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Disability Services and Support

Policies

Disclosing a Disability

Effective July 2019
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and require the University to make reasonable accommodations for those otherwise qualified individuals with a disability who request accommodations. A reasonable academic accommodation is an auxiliary aid, modification or adjustment that allows an individual to gain equal access and have equal opportunity to participate in the University's courses, services, activities and use of the facilities. The University is not obligated to provide an accommodation that imposes an undue burden or requires a fundamental alteration in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of a program. Students requesting reasonable accommodations must do so by registering with the access coordinator at their respective schools in a timely manner. Students shall also be required to provide documentation of their disability that 1) meets the University of Rochester’s established guidelines for documentation of a disability, and 2) demonstrates or documents how their disability functionally impacts their participation in courses, programs, jobs, activities and/or the use of facilities at the University.

Procedure for Requesting Academic Accommodations

  1. The student completes an online application to request accommodations.

  2. Once the application is submitted, the Office of Disability Resources ("ODR") contacts the student to schedule an intake interview with his or her respective access coordinator.

  3. The access coordinator and the student discuss the student’s disability and the impact it has on learning. The student and the access coordinator discuss what reasonable accommodations the student is requesting.

  4. All students are required to submit documentation of their disability pursuant to University of Rochester documentation guidelines as part of the intake process. The process of determining reasonable accommodations is collaborative among the student, the access coordinator, the qualified professional with knowledge of the student's disability, and the course instructor or program director, if necessary.

  5. If accommodations are granted, a notification of accommodations letter will be issued to the instructors of courses in which accommodations have been requested.

  6. Students are responsible for initiating requests for accommodations in their classes each term.

  7. Students may use the formal or informal process for dispute resolution, if they dispute the decision of the ODR.

Resolving a Dispute

The University provides both informal and formal processes to attempt to resolve disputes.

Informal Process

  1. In instances where there is a dispute, the student, instructor, University administrative staff, and/or the access coordinator will make every effort to resolve the disagreement.

  2. If a resolution cannot be reached, the student, instructor, or University administrative staff may seek informal resolution by submitting a Request for Review of the disputed decision to the University of Rochester Director of Disability Compliance. The Director of Disability Compliance will attempt to resolve the dispute.

  3. If the dispute cannot be resolved the Director of Disability Compliance will convene the Eligibility Assessment Committee within seven (7) working days of receiving the Request for Review.

  4. The Committee will review the Request for Review and any additional relevant information from University personnel in order to render a decision within ten (10) working days from the date of receiving the Request for Review.

  5. If the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the Committee, a formal grievance must be filed under the Section 504/ADA - Grievance Procedure.

  6. While a Request for Review is under consideration, the instructor will provide the reasonable accommodation as indicated by the access coordinator.

    Eligibility Assessment Committee

    The Eligibility Assessment Committee is appointed by the Director of Disability Compliance. This committee serves as a resource for faculty, academic administrators and University students, on a case-by-case basis, in resolving disagreements that arise concerning requests for academic accommodations. The access coordinators will provide general information regarding determination and implementation of accommodations. The Dean or designated representative of the Department offering the course(s) in which the accommodation is requested may be asked to provide information to the committee.

Formal Process – Section 504/ADA Grievance Procedure

The University's formal grievance procedure for challenging a decision regarding accommodations is Policy 106 - Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment. The University also strongly encourages individuals to attempt to resolve issues informally, though the informal process need not be pursued prior to filing a formal grievance.

Confidentiality and Release of Information

  1. The University of Rochester recognizes that student disability records contain confidential information and are to be treated as such as described below. Documentation of a student’s disability is maintained in a confidential file kept separate from the school’s official academic file. Disability-related records, however, are generally “education records” under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Accordingly, information related to a disability will only be disclosed to those University employees who need to know the information as part of the accommodation process or as otherwise permitted by the University’s student records policy and applicable law.

  2. Students may request access to their disability files by submitting a written request to the access coordinator. Access will be granted as provided in the student records policy.

University of Rochester Rights and Responsibilities

The University of Rochester has the right to:

  • Request and receive current documentation that identifies the existence of a disability and justifies that the requested accommodation is reasonable.

  • Suggest appropriate and reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services based upon documentation submitted to the access coordinators.

  • Establish essential requirements and standards for courses, programs, services or activities at the University of Rochester.

  • Provide adjustments or auxiliary aids and services that are equally effective as the specific ones requested.

  • Deny an accommodation, adjustment or auxiliary aid that fundamentally alters a course, program or activity, or poses an undue burden or direct threat to health or safety

The University of Rochester has the responsibility to:

  • Review submitted documentation without bias and seek appropriate relevant professional expertise when necessary.

  • Confer with the student and other relevant parties when determining accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Provide information in accessible formats upon request.

  • Respond to requests in a timely basis.

  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of documentation and information

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Students with disabilities at the University of Rochester have the right to:

  • An equal opportunity to access the courses, programs, services and activities at the University of Rochester.

  • Request reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Appropriate confidentiality of information regarding their disability, except as disclosures are required or permitted by law.

Students with disabilities at the University of Rochester who receive reasonable accommodations have the responsibility to:

  • Maintain institutional standards for academic performance and conduct.

  • Follow published procedures for requesting accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.

  • Provide appropriate documentation of a disability including the functional limitation(s) of the disability and its impact on the access to and participation in courses, programs, services and activities at the University of Rochester.

  • Request academic accommodations for each term the student is registered.

Contact Us

Office of Disability Resources 
Student Disability Services
Amy Wight, Director
Taylor Hall
585-276-5075
disability@rochester.edu

 

Lynnett Van Slyke
University Intercessor and Director of Disability Compliance
36 Wallis Hall
585-275-9125
l.vanslyke@rochester.edu