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Maccess

Maccess is a peer support, advocacy, and community centre for students who experience disability, chronic illness, mental health concerns, or inaccessibility.

Expandable List

Our services are available for any McMaster student who experiences (or identifies as) any of the following:

  • disability/disabled
  • chronic illness or health conditions
  • madness, mental health concerns, or mental illness
  • neurodivergence/neurodiversity
  • learning disability
  • d/Deaf or hard of hearing
  • sensory impairment
  • navigating inaccessibility or accessing accommodations
  • other experiences/identities that are part of the larger Disability Justice movement

Maccess aims to build and maintain a campus that celebrates, advocates, and ensures inclusiveness in the area of disability. We provide programming and events in an effort to establish a sense of community for those that self-identify as having disabilities or as disabled. In addition, Maccess strives to advocate on the behalf of students in a proactive and affirmative fashion and provide educational programming on and opportunities to learn about critical disability studies.

We are located in the basement of MUSC, Room B111.

Hours of Operation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical space will be closed for the foreseeable future. Instead, all of our programming will take place entirely online! Make sure to follow us on our social media channels.

A central aspect to Maccess is the provision of peer support. Peer support is provided by trained volunteers, with lived experiences with any of the following: disability, chronic illness, mental illness, madness, mental health concerns, neurodivergence, and additional identities that are part of the larger disability rights movement. A formal diagnosis of a disability is not required to possess lived experience and be a good peer supporter.

Volunteers can assist community members using the space in accessing resources as well as  provide services like peer support, information and referrals, as well as help navigating University policies. As navigating University systems can be extremely difficult, the Peer Support Volunteers  are available to offer a variety of types of peer support as well as knowledge of how to effectively navigate these structures. This could involve accompanying a community member to a Student Wellness Centre or Student Accessibility Services Appointment, or meeting them on campus to provide peer support or have a conversation outside of the Maccess Space. Within Maccess, peer support relies on a shared lived experience.

Maccess Campus Accessibility Guide

Please download our accessibility guide available in 3 formats below:

Issuu Link- Accessibility Guide

PDF- Accessibility Guide

Word Doc- Accessibility Guide

Student Accessibility Services

SAS is located in the basement of MUSC (B107), and organizes the process of getting academic accommodations for students with disabilities. To get these accommodations as a new student, you need to make an appointment with a Program Coordinator by calling SAS, and then together you will discuss which accommodations are appropriate for you. SAS will require documentation of your disability before granting these accommodations. They will then generate a letter for you, which you can bring to your professors to discuss and sign.

For returning students, SAS has implemented an electronic accommodations renewal system. To access this, go to the SAS website accommodations section, and select Self-Registration, and follow the steps listed there to renew your accommodations without needing an in-person appointment.

Possible accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Extra time on tests and exams
  • Alternate test and exam writing locations
  • Note-takers
  • Special classroom sectioning (ability to select the class timing that fits with your ability)
  • Consideration for alternate forms of assessment (other than attendance/participation) when you miss class due to disability
  • Exams only allowed at certain times of the day (e.g. no morning exams, no night exams)
  • Permission to audio record lectures
  • Only 1 exam allowed per day
  • Extensions on assignments

Overview- process of getting academic accommodations:

  1. Make an appointment with SAS.
  2. Bring medical documentation and discuss your concerns with your counsellor.
  3. Bring the generated letter to your professors to discuss and sign.
  4. Return the letters to the SAS office.

Please visit the SAS website for more information.

Student Wellness Centre

McMaster students have access to the Student Wellness Centre, which houses doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors. Appointments can be made by calling 905-525-9140 x 27700.

In terms of mental health care, there are three different professionals to potentially see: doctors, who you can see more regularly, psychiatrists, and counselors. The process of accessing counselling through the SWC is as follows: Students must go to PGCLL 210/201 during the hours of 10:30-12/1:30-3:30 to have an initial consultation appointment (this typically cannot be booked on the phone). Priority may be given to students who were unable to recieve an appointment the day before, if you experience this indicate to the receptionist you were unable to get an appointment early.

In this consultation appointment, students will discuss with a counsellor what their concerns are, and how best their needs can be met. This can be done through individual counselling with a counsellor at the SWC, who can typically meet once every 3-4 weeks, participation in one of the SWC groups (see below), or referrals to outside resources. Some of the SWC groups are open to all participants by self-referral, but others need a referral from a counsellor. The SWC also has crisis counselling appointments for students who are in need of immediate support. To access this, visit PCGLL 210/201 and indicate the immediate need to the receptionist, who will attempt to arrange an appointment within 24 hours.

In addition to the SWC groups, there are a number of Arrive and Thrive programs being offered, including Pause, a 1:1 session with a counsellor to discuss substance use, Koru Mindfulness (a 4-week program designed to teach mindfulness, stress management, and meditation), and Exploring Change (a 4-week group program working on figuring out how to make changes about practices like procrastination and substance use).

Please visit the SWS website for more information.

Immediate Support

If you are in need of immediate support, there are a number of on and off-campus resources you can pursue:

Good2Talk: a mental health helpline for university students that is available 24/7 at 1-866-925-5454.

McMaster Security: can dispatch McMaster’s Emergency First Response Team, and can contact the Hamilton Police if needed. (905-522-4135)

COAST: a crisis response team and crisis phone line in Hamilton, operated out of St. Joseph’s Hospital, and can be reached at 905-972-8338.

SACHA: 24 hour support line for survivors of sexual violence and those supporting surviors, who can be reached at 905-525-41605.

Complaint Resolution

Equity and Inclusion Office– University Hall, Room 104

The EIO focuses on Human Rights in the context of sexual harassment, anti discrimination, and accessibility. They provide an avenue to discuss complaints and file appeals for all accessibility related concerns as well as hosting the Sexual Violence Response Protocol, where survivors can find support and information.

Ombuds– Located in MUSC,  Room 210

Provides impartial, independent, and informal dispute-resolution advice and assistance to all members of the McMaster community. Contact them at: 905-525-9140 x 24151, or ombuds@mcmaster.ca

We hire throughout the year for a variety of positions (some paid, some unpaid/volunteer).

If it is during the MSU ‘Hiring’ period. You can apply on the MSU website by visiting the Employment section and search the available positions.

For all other inquiries, please contact the Maccess Coordinator directly via email: maccess@msu.mcmaster.ca