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Registering with Disability Services and Requesting Accommodations

University students who have a disability are encouraged to contact Disability Services to learn more about the range of services available at the University. However, students with a disability who do not wish to seek academic or other accommodations are not required to register with Disability Services.

Student Process
Requesting Accommodations

University students who have a disability and wish to seek accommodations must complete and submit an application for disability accommodations, with supporting documentation regarding that disability.

Timeframe for Requesting Accommodations

If you wish to be considered for a disability accommodation, please complete and submit the application for disability accommodations with the appropriate supporting documentation to Disability Services. Completed fall semester applications are due by May 15. Completed spring semester applications are due by January 15. Any completed application received after the due date will delay review of the student's accomodations request.

Please see the Housing Accommodations section below for more information on the the deadlines specific to requests for housing accommodations. 

Should you have a new disability diagnosis during the semester, and you wish to be considered for a disability accommodation, please submit the application for disability accommodations as quickly as possible. Prompt submissions ensure adequate time to access reasonable accommodations. Please note that accommodations are not provided retroactively, in general.

Disability Documentation

Disability Services requires that students seeking accommodation provide reasonable documentation regarding their disability and limitations that the student may face in the college setting. This documentation is essential to make an informed decision regarding the need for accommodations and the type of accommodations that may best serve the student.

The University’s documentation guidelines are guided by the recommendations of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). Examples of appropriate documentation include, but are not limited to, those from external or third parties, such as medical records, and reports and assessments from qualified professionals. For example, these documents may reflect a student's education and accommodation history, including a previous Individual Education Program (IEP), Summary of Performance (SOP), and teacher observations.

The required documentation may vary depending on the nature of a student’s disability. An application for disability accommodations will not be deemed complete unless it is accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. In the course of reviewing the application, a Disability Advisor may request additional documentation.

Process for Reviewing Applications for Accommodation

In assessing an application for disability accommodations, the University engages in an interactive process to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations. This process may involve the University's disability advisor(s), the student, the student’s treating health care providers, and, where necessary, others parties within the University. Upon receipt of a completed application for disability accommodations, including supporting documentation, Disability Services will forward the application to the appropriate Disability Advisor.

The Disability Advisor will review the application for disability accommodations and the supporting documentation and will discuss the application with the student. The Disability Advisor may seek additional documentation from the student, if appropriate. By submitting an application for disability accommodations, the student agrees that the Disability Advisor may contact the treating healthcare provider for more information. The disability advisor may also contact others within the University, as necessary to assess the application for accommodations. 

In assessing the application for disability accommodations and the supporting documentation, the Disability Advisor will first determine whether the student has a disability, as defined by applicable law. The Advisor will then determine whether the student requires one or more reasonable accommodations and, if so, what those accommodations should be. In conducting the assessment, the Disability Advisor will discuss the granted accommodations with the student and consider the student’s perspective on his or her needs. The final decision as to which accommodations may be reasonable rests with the Disability Advisor. Students have the right to appeal any accommodations decision via the University’s Grievance and Appeal Process.

Available Accommodations

The assessment of what, if any, accommodations are appropriate for a student is made on a case-by-case basis. As a result, there is no specific set of accommodations automatically assigned to a particular condition or diagnosis. Two students with identical diagnoses may have very different strengths and challenges and, therefore, will need different accommodations.

Examples of the accommodations that may be available to a student include, but are not limited to: 

  • Relocating a class from an inaccessible to an accessible location
  • Permission to audiotape class lectures
  • Allowing a student who uses a service dog to keep the guide dog on campus
  • Providing an accessible residence hall room
  • Providing printed materials/media in accessible formats (e.g., in Braille, on audiotape, or in large print)
  • Equipping computer labs with disability-accessible software and hardware (e.g., text-to-speech, speech-to-text, screen enlargers, screen reader software, adaptive keyboards)
  • Providing extended time for tests or a distraction-free environment for test taking
  • Providing a course substitution when doing so will not lower academic standards or substantially modify an essential element of an academic program

All students, including those with disabilities, are expected to meet all essential elements of the academic program. The University is not required to lower its academic standards to or substantially modify or waive essential elements of the academic program. For example, although the university may be required to provide extended testing time, it is not required to exempt a student from a required course determined be an essential part of the student’s major. Essential elements of the academic program are determined by the faculty. Course substitutions are sometimes considered on a case-by-case basis for students with qualified disabilities.

Attendance

All students are expected to attend all meetings of classes (lectures, seminars, laboratories, drills, etc.) in which they are enrolled. Each instructor determines the specific attendance policy for their course. Students should be aware that some courses have class attendance requirements that must be met in order to be eligible to receive credit for the course. These requirements do not account for the reasons causing a student's absence. Students having difficulty meeting the class attendance policy outlined by the instructor are advised of the following:

  • Schedule a meeting with the faculty instructor and discuss difficulties meeting the class attendance policy. The meeting is encouraged within the first five days of not being able to meet the class attendance policy. Students are not required to disclose or discuss the specifics of their confidential disability. If the student gives permission, faculty members are encouraged to contact the disability advisor to collaborate on a successful plan to meet the class attendance requirement.
  • Students are encouraged to schedule another meeting with their disability advisor and review reasonable accommodations.
  • If after meeting with the faculty instructor and disability advisor a student is still not able to meet class attendance requirements, the student is encouraged to schedule a meeting with their respective academic dean. Discussions with academic dean may include (reduced course load, incompletes, or medical withdrawals). Students are encouraged to contact their academic dean in the first week of having difficulty attending classes.
Disability Accommodation Notice (DAN) and Student Responsibilities

A student who has been granted one or more accommodations will be provided with a Disability Accommodation Notice (“DAN”) that describes the accommodations. The disability advisor will review the DAN with the student.

After receiving the academic accommodations, the student should:

  • Schedule a meeting with faculty instructors to discuss the specific accommodations outlined in the DAN and how they will be implemented;
  • Return to the assigned disability advisor at the beginning of each academic term to reevaluate accommodations and receive a current DAN.

Faculty are neither required, nor encouraged, to provide any accommodation unless it is specifically listed on the DAN.

Non-academic accommodations (e.g., Housing, Parking, or Dietary) will be communicated by email to the student and the appropriate office on campus.

Confidentiality and Disclosure of a Disability

Disability documentation is not part of a student’s academic transcript or record. Students are under no obligation to disclose their disability unless they apply for accommodations. Disability documentation or information regarding a student’s disability will not be shared with faculty or staff unless such faculty or staff member has a legitimate educational or safety interest in such information and any disclosure is otherwise consistent with applicable law.

Submitting an application requesting accommodations or services is voluntary and students are under no obligation or requirement to request accommodations.

Students with Temporary Impairments

Temporary impairments such as broken bones, short-term illnesses, and recovery from surgery or medical conditions are generally not regarded as disabilities. The degree of functional limitation and the short duration of such impairments may not qualify the condition as a disability; however, the University of Richmond recognizes that temporary impairments may cause difficulties related to a student's academic progress and success in the on-campus community in a given semester.

Students with temporary impairments do not need to submit a formal disability application for parking or golf cart rental (see below). Students should contact Parking Services for these accommodations.

All students with temporary impairments resulting in academic difficulty are advised to contact their academic dean’s office directly:

For other questions contact Disability Services.

Other Information

Golf Cart/Scooter Rentals

Please note mobility devices are not provided by the University. Check your insurance plan coverage. Students renting a mobility device are required to follow parking policies (804-289-8703).