Accessibility Services

University of Maryland University College is committed to providing education that is accessible to students with disabilities. Accessibility Services assists students with disabilities in a timely manner.

We're Here to Help

Accessibiity Services are focused on access and reducing barriers to education for students with disabilities.

From here, you can find out about getting started at UMUC, registering for accommodations, eligibility requirements and much more.

After your registration process is completed, you will work with Accessibility Services staff to determine eligibility and identify types of accommodations that are available.

You can also explore self-advocacy resources, download forms and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Your Privacy is Protected

Students can chose whether or not to disclose health conditions to faculty members or classmates. Student Services and Accessibility Services will not disclose health issues or specific diagnoses.

Mission

UMUC recognizes students on the merits of their abilities rather than their disabilities.

At UMUC, our primary goal is commitment to our students' success and to maintain an educational partnership between students, faculty, staff and administration.

The Accessibility Services recognizes that disability reflects diverse characteristics and experiences and is an aspect of diversity integral to society and the university experience. In alignment with the university's core goals, the mission of Accessibility Services is to coordinate support services that provide equal opportunity for students to participate in all aspects of the educational environment. Through our initiatives, students can participate in UMUC's programs and services while adhering to the university's academic standards.

In advancing this mission, Accessibility Services seeks to provide the best accommodations and services possible to qualified students in the following ways:

  • Arrange academic adjustments and accommodations as mandated under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Work collaboratively with students, faculty, staff and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable and sustainable.
  • Educate and provide consultation to UMUC faculty, staff and administrators to promote awareness and sensitivity toward individuals with disabilities.
  • Provide students with disabilities the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to effectively advocate for themselves in the university community.

Get Started with Accessibility Services

Admission

All students, including students with disabilities and veterans, must meet minimum entrance criteria for any academic program at UMUC. There will be nothing in the application for admission asking you to disclose your disability. Your eligibility for services/accommodations from the Accessibility Services is a separate process and is independent from the Office of Admissions.

Self-Identification

You are responsible for self-identifying with Accessibility Services to inform the university about your disability and request academic accommodations. You will only be asked to provide documentation if you request services. Learn more about documentation requirements.

It is in your best interest to contact Accessibility Services early to submit the Student Intake Form and documentation. After you submit the Student Intake Form and documentation, Accessibility Services will send an e-mail notification acknowledging receipt of your materials.

Accommodation

Unlike high school, at the college level, students must initiate contact with Accessibility Services to receive services. The services you receive from Accessibility Services might be different from what you received in high school. Accessibility Services is not bound by your high school IEP.

The services and accommodations provided through Accessibility Services will be based on the documentation of your disability and will help eliminate barriers that may be present. Keep in mind that you will have to advocate for yourself and ask your instructors for the accommodations you need. Accessibility Services staff will advise you on the process.

If you have previously attended another college or university and received academic accommodations, you may request your file to be submitted to Accessibility Services, or you may submit new documentation. Accommodations may differ slightly at UMUC.

Register with Accessibility Services

Accessibility Services collaborates with students with documented disabilities and faculty to provide reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and support services that are individualized and based on medical documentation, functional limitations and a collaborative assessment of needs. To receive accommodations, students must complete the following process.

Step 1: Submit the Student Intake Form and Documentation

After a student has been admitted to the university, he or she should complete the Student Intake Form and submit it to Accessibility Services via e-mail to studentaffairs-europe@umuc.edu; or fax to  240-684-2590.

A student requesting reasonable accommodations must provide appropriate documentation. The documentation guidelines are helpful in working with a medical provider or licensed professional to ensure evaluation reports are appropriate to document eligibility and support requests for reasonable accommodations.

The Accessibility Services staff is available to answer any questions regarding documentation guidelines. The university will not pay medical providers or reimburse students for services rendered to meet the above documentation requirements.

Students are encouraged to start preparing as early as possible; some accommodations require significant planning in advance of the term.

Step 2: Intake Interview

After the Student Intake Form and documentation are received and reviewed, an Accessibility Services staff member will contact the student to schedule an intake interview via e-mail or phone. At the intake interview,the Accessibility Services staff member and the student will discuss the student's eligibility and individual needs. Accessibility Services and the student will tentatively agree on accommodations, campus resources, policies, procedures and responsibilities.

Step 3: Accommodation Notification Letter Developed

After the intake interview has been conducted, an Accommodation Notification Letter will be developed to identify the agreed-upon accommodations. The student will receive a copy of the Accommodation Notification Letter for his or her records.

Step 4: Communicate with Faculty

It is crucial that students keep faculty informed when requesting use of an accommodation. At the student's request, copies of the Accommodation Notification Letter can be distributed to faculty. It is the student's responsibility to communicate his or her accommodation needs to faculty as soon as possible. If faculty should receive a notification, then students should submit the Accommodation Notification Letter Request.

Step 5: Contact Accessibility Services Each Semester

It is the student’s responsibility to request services and request Accommodation Notification Letters prior to the beginning of each semester. After receiving the request, Accessibility Services staff will review the accommodation needs for the coursework. Accessibility Services will contact the student if additional information is needed to process a request.

Forms

Disability Verification and Accommodation Request Forms

Documentation for Disability Verification

Documentation provides the university with verification of a student's disability. It is the student's responsibility to provide documentation of a disability to Accessibility Services. Documentation requirements vary depending on the specific disability. In general, the less apparent the disability, the more information is required to determine a student's needs and make accommodation recommendations, Documentation should be recent, relevant, comprehensive and where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretations (e.g., learning disability reports, audiograms, etc.).

If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodations, the university has the discretion to require additional documentation.

Confidentiality

The university is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of current and former students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are entitled to privacy and discretion in the handling of all disability-related information. Disability information provided to Accessibility Services for accessibility requests, including documentation to establish the existence of a disability, is used solely for the purpose of enabling UMUC to provide supportive, academic and others services related to the student's disability. Disability-related information is collected and maintained separately from other academic information and is kept in secure files with limited access. Disability information is not considered part of a student's permanent academic record and is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

Disclosing a Disability

Students are under no obligation to disclose a disability unless an accommodation is being requested; likewise, faculty and staff have no authority to review disability documentation or obtain any information concerning a student's disability without a legitimate educational need to know.

Academic Records

Students' grades, transcripts and other academic information are also confidential and are only released in accordance with the law and UMUC policies and procedures. It is the students' responsibility to provide copies of grade reports and/or any other academic information to any agencies or individuals sponsoring that student.

Documentation Requirements

Students requesting accommodations and/or support services under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 must provide documentation of the existence of a disability that substantially limits a major life activity (e.g., learning, speaking, breathing, seeing, hearing, walking, etc.) Accessibility Services used an individualized process to establish reasonable accommodations based on the student's feedback and a review of all supporting documentation. Students may submit any documentation that is current and relevant, with the understanding that additional information may be required to support a specific accommodation request.

Documentation information should validate the need for services based on the individual's current level of functioning in the educational setting. A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan or Summary of Performance (SOP) can be submitted as documentation, as long as the information provided addresses the impact of the condition and assists Accessibility Services to determine a connection between the disability and the accommodation(s) being requested. Accessibility Services reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to support specific accommodations.

All Documentation Must

  • Be completed by an evaluator who has training and experience with adolescent/adult populations.
  • Include the evaluator's name, title, professional credentials, area of specialization, employer and state/province in which the individual practices.
  • Be typed, printed on letterhead, dated, signed and legible.

Examples of Accommodations at UMUC

Student needs will vary according to the nature of the disability and the individual course requirements. The university is not required to provide every accommodation that a student may request. Students should note that the requirements for accommodations for post-secondary education are different from the requirements for high school, and the accommodations themselves may differ. The student's preferences are considered but are not determining.

Accommodations may take many forms and generally can be grouped into three broad categories.

Teaching and Learning

  • Use of recorders for lectures
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Use of American Sign Language interpreters/transliterators
  • Use of particular types of desks and other furniture
  • Use of comprehensive syllabi (more detailed syllabi)

Demonstrating Knowledge

  • Examination modifications (e.g., extended time or testing in a quiet environment)
  • Extended time for assignments. Under certain conditions, extended time on assignments may be an appropriate accommodation. This accommodation must have supporting documentation. Granted on a case-by-case basis, this accommodation must be negotiated with the instructor in advance of the assignment due date. The student and instructor should come to an agreement on the specific amount of extended time and due date for each assignment receiving this accommodation.

Meeting Academic Requirements

  • Use of a scribe or note taker
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Reduced barriers for physical access to classrooms and other university facilities. Students with accessibility concerns should contact Accessibility Services by e-mailing studentaffairs-europe@umuc.edu as soon as they become aware of the need for an accommodation.

Examples of Accommodations Not Made

The university is not required to make, and does not make, accommodations that would reduce academic expectations or standards or eliminate essential components of any course. Open-book test or exams are not provided as an accommodation but may be a part or any particular instructor's methodology for instruction and testing.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students Have the Right to

  • An equal opportunity to access courses, programs, services and activities at UMUC.
  • Request reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.
  • Appropriate confidentiality of information regarding their disability, except when disclosures are required or permitted by law.

Students Have the Responsibility to

  • Maintain institutional standards for academic performance and conduct.
  • Register with Accessibility Services, and request an accommodation,
  • Provide appropriate documentation of a disability, including the functional limitation(s) of the disability and its impact on the access to and participation in courses, programs, services and activities at UMUC.
  • Follow procedures for requesting accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.
  • Request academic accommodations for each term in which the student is registered.

UMUC Has the Right to

  • Request and receive, through Student Services, current documentation that identifies the existence of a disability and explains the functional limitations of the disability.
  • Suggest appropriate and reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services based on documentation submitted.
  • Establish essential requirements and standards for courses, programs, services or activities at UMUC.
  • Select equally effective accommodations, adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.
  • Deny an accommodation, adjustment or auxiliary aid that fundamentally alters a course, program or activity.

UMUC Has the Responsibility to

  • Review submitted documentation without bias and seek appropriate relevant professional expertise when necessary.
  • Confer with the student and other relevant parties when determining accommodations, academic adjustments or auxiliary aids and services.
  • Provide information in accessible formats, upon request.
  • Respond to requests in a timely manner.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of documentation and information.

Self-Advocacy for Student with Disabilities

Advocacy skills are needed in many areas of our lives, including school, work and home. Becoming an effective self-advocate means having the ability to effectively communicate your needs to others.

Here are a few tips to assist you in reaching the goals you have set to accomplish.

  • Know your rights so that you may ask for what is available to you.
  • Know your strengths and challenges and how they affect you.
  • Plan ahead to make your term a success.
  • Work to find solutions to overcome barriers to reaching your goals.
  • Identify your needs, and come up with a plan to support those needs.
  • Identify your support system.
  • Get to know the instructors and administrators in your program.
  • Know how to communicate about your disability and how it impacts your academic performance.
  • Know how to ask for help and seek out resources when difficulties arise.
  • Recognize that long-term goals are reached by meeting many short-term goals.
  • Recognize and celebrate your successes.