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Durham College is open virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic while courses and services are being offered remotely.
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About Us
ASD Group
Assistive Technology
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

What is the ASC?

The Access and Support Centre (ASC) is a place for you if you are a student who is temporarily-at-risk or who has identified with an exceptionality to access supports and services.

Examples of an exceptionality/disability could mean a physical condition, chronic illness, learning disability, deaf or hard of hearing, low vision/blind, mental health, ADHD, ASD and multiple exceptionalities. ASC has a variety of services to aid in barrier reduction and to optimize your opportunities for academic success.

These services include:

  • Accessibility coaching
  • Peer Coaching
  • Provision of Accommodations
  • The ASD Group
  • Assistive technology support
  • Counselling
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
  • Transition support
  All of our services are provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and any information provided by you is kept in strict confidence according to federal and provincial privacy legislation.

Not registered yet?

Need accommodations?

At the ASC, we can help to recommend and coordinate the provision of accommodations based on your unique learning needs, how they relate to your courses or program, and in consideration of your supporting documentation. Examples of accommodations may include:

  • Reduced courseload
  • Assistive Technology
  • ASL services
  • Testing accommodations
If you have an exceptionality/disability and you need accommodations, contact the ASC office or click here to start the registration process.

Accommodations are provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

What is the asd Group?

This is an opportunity for students who identify as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to meet other students in an informal setting and to make social connections while having some fun!

The group meets twice a week. One session focusses on learning life skills and team building skills through activities, such as; meal preparation, cooking, budgeting and wellness strategies. The other session includes social activities geared towards building friendships and relaxing, such as; playing board games, making crafts, video gaming at the Esports Arena, and celebrating special holidays.

You’re welcome to attend one or both and as often as you like!

Assistive Technology

Students use assistive technology to reduce the functional impact of their exceptionality on their studies and to help level the playing field. Some examples of assistive technology include:

  • Reading software
  • Dictation software
  • Organization/planning software
  • Recording devices
  • FM systems
  • Accessible format textbooks

If you have an exceptionality you may benefit from assistive technology to help you become more independent and decrease the need for other supports. Assistive software is available in most computer labs, computer commons areas, and dedicated labs for students registered with the Access and Support Centre (ASC).


  1. Talk to your accessibility coach.
  2. You will be referred to an Assistive Technologist for further assistance and training.


The ASC counselling staff are available to help registered ASC students with emotional, personal or interpersonal problems. This is done through the purposeful use of relationship to facilitate improved self-awareness, coping strategies, mood, personal relationships, emotional regulation, and the optimal development of personal resources.

ASC Counsellors have particular expertise in identifying barriers that impact learning and understand the complex interplay between learning disabilities and mental health. ASC Counsellors recognize that counselling support, learning strategies, accommodations and advocacy are all critical components in supporting students with exceptionalities in obtaining their education goals.

All counselling and psychotherapy activities in the ASC are intended to be brief, typically 8 sessions or less; focused on the present and future; and geared to promoting your academic success. We utilize an integrative approach and primarily employ brief therapeutic modalities such as solution focused therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy strategies. These brief models encourage you to actively collaborative with your counsellor in a process that that emphasizes your competence, strengths and possibilities.

Counselling provides a rare opportunity to be listened to without being judged in a supportive, confidential, trusting, accepting, and objective environment. Students can access counselling by connecting with their ASC Accessibility Coach to complete an intake form.

Students that are coping with complex mental illness may need to be referred to more intensive supports as our goal is to ensure students are getting the best treatment to meet their needs and evoke positive change.


American Sign Language (ASL), computerized note taking and real-time captioning are services that can be arranged for students who are registered with the ASC and are deaf or hard of hearing. These services are available for students registered to attend any Durham College program including day time programs, professional and part-time learning, and academic upgrading.

The best way to help us meet your accommodation needs is to contact us in a timely manner prior to your course(s) starting. The ASC works diligently to provide the best possible supports for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. It is important to recognize that resources in the Durham Region for deaf and hard of hearing individuals are limited.

For service cancellations and requesting additional support services such as computerized note taking, real-time captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) for faculty and student service appointments, group meetings, tests, or appointments with ASC outside of what has been arranged in your classes, please contact To help facilitate the coordination of ASL interpreters and computerized note takers, please provide all the pertinent details such as date of request, start and end time, and room location.

Students who have not yet registered with the ASC, had their initial meeting with an Accessibility Coach/Case Manager and require this support are advised to contact the ASC office to initiate the registration process.