Hey, my name is Sam and I’m a student here at the University of Ottawa. I’m a typical student, I take 4 or 5 class per semester, I have a part-time job and love hanging out with my friends. I was diagnosed with a disability while I was in high school. Once I got to University, I realized that I couldn’t just “get by,” and that if I was going to succeed, I was going to need some support. I found out that the University’s Access Service had the tools and additional resources I needed to help me reach my full potential. I also got access to Ventus, a tool that Access Service uses to support students throughout their academic careers. The student portal let me create my own account using my student number, and the first part of my school email address. All of my contact information is already synced to Ventus through the Registrar. This guarantees that all of my personal information was kept confidential. After I created my account, I filled out the intake form. This pretty much asked me about my habits, abilities, and strengths, and the tools I already used to be successful in school. It also let the learning specialist know a little more about me before we meet so we could work together on identifying what my needs are. It was up to me to identify my disabilities with a simple click. I could even decide whether to upload my required documents online or simply bring them in. After submitting the information, Access Service was automatically notified that I’d registered. I was able to meet with a Learning Specialist and create a personalized plan for my studies. Once they had my intake form and official documents, it didn’t take very long for someone to contact me for my first appointment. Now Ventus let me keep track of all the accommodations I have access to in a list. It even let me see accommodations I’ve had in the past. Once I’m registered for class, my professors are automatically told to notify Access Service about the exams in my classes. When professors submit their notice of examination, I immediately receive an email telling me to confirm my exams. The choice is always mine, I can decide if I want to do my exam in class without accommodations, or at Access Service with my accommodations. In Ventus, I can then see all of my exams throughout the semester. With a full course load, I don’t always have time to get in touch with my learning specialist between appointments. I’m glad that the ”to-do” list on Ventus keeps me in contact with my learning specialist. I’m always in the know about the tasks I need to complete and my upcoming appointments. I even get reminders of when my medical documents and adaptive measures are going to expire. In my account, there’s also a section where I can keep track of the letters I receive from my learning specialist. I can easily print off the letter and submit it to my professor, my department or to financial aid. My account keeps a record of the letters that were issued to me and they’re 100% official. My professor can even scan the QR code on the bottom of the page to verify its authenticity. This way, I don’t have to wait until my next appointment to get additional paperwork. Also, because one of my accommodations is transcription, I have access to the request form in Ventus. This way I can easily place requests to have my documents, textbooks and readings transcribed into the alternate format that works best for me. Another great thing is that even when I’m away from my computer, I can still access my profile. While I’m on the go, I can check up on my classroom accommodations and exams using my smartphone or my tablet. It’s reassuring to know that I have so many great tools that make managing my accommodations a breeze. Access Service and Ventus have definitely helped me succeed in every aspect of being a student here at the University.