Disability Resources Office

Understanding Accommodations

The Disability Resources Office (DRO) strives to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Students who have registered with the DRO receive a letter of accommodations each semester they are enrolled in classes. This letter indicates that the University has received appropriate documentation of the student’s disability. Accommodations are individually determined and are based on specific limitations as described in the student’s medical documentation.

“A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, or activity that enables a qualified student with a disability to obtain equal access. Equal access means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarity situated student without a disability. Only the peripheral requirements of courses, programs, and activities are subject to modification; essential elements of courses, programs, and activities must remain intact.” ~ Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act & The Americans with Disabilities Act

Providing accommodations is a collaborative effort by the student, faculty, and staff used to “level the playing field” for students with disabilities. Instructors are required to provide the accommodations stated on the letter of accommodations. Accommodations are not intended to alter course objectives and standards or give a student with disabilities an unfair advantage. Both the student and Instructor are encouraged to discuss each accommodation stated on the letter of accommodation as the functional limitations of the individual and the specific demands of the course will vary. It is important for Instructors to remember that what may have worked for one student may not necessarily work for another as every student has different strengths and weaknesses. If Instructors have questions or would like advice after discussing accommodations with the student, please do not hesitate to contact the DRO.

Instructors are advised against providing any disability related accommodations before verifying that the student is registered with the DRO. If an Instructor is unsure, please contact the DRO to verify or for more information. It is also important to know that accommodations are not retroactive.