion of a survey and the sending in of required documentation for your given disability. The process is usually fairly quick but can change depending on your needs.
- Documentation is important and transferring from one institution to another can be a stressful time for anyone. Documentation can be found with your previous institution, depending on how long it has been with the institution that provided your assessment.
- Link to PMC sight for more information https://carleton.ca/pmc/registering-with-pmc/
Types of documentation
This will vary greatly depending on the nature of your disability. It is important to work with both the PMC and those who are assessing you. Most assessments include a list of recommended accommodations from your accessor. At this point, you can still advocate for yourself. Do not be scared to ask for accommodations you think that you will need to succeed. There is no guarantee that it will be added to your assessment but your thoughts still matter.
Joint programs may provide a unique challenge for incoming students, but it is important that both the PMC and your department contacts are aware of the support that you require in order to maximize your success during your time at Carleton.
For example, many programs at Carleton are joint with Ottawa University. In this case, you will need to register with both schools.
Ottawa University’s version of the Paul Menton Center is called SASS – “Student Academic Success Service” and their website can be found here. https://sass.uottawa.ca/en/access.
From their website, you can start your registration process which involves first creating a “Ventus account” and uploading all relevant documentation. From there you can follow along with their accommodation steps. They provide a helpful video there to guide you through their registration process. If you have questions about SASS refer to the email found on their website; adapt@uOttawa.ca.