Procedure for Students Seeking a Disability-Related Accommodation
These procedures incorporate the definitions set forth in 06.21.00 - Policy for Providing Reasonable Accommodations to Individuals with Disabilities.
I. Accessibility and Disability Services
Accessibility and Disability Services (“ADS”) makes determinations regarding Reasonable Accommodations for students with Disabilities. To begin the process and ultimately receive an Accommodation, students must register with ADS and engage in ongoing communication with regard to the Accommodation.
II. Requesting an Accommodation
To initiate the process and request an accommodation, students should submit an Accessibility and Disability Services Application. For assistance completing or submitting an ADS Application form, please contact ADS via email: tuads AT_TOWSON or telephone: 410-704-2638.
Along with the Application, Students must also provide Disability Supporting Documentation that demonstrates how their Disability limits participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and/or access to facilities of the University. ADS provides guidelines about the type of documentation that is typically adequate. See Documentation Guidelines.
Applications for Accommodations should be submitted far enough in advance to allow ADS adequate time to engage in the Interactive Process by, among other things, reviewing the facts, establishing whether the student is qualified, and determining a Reasonable Accommodation. Generally, it is best to request an Accommodation several weeks before a semester begins or as soon as a Disability becomes known.
III. Eligibility Determinations
ADS determines whether a student has a Disability and whether the student is eligible for the specific requested Accommodation(s). It does so by meeting with the student and reviewing various information provided by the student. This may include Disability Supporting Documentation, student statements, observations made during interactions with the student, the nature of previous Accommodations provided and/or requested, the unique characteristics of a course or program, and other academic information (e.g., nature of an assignment, format of an exam, etc.). Documentation of the Disability should be current and from appropriate professionals who are credentialed to diagnose the student’s particular Disability. The type of required documentation will vary depending on the nature of the Disability and Accommodations requested. TU recommends that students contact ADS before consulting a provider for Disability Documentation. ADS will inform the student if the Supporting Disability Documentation provided is not sufficient for ADS to determine if the student is a Qualified Student and/or entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation.
IV. Interactive Process
In all cases, the University engages in the Interactive Process with the student. This involves cooperative communication about the Accommodation sought and how to implement it effectively. The student’s failure to actively engage in the Interactive Process may preclude the University from effectively evaluating and addressing the student’s Disability and/or request for an Accommodation.
V. Accommodation Determinations
After eligibility has been established, ADS determines Accommodations on an individualized basis. To do so, ADS considers the functional limitations of the Disability, the student’s Disability Supporting Documentation, the student’s self-report regarding the impact of their Disability, and the Accommodation requested. As part of this process, ADS and the student should continue the Interactive Process through ongoing communication to identify, implement, and adjust a Reasonable Accommodation. This process may also involve other employees (e.g., faculty, Department Chair, Dean, ADA Coordinator, etc.). A Reasonable Accommodation shall not require the University to fundamentally alter the academic objective of an individual course, curriculum, program, or degree.
VI. Appeal of Reasonable Accommodations Determination
If ADS determines that a requested Accommodation is not a Reasonable Accommodation, ADS will notify the student in writing of the basis of their decision. In the event that a student wants to appeal that decision, the student should contact the Director of ADS in writing within ten (10) days of the written notice from ADS and identify the basis for appealing the original determination. The Director of ADS will review the student’s submission, engage in the interactive process, and render a final determination within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student’s written submission.
If Reasonable Accommodations are approved, ADS will prepare an Accommodation Memo for the student. This document identifies the Reasonable Accommodation and provides basic information about how to implement it. After receiving the Accommodation Memo, students should (a) confer with each course instructor from whom they expect to receive an Accommodation, (b) provide them with a copy of the Accommodation Memo and (c) discuss with them a plan for how the Accommodation will be implemented for the course. This must occur far enough in advance that the instructor or ADS can implement the accommodation. Accommodations are not intended to be implemented retroactively. The student, ADS, and faculty should work cooperatively to ensure effective and timely implementation of Accommodation(s). However, a student should contact ADS immediately if they believe an agreed-upon Reasonable Accommodation is denied or not being implemented properly. ADS will use good faith efforts to resolve any outstanding issues within ten (10) business days.
VIII. Accommodations that Fundamentally Alter an Academic Course or Program
If the instructor or Department Chair believes an Accommodation fundamentally alters the academic objectives of a course or program, they should notify ADS immediately in writing and provide an explanation. Within ten (10) business days, ADS in consultation with the student, instructor, Department Chair, Dean, and/or other administrator or faculty member will work to identify a resolution to ensure the student’s need for an Accommodation is met whenever possible. When necessary, ADS will seek review and resolution at a higher administrative level by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
Students who believe that they have been denied a Reasonable Accommodation, otherwise discriminated against on the basis of Disability, or retaliated against for asserting rights under Policy 06.21.00 or 06.01.00, should contact the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity (“OIIE”). OIIE processes such complaints consistent with its policies and procedures.
To file a report with OIIE, an individual may contact the ADA Coordinator via: Email at: ada AT_TOWSON; Telephone at: 410-704-0203; In-person or via regular mail at: Administrative Building (AD 214), 7720 York Road, Towson, Maryland 21252.