Funding & Accommodations for CUPE 3903 Members with Disabilities


Funding & Accommodation For Full-Time York Graduate Students and CUPE 3903 Members with Disabilities

If you are doing a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. and you are registered as a full-time student, you have access to the following funding and benefits. Most of these are available to people registered as either domestic or international students. The majority of these have been bargained into the CUPE 3903 Unit 1 and Unit 3 collective agreements. You are in Unit 1 if you are doing Tutor types of work, and you are in Unit 3 if you have a Graduate Assistantship (GA), or you are a unionized Research Assistant (RA).[1]

This post covers:

  • Extending Your Program With Funding
  • Financial Resources
  • Academic and Workplace Accommodations

Deadlines vary for each fund and program. If you need any assistance accessing these funds and accommodations procedures, please contact the CUPE 3903 office, at 416.736.5154, Atkinson 143, or The York University Graduate Student Association – 416.736.5865, 325 Student Centre Complex – can also assist you with academic-specific accommodation issues and appeals.

Extending Your Program with Funding

Program Extensions
– up to 1 to 2 years, with an additional year of funding. This is for both Master’s & Ph.D. students (Article 15.10, Unit 1; article 11.05, Unit 3).

You need to petition for program extensions through FGS. The form is called an Academic Petition, also at You will either need a letter from Counselling, & Disability Services (CDS) attesting to your disability or have a doctor fill out the Attending Physician’s Statement, also at

The union recommends that you write on the very top of the petition the following: “This petition for a disability-based program extension is being submitted under article 15.10 (or 11.05) of the CUPE 3903 Unit 1 (or 3) collective agreement.” Then have your GPD sign off on the petition and submit the package to FGS.

Additional Year of Priority Pool Funding – this is for Ph.D. students. This means that for the above funding-based extension, when you are a Ph.D. student part of the funding needs to be a Unit 1 position (article 12.03.2, Unit 1). You follow the same process as you do with the program extension above.

Financial Resources

Extended Health Benefits Fund – (article 15.26, Unit 1; article 22, Unit 3) – a union-adjudicated fund that will cover costs (from partial to full) for assistive devices, as well as many other services that your Sun Life plan does not cover. For example, braces and other mobility devices. The application forms and details are on the CUPE 3903 website, under Extended Health Benefits Fund, also at

Ways & Means – (article 20, Unit 1; article 18, Unit 3) – a union-adjudicated fund that has a portion set aside for workplace-related adaptive devices. For example, voice-recognition software. The application form and details are on the CUPE 3903 website, under Ways & Means Fund, also at

FGS Student Financial Profile – as a full-time student you can apply to FGS through filling out the Student Financial Profile, also at,to be considered for disability-specific scholarships/bursaries. The deadlines vary for each term, and each type of award and bursary. For example, the next “Awards for Students with Disabilities” application deadline is Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

Federal Grants –
The Federal Government has a Students with Disabilities Grant program also at amount domestic students can get is $2,000.

Academic and Work Accommodations

Re-assignment of Classroom and/or Office Space
– you can request this without going through a full accommodation process. You are entitled to this under article 15.01.8, Unit 1, and 11.02, Unit 3.

Academic Accommodations
– whatever your student status, you can access accommodations for your graduate studies through Counselling and Disability Services (also called “CDS”), or

As part of the academic accommodation process through Counselling and Disability Services , you can remain a full-time student with less of a workload. That is, to avoid dropping down to part-time status and losing funding access (York and OSAP).

Workplace Accommodation
s – whatever your student status, you can access accommodations for your TA, GA or other contract position through Andrea Crawford ( at the Employee Well-Being Office, also at

This page was put together in August 2014 by Sheila Wilmot (CUPE 3903’s Equity Officer) and Danie Tucker of the Critical Disability Studies graduate program and was originally posted at  – thanks to both for their work!