Sharing Your Accommodation Letter
An accommodation letter is an official document provided by ADS that confirms the following information:
- You are an individual with a disability
- You are formally registered with ADS
- Lists what disability accommodations have been approved
Accommodation letters are provided to all registered students at the completion of the interactive process. For students who are receiving accommodations in multiple areas (e.g., academic, housing, and/or workplace), please note that each category of accommodations will have its own separate accommodation letter.
Academic Accommodation Letter
- Access the letter via the ADS Portal
- Follow our step by step instructions on how to share your letter via the portal
- Valid for only one semester at a time. You are required to access a new letter for each academic semester you are enrolled
- Using the ADS Portal, digitally share your letter with course instructors
- Personally download a PDF copy of your letter each semester for your own personal record keeping. You will not be able to access past semesters after the end of an academic term
- The Test Reservation and Peer Note Taking sections of the ADS Portal will activate after your accommodation letters have been digitally shared with instructors
Student Work Placement Accommodation Letter
- This document will be shared directly with the student and their supervisor via your UMD email address
- Valid for the period of time the student will be working within that specific environment
- Workplace accommodation letters are not available within the ADS Portal
On-Campus Residence Hall Accommodation Letter
- This document will be shared directly with the Assignments Staff within the Department of Resident Life and the student via your UMD email address
- Valid for the period of time the student lives within an on-campus residence hall
- On-Campus Housing Accommodation Letters are not available within the ADS Portal
Tips for Sharing Your Letter
Communicating effectively with your instructors, TA, and supervisors is an important part of using your accommodations in academic courses. Here, we provide you with practical tips on how to share your accommodation letter and discuss all relevant logistical needs.
Tip 1: Understand your accommodation letter
Take time to familiarize yourself with your accommodation letter. This will help you discuss your needs confidently.
Tip 2: Engage early
There is no deadline to formally establish, update, or begin implementing approved disability accommodations. It is important to understand that disability accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. We recommend you share your accommodation letters after completing the registration process, updating your accommodations, and/or starting a new course or workplace experience.
Tip 3: Open communication
Course instructors, TAs, and supervisors will never assume that you want to implement an approved accommodation. It is vital that you maintain open lines of communication with instructors, TAs, and supervisors to ensure understanding around your desire to implement approved accommodations and any logistical directions/assistance that may be necessary.
Tip 4: Get support from your disability specialist
We understand discussing disability accommodations may not come naturally to many registered students. To aid, support, and mentor you in having these conversations, your assigned disability specialist is there to assist you. Please contact them directly for any assistance, advice, or guidance on facilitating these important conversations.
Request to Discuss Accommodations
Here's a template to initiate a conversation about implementing your accommodations with your instructor.
Subject Line: Accommodation Discussion Request: [Your Name]
Dear Professor [Last Name]
I am a student in your [Course Name and Number], and I have been approved for accommodations through the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS), as you might already be aware from the Accommodation Letter sent via the online portal.
I am reaching out to discuss the implementation of these accommodations in your course and answer any questions you may have.
I propose we discuss this through [preferred method: email, phone call, video call]. Could you please let me know a time that would be most convenient for you?
Here is my contact information:
Name: [Your Name]
Email: [Your Email Address]
Phone: [Your Phone Number]
I appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter, and I look forward to our discussion.
If you have approved testing accommodations, remember to book your exams at least one (1) week in advance. You can reserve your spot for every test, quiz, midterm, and final exam as early as the first day of classes each semester.
Note Taking Accommodations
Note taking accommodations may vary based on the design of an academic course. You should take an active role in communicating with the ADS Note Taking Team to ensure a smooth implementation of your note taking accommodations. Please contact email@example.com for assistance as needed.
For Communication Access Services (CAS) accommodations (e.g., interpreting, transcribing, captioning), share your schedule and service preferences with CAS each semester. Notify them at least six (6) weeks in advance for ongoing requests. For questions about CAS accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Text Accommodations
If you've been approved for an alternate format of text materials accommodation, complete the Alternate Textbook Request Form each semester. To ensure ample time for text conversion, it is recommended to submit this form at least four (4) to six (6) weeks before the first day of classes. If you need any assistance, please contact email@example.com.