Shared Responsibility to Accommodate Students
At the University of Maryland, our campus community has a joint, shared responsibility to accommodate students with disabilities to ensure equal access across all aspects of their university experience. The ADS team partners with faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure a smooth implementation process.
If you have any questions or concerns about implementing accommodations, please contact ADS to engage in a consultation.
The Accommodations Process
To qualify for accommodations based on disability, both graduate and undergraduate students must satisfy the eligibility standards to register with ADS. This involves an interactive procedure to determine eligibility, incorporating the review of supporting documents, and discussions with the student who is seeking accommodations. For certain accommodations, consultations with faculty or department administrators may be necessary to evaluate the impact of the accommodation on the essential elements and fundamental requirements of the course/program, along with the logistical requirements needed to apply an approved accommodation. Once an accommodation is approved, students are provided with a formal letter detailing all authorized accommodations, which can be shared with their course instructors, academic advisers, administrators, and/or workplace supervisors.
Students can register with ADS and request accommodations anytime during the year. Faculty and staff should anticipate both undergraduate and graduate students discussing disability needs at any point. If disclosed after a semester starts, accommodations apply from that date onward.
The basic overview of the accommodation/interactive process is outlined below:
- Students disclose their disability and register with ADS for accommodations.
- Disability specialists evaluate if the request is appropriate based on the disability and the course/program/workplace context.
- If accommodations might alter essential course, program, or workplace/position responsibilities, disability specialists consult with faculty, staff, and department heads. They may also consult on the logistics of implementing approved accommodations.
- Once finalized, a formal accommodation letter is provided detailing approved accommodations.
Note: Not every accommodation request necessitates collaboration between faculty and disability specialists.
Important: Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. Faculty, staff, and administrators are encouraged to consult a disability specialist with any questions or concerns.
An accessible syllabus statement promotes inclusive teaching and communicates the resources and accommodations available to students.
“The University of Maryland is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. The University of Maryland is also committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination. The Accessibility & Disability Service (ADS) provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals to provide equal access to services, programs and activities. ADS cannot assist retroactively, so it is generally best to request accommodations several weeks before the semester begins or as soon as a disability becomes known. Any student who needs accommodations should contact me as soon as possible so that I have sufficient time to make arrangements.
For assistance in obtaining an accommodation, contact Accessibility and Disability Service at 301-314-7682, or email them at email@example.com. Information about sharing your accommodation letter, discussing accommodation logistics and getting assistance from ADS staff and more can be found on the ADS website."
Your Role in the Student Disclosure Process
Students with approved academic accommodations aren't obligated to use them. However, once they decide to utilize these, they should talk with course instructors about implementation logistics. As an instructor, when you receive a student's accommodation letter, familiarize yourself with its contents before meeting the student. If you find that the accommodations impact essential course objectives, please reach out to the disability specialist listed in the letter.
Students may not always be aware of their workplace disability accommodation needs before starting a job, internship, clinical rotations, or fieldwork. If you supervise a student in any capacity and recognize a potential need for accommodations, immediately refer them to ADS. Our disability specialists facilitate an interactive/collaborative discussion with both parties regarding the logistics and expectations of these accommodations. Both the student and supervisor will receive a detailed accommodation letter. For any further questions or concerns about workplace accommodations, contact a disability specialist.