Student Resources

Disability Services Student Portal

University of Richmond students are welcome to interact with our office virtually through our Disability Services Student Portal. User guidance for each portal module is available below. 

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Disability Services Campus Partners

Student are encourages to utilize the following resources managed by our campus partners.
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  • Academic
    • Academic Advising Resource Center: The Academic Advising Resource Center at the University of Richmond provides support to advisors and advisees in the School of Arts & Sciences, the Robins School of Business, and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.
    • Academic Skills Center: The Academic Skills Center provides University of Richmond students with support that will enhance their academic experience and personal development. The Center assists students in understanding and learning ways to improve their cognitive skills, thus maximizing their collegiate experience.
    • Boatwright Memorial Library: The Boatwright Memorial Library strives to provide University of Richmond students, faculty, and staff with information resources and services that enable them to excel in their academic and intellectual pursuits.
    • Speech Center: The Weinstein-Jecklin Speech Center offers assistance to those who wish to pursue effective speaking and articulate behavior across academic disciplines.
    • Writing Center: The Writing Center assists writers at all levels of experience, across all majors. Students can schedule appointments with trained Writing Consultants who offer friendly critiques of written work.
  • Dining
    • Edible BytesEdible Bytes is a nutrition app that will display the nutrition facts label, ingredient lists and allergens for all of the food made on campus at the different cash operations and the Heilman Dining Center.
    • Nutrition Counseling: The University of Richmond offers free and confidential nutrition counseling and nutrition assistance, available to all students, faculty, and staff. If you need help with weight gain, weight loss, food allergies, eating disorders, special diets, medical disorders, diabetes, deciding what is healthy, or need other nutrition advice, please feel free to take advantage of the special service.
  • Health & Well-being Unit

    The Health & Well-being Unit’s mission is to create and sustain a culture and community of health and well-being that supports and enhances lifelong learning that helps all individuals reach their full potential.

    • Counseling & Psychological ServicesCounseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the University of Richmond offers a wide range of short-term services to currently enrolled, full-time, degree-seeking students, (as well as full-time undergraduate visiting students living on-campus; e.g., exchange students) at the University of Richmond. Over one third of UR students use CAPS services at least once before they graduate. CAPS is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS).
    • Health Promotion: We support a holistic approach to the health and wellness of students, faculty, staff, and community members. We frequently partner with campus-wide departments to offer educational programming and prevention services, while creating and building community. Our prevention and educational approach to health and wellness focuses on changing behaviors, healthy lifestyle choices, and creating a unified culture to educate the campus community on the lifelong benefits of maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.
    • Student Health Center: The Student Health Center provides evaluation and treatment for illnesses and injuries, assistance in managing chronic disease and offers comprehensive program in health education and health maintenance. Our staff of board-certified physicians, nurse practitioner and registered nurses are experienced in the care of young adults.
    • University RecreationUniversity Recreation enhances the lives of its members by providing quality recreational and educational programs in an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles, academic productivity, and personal growth.
  • Housing

    The mission of the Office of Residence Life and Housing is to foster community by celebrating the individual student through the encouragement of personal growth and development that embraces inclusion, encourages responsible leadership, and promotes an intellectual community.

    • Area Coordinators: Area Coordinators have primary responsibility for the management of undergraduate residential communities. Area Coordinators work to establish an environment that will allow their residents to accomplish their academic goals and to participate in co-curricular personal growth experiences. Area Coordinators seek to develop a sense of community in each residence hall in their assigned area of responsibility. Area Coordinators also assist with addressing academic, personal, and social concerns of the students, and facilitates programmatic experiences. Through various connections, Area Coordinators are key contributors to many areas within the Division of Student Development and the University community.
    • Resident Assistants: Resident Assistants assumes a leadership role in all aspects of residence hall and apartment living and are integral members of the Office of Residence Life & Undergraduate Student Housing. They are responsible for supervising a community of about 25–60 students and are actively involved in assisting them with personal and academic problems, organizing social and educational programs, and performing various administrative functions.
  • Campus Maps
  • Parking

    University of Richmond Parking Services provides safe, convenient, and accessible parking for the faculty, staff, students, and visitors of the University.

Student Specific Frequently Asked Questions

Students may find the following student specific frequently asked questions helpful. Questions are also welcome to be send to us at

Applying for Accommodations

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  • I want to register for accommodations. How do I do that?

    Registration starts by submitting an application and documentation. You can read all about our application/registration process in more detail on our website!

  • I am considering registering with Disability Services, but I am worried that it may impact potential graduate school applications or job offers. What should I do?

    Disability status is extremely confidential and the University takes it very seriously. Information about disability status is not displayed on a transcript or on any other University documents unless you decide to disclose this information outside of Disability Services. The only people who have access to disability records/status information are Disability Services staff (currently limited to two people), and the Deans of your College. All of these people are bound to standard confidentiality rules; therefore, you are in control of who you disclose information to, when you do it, and the specifics of what you tell them. Your graduate program or potential employer would have no way of knowing anything about your disability unless you decided to disclose this information.

  • I’m not sure that I can provide documentation that meets your guidelines in order to register/apply for accommodations. What should I do?

    Please reach out to us! We always try to work with students in terms of what documentation they can provide, and we always take into account a student’s personal experiences in the accommodation approval process. While we can’t make any promises about accommodations without meeting you, our goal is to make Richmond accessible for everyone and we do not want for there to be barriers in the way of this simply because you don’t think you can provide documentation that meets our suggested guidelines. While there may be limitations in what we can do, we always do our best to work with students in regards to what they have access to.

  • I want to make sure I am approved for [insert accommodation here]. How do I do that?
    The University guarantees access to all things Richmond. However, there is no “magic wording” or way to guarantee an approval of any specific accommodation prior to the application process, as access can be granted in many different ways depending on each student’s specific needs. Decisions around accommodations are made by balancing input from students, documentation, and all application materials. Additionally, accommodations are matched to student need as far as access (not success) within the college environment, which is very different from K-12. This means that, even if a doctor, psychologist, or other provider specifies a “required accommodation” in their documentation, it does not guarantee an approval because the University is the expert in making decisions regarding reasonableness, appropriateness, and equal access. For these reasons, there is no way to make guarantees about specific accommodation approvals.
  • I was not approved for one of the accommodations I asked for. What do I do now?
    All decisions regarding accommodations are based on a three-question process that includes verifying the presence of a disability, identifying barriers that are the result of this disability, and then identifying appropriate and reasonable accommodations that mitigate or remove these barriers. When identifying barriers and appropriate accommodations, an important part of the process is differentiating between success, which is guaranteed in a K-12 setting, and access, which is what laws dictate in the college setting. If you believe a decision was made in error regarding these questions and approved accommodations, all students have the right to appeal a decision made by Disability Services. Our website provides details regarding the appeal process.

Utilizing Accommodations

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  • What do I do once I am approved for academic accommodations/what is my role as far as utilizing my academic accommodations?

    As a student, your biggest role in regard to using academic accommodations is disclosing your need to use them to your instructors. DS very strongly encourages you to do this with every instructor at the very beginning of each semester so that your accommodations needs can be met from the start! It’s always best to have a plan in place from the beginning. This process works by providing a copy of your DAN to your instructor (you can email it or give them a hard copy) *and* requesting a short meeting during office hours so the two of you can have a private meeting and work through the logistics of using your accommodations. This does not mean that some or all of your accommodations are optional--it just means that utilizing accommodation often requires collaboration between a student and their professor. Depending on what you are approved for on your DAN, your conversation might include a plan for using the Testing Center, a plan for communicating if you will be absent from class, or informing them that you use your phone as a recording device for lectures so there is no confusion about why your phone is on your desk. Every student’s conversation will be different, and the same student’s conversation may vary from instructor to instructor--and that’s totally Ok!

  • I get testing accommodations (or potentially other accommodations) and I just gave my DAN to my instructor. They are telling me that I can’t use my accommodations because they don’t have enough time to arrange for them. Is this allowed?

    Yes, in some instances. Instructors have up to 7 days from the time you give them a copy of your DAN until they are required to provide your accommodations. This is because some accommodations logistically take time to arrange. However, after this time frame, you are legally entitled to your accommodations. If you are unsure of what to do in a situation such as this, please contact Disability Services--we are here to help!

  • I’m approved for accommodations through Disability Services, and I forgot to give my DAN to my instructor before I realized I wanted to use an accommodation. I didn’t do as well on my assignment/test as I wanted, so I gave them my DAN to adjust my grade. They are saying they won’t make any changes. Can they do that?

    Yes. Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. This means that they cannot “go back in time” in order to apply to a previous situation before you gave your DAN to your instructor. Students are only entitled to their accommodations after disclosing their disability status by giving their DAN to their instructor (and ensuring receipt by having a meeting with them to discuss the logistics of using approved accommodations that semester). It’s for this reason that students are always encouraged (and reminded via email) to reach out to instructors about accommodations at the very beginning of the semester.

  • I get extended time as a testing accommodation. I want to take my test at a different time of day than my peers so I can use my extended time. How does this work?
    This depends on the reason why you would like to test at a different time than your class. The default of using testing accommodations is that everything about your testing experience should be equitable to that of your peers, except for the utilization of your accommodations. This means you should take the test at the same time as your class, as that is the most equitable scenario. Depending on your schedule, this may mean that you need to start somewhat earlier or plan to stay somewhat later based on your approved time. Personal obligations that conflict with you being able to test at the same time as your class (athletics, clubs, work, childcare, plans with friends, etc.) do not exempt you from following this expectation, as your accommodations do not include an approval to test when it is most convenient--they include extended time. The only exception would be a conflict in your class schedule--if you have a class conflict that prevents you from using extended time, please contact Disability Services so we can work with you on an alternative plan.


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  • Is my DAN (Disability Accommodation Notice--the document that verifies the accommodation[s] you are approved for) going to have details about my disability on it?

    Nope! Disability Services operates off of bare minimum disclosure and information-sharing when it comes to disability status and details. Your DAN will include: 

    • Your name
    • A blurb about the legal side of things
    • Your approved accommodations
    That’s it! If you would like to share additional details with your instructors or other persons on campus, such as your advisor (many students report that some information-sharing can be helpful), you are welcome to do so. However, it is absolutely not required by any means; many students choose to keep this information private, and that is totally Ok.
  • Does every professor see that I have accommodations, even if they aren’t needed for that class?
    Nope! You are in total control of who you disclose to, when you do it, and what you tell them. We have recommendations for what to do and when to do it, but it’s totally up to you. We do not disclose information on your behalf except in very rare circumstances, such as if your health/safety outweigh your confidentiality.
  • Who would see the reason(s) for my approved accommodations?
    DS records are considered to be *extremely confidential*. Generally, only DS staff, the Deans of a student’s college, and Test Proctors have access to student DS records (and Test Proctors only have access to a list of your approved test accommodation[s]). In some circumstances, other campus partners have access to certain DS information if they are involved with accommodation approvals and/or implementation (for example, housing accommodation requests are reviewed by a Committee, and specific Dining Services staff need to be informed of dietary needs so that accommodations can be implemented).
  • Is my instructor allowed to ask me for a doctor’s note or other documentation?

    NO. (This is a very hard no.) Disability Services exists so that students only need to disclose specifics about their disability to one entity on campus who is an expert in making decisions about appropriate accommodations. However, your professor absolutely has the right to--and should--ask you for your DAN, as that is verification of the accommodations that you were approved for. But remember, as noted above, a DAN contains no information about your disability--just your accommodations.

Specific Types of Accommodations

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  • I’m approved for 50% additional time for physical and virtual-based tests, quizzes, and exams. Does this 50% additional time also apply to take-home tests or papers?
    No. Extra time for tests is an accommodation that is meant to be used in instances where you could/would be expected to use the fully allotted time (in other words, work continuously and complete the task in one sitting). If the expectation is for you to complete a task within a certain timeframe, but it is not expected that you would continuously use the full time allotted, the accommodation for extra time does not apply. For example, if you have a week to complete a take-home exam, the expectation is not for you to work on the test 24 hours a day for 7 days. Rather, the long time frame is meant for you to complete the assignment at your own pace as it fits into your own schedule within that large time-span. Therefore, you are expected to complete the test within the standard one-week time allotted. It is important to plan ahead when budgeting your time for a long-term/large task such as a paper or take home test. We encourage you to reach out to the Academic Skills Center if you need help developing this skill--that is what they are here for!
  • My professor is saying they want me to take the test with them instead of using the Testing Center. Is this allowed?
    Yes. Students are entitled to their accommodations, which may involve an instructor opting into using our Testing Center. However, if your instructor is able to provide your accommodations themselves, they are welcome to do so--in fact, this is encouraged because it is a more equitable experience to that of your peers who are taking the same test proctored by that instructor. However, their proctoring hinges on being able to provide your approved testing accommodations.
  • I want to get an ESA. How do I do that?

    An ESA isn’t really something you "get." It is an accommodation that is approved by the University’s Housing Accommodation Committee. The University takes this application process quite seriously--pets are not approved as ESAs. However, the University absolutely recognizes that ESAs can be very beneficial for certain students.

    All students that wish to apply for an ESA go through an application process, which includes first completing our Emotional Support Animal Application, and then supplying documentation from a treating professional that supports the need for an ESA. We strongly encourage students to have their mental health providers complete our Emotional Support Animal Provider Request for Information Input Form. If a provider does not want to complete this form, we recommend they write a detailed letter that explains the impact of your diagnosis and how an ESA will mitigate your symptoms. You can read about his process in more detail on our Apply for Accommodations page.

    Of note, the Committee has yet to approve an ESA based on a letter purchased over the Internet from one of the many scam sites that provide very inaccurate information to the public regarding ESAs. Instead, we expect to review information from a treating professional who knows you very well, who is qualified to comment on the benefits of an ESA for you specifically, and who notes that an ESA is part of a holistic ongoing treatment plan.

    There are a couple things to note about ESAs:

    • ESAs provide therapeutic benefit for their person, and are not the same as a Service Animal (SA, which can only be a dog or a miniature horse). A SA is an extension of a person, as they have been trained to perform a specific task(s) to support their handler. For this reason, a SA can go anywhere their handler is allowed to go. However, an ESA is strictly a housing accommodation and is not allowed anywhere other than a student’s residence hall room and anywhere a typical pet is allowed (such as walking a dog on campus grounds).
    • There are unfortunately many scam sites and organizations that make promises about ESAs, provide for-fee letters that “guarantee” things around ESAs, and claim to be certification or registry sites for ESAs. Unfortunately, these sites are scams. There is no such thing as a certification or registry for ESAs. Along those lines, for-fee letters from websites often do not provide enough information for a student to be approved to have an ESA in University housing, despite what the website/organization may promise. Students are strongly discouraged from making purchases through these organizations/websites--they are often useless and do not actually guarantee anything in most instances.