Skip to main content

Understanding Disabilities and Accommodations at UMD

What is a Disability?

Anyone who has a documented disability is eligible to apply for reasonable accommodations. Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) recognizes disability as an integral aspect of the diverse landscape on our campus. Disabilities can vary widely, some might be easily recognizable while many are invisible. We aim to celebrate each student and recognize the distinctive qualities and strengths they introduce to our community. 

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

What Are Reasonable Accommodations?

At ADS, we offer accommodations to ensure all students—undergraduate, graduate, transfer, or visiting—have access to equal opportunities in academic, housing, or student work settings. These adjustments are designed to meet individual needs without altering university standards. 

It's important to note that disclosing your disability to UMD officials doesn't automatically set up accommodations. To initiate the process, please reach out directly to ADS. 

Our method for establishing accommodations is individualized. We'll discuss your specific needs, review relevant documentation, and may collaborate with course instructors or departments when necessary. All accommodations provided will be consistent with the objectives of our academic programs.

Commonly provided accommodations include:

If you have questions or are uncertain about your eligibility, please contact us at 301-314-7682 or email Additional information about consultation appointments can also be found on our website.

Back to Top