The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines reasonable accommodations as the provision of services, such as interpreters, note-takers, extended time on examinations, architectural access, program modification and other adjustments, which accommodate for the limitations presented by a documented disability. Providing reasonable accommodations in the classroom happens through an interactive process between the student, the instructor, and the DRC.
Neither Section 504, nor the ADA, requires universities to lower their academic standards or substantially alter the essential elements of their courses or programs to accommodate students with disabilities. The requirement to provide reasonable accommodations is designed to afford equal access for students with disabilities.
Only DRC staff are authorized to review disability related documentation and make determinations about eligibility for accommodations. Students desiring accommodations in classes should request those accommodations through their DRC Accessibility Consultant. Instructors who receive accommodation requests directly from students should consult with the DRC or refer the student to the DRC. Students who have not registered with the DRC are ineligible for accommodations. The DRC will communicate to instructors regarding accommodations that have been approved for their course. If an instructor feels that a recommended accommodation is not appropriate in their course he or she should communicate that to the DRC.
Although students are encouraged to state their needs for accommodation early in the semester, a qualified student must be allowed to request accommodations at any point in a semester. Accommodations are not retroactive. While a student may request accommodations at any point in the semester the accommodation is only implemented from that point forward.
Disability information and a students use of accommodations is confidential. A student requesting accommodations must disclose to their instructors the fact that they are registered with the DRC but they should not be asked to disclose the nature of their disability. Students may elect to tell instructors information about their disability but they should not be asked to do so. The DRC will not disclose the students disability. Instructors should take care not to disclose the fact that a student has a disability or uses accommodations to others.