Disability Services: Accommodation Process

Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are made on an individualized and flexible basis, with input from the student, the instructor, and the Associate Director of Disability Services. Accommodations should in no way compromise the essential elements or objectives of the curriculum. Accommodations will be designed to meet a student's disability-related needs without fundamentally altering the nature of the instructional program. The most useful accommodations will address the student's ability to learn, although some accommodations may also modify the particular ways in which students demonstrate their mastery of course material. Instructors must be satisfied that such accommodations do not lower the teaching standards of the University. The process for establishing reasonable accommodations follows:

  1. A student requesting an accommodation must begin by submitting documentation either to the admissions office upon acceptance, or to the Associate Director of Disability Services at the time of requesting the accommodation. Contact the Office of Disability Services for documentation guidelines.
  2. The Office of Disability Services will review the disability certification. The following questions need to be asked and answered to identify the reasonable accommodations:
    • Is the individual a "person with a disability"?
    • Is the individual "otherwise qualified"?
    • What are the barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment?
    • What are possible accommodations, modifications, or adjustments that might remove the barriers?
    • Without these accommodations, would the individual still have meaningful access to the program, service, or activity?
    • Would these accommodations compromise the essential elements of the curriculum?
    • Would these accommodations require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program, service, or activity?
  3. The student initially meets with the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) and designs a plan for each class every semester. The student will continue meetings with the DSC throughout the semester to monitor accommodations and make changes, as necessary.

  4. If the plan calls for accommodations from the faculty, the DSC will communicate a student's accommodation in writing. It will be the responsibility of the student to deliver the accommodation letter to the faculty member at the beginning of the semester or as soon as the accommodations have been determined. The letter serves as a catalyst for discussion of how the accommodations will be provided and provides information to the faculty regarding the functional limitations of the student. The letter also informs the faculty who to contact if they need assistance with providing accommodations or if they question the reasonableness of the accommodation.

  5. Faculty members are required to respond within seven (7) days of receiving the accommodation letter by reviewing the information and providing their signature to acknowledge that they have read and understood the provisions listed. The signed plan is returned to the student, who then brings it to the Office of Disability Services for storage in the student's file.

  6. The accommodation plan becomes active upon receipt and signature of the particular plan. Faculty members who have questions or concerns regarding the approved accommodations must contact the Office of Disability Services within 24 hours of receiving the accommodation letter to discuss their concerns so that a reasonable solution can be developed in a timely manner.


Some classes require more creative accommodations due to the nature of the course or the complexity of the functional limitations. When this occurs, the Disability Services Coordinator will facilitate a dialog with the student and the faculty member to clarify the essential elements of the course and identify creative and reasonable accommodations, considering the functional limitations of the student. It is important for the faculty member, the student, and the Office of Disability Services to be clear about their roles in the accommodation process.