Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Accommodations & Accessibility
An accommodation is a legally required modification or service that gives a student with a disability an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational process as their non-disabled counterparts. In other words, accommodations are adjustments to how things are normally done. Not every student with a disability will be eligible for, or need, an accommodation.
Accommodations do not lower academic standards or compromise the integrity of an academic program. Academic, conduct and technical standards will always be maintained. Accommodations are provided at no cost for eligible students.
In accordance with legal requirements, the University of Indianapolis must provide reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified person with a disability. When a qualified person with a disability requests an accommodation, the University makes a good faith effort to provide accommodations that are effective for that person.
Types of Accommodations
The nature of an accommodation depends upon the person’s disability and the requirements of the particular academic program. SSD determines appropriate and effective academic accommodations on a case-by-case method that are based on a student’s needs, strengths and goals. However, the person with a disability must be qualified for the program or academic major in which access is sought; must meet, with or without accommodations, the essential eligibility requirements of the program or academic major; and must be able to perform, with or without accommodations, the essential functions of being a student in a particular program or academic major.
- Changes to a classroom environment or task that permit a student with a disability to participate in the educational process
Example: Test-taking accommodations, such as extending the time allowed; permitting use of a dictionary or spell checker (unless test is designed to measure spelling ability); and providing a quiet room for test taking in order to decrease auditory or visual distractions.
- Removal of architectural barriers
Example: Adapting a residence room to meet the needs of a student who uses a wheelchair
- Provision of auxiliary aids and services
Example: Sign language interpreters, note takers or scribes for those with hearing impairments; permission to tape record lectures
The ADA does not require the University to provide an accommodation if doing so would cause an undue hardship. This means that the accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the University. The ADA also permits the University to require that an individual not pose a direct threat to the individual’s own health or safety as well as to that of others.
Please read the University of Indianapolis Service Animal Policy document for details.
Accommodations that are not Provided
- Personal devices, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids or glasses.
- Personal services, such as assistance with eating, toileting or dressing.
- Personal services, such as tutoring.
- Accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature of a program.
- Accommodations that lower or substantially modify academic or program standards.
- Accommodations that are unduly burdensome, administratively or financially.
The student is responsible for initiating the accommodations process. The process starts when a student contacts the Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSD) or a faculty or staff member to request a disability-related accommodation. If a student asks a faculty or staff member for an accommodation and has not had his or her disability verified by SSD, that faculty or staff member should refer the student to SSD.
A student must meet two criteria to be eligible for an accommodation. First, the student must meet the essential eligibility requirements of the program, service or activity in which he or she wishes to participate with or without an accommodation. This means that the student must meet the eligibility requirements in spite of his or her disability. Second, the student must have a documented disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act.
After a student’s disability has been verified, an SSD staff person will meet with the student to discuss what types of accommodations may be needed. The needs assessment considers the setting in which the accommodation will be provided, the characteristics of the student’s disability, the student’s goals and needs and the University’s legal rights and responsibilities. Based on the results of the assessment and relevant medical or psychological tests, SSD will approve the use of specific accommodations. Only accommodations that specifically address identified functional limitations caused by the student’s disability will be approved by SSD.
Often times, there is more than one way to accommodate a student’s needs. The law requires that a student be provided with effective accommodations, not the best or most expensive accommodation. Consideration will be given to the student’s preferred choice of accommodations. However, the University reserves the right to reject a student’s choice in lieu of another accommodation provided it is an effective alternative. In addition, the University is not required to provide accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that would fundamentally alter an educational program.
Qualifying for Disability Services
To qualify for disability services from Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), a student must:
- Apply and be accepted for admission to the University of Indianapolis through the regular admission process.
- Submit the Disability Accommodation Request Form (DARF) to the SSD office.
- Submit comprehensive and age appropriate documentation of a disability that requires accommodations to the SSD office. See documentation guidelines.
- Students with physical disabilities, mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, or chronic health disorders must submit the verification form completed by a licensed medical professional.
- Students with learning and attention disabilities must submit a psycho-educational report completed within the last three to four years by a licensed psychologist to the SSD office, in addition to the proper verification form. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are often insufficient as age appropriate and comprehensive documentation.
- Note: Records submitted to SSD are systematically destroyed after 5 years unless the student is still enrolled at the University. Students should keep the original copy of their own documentation.
- Discuss specific needs by scheduling an appointment with the SSD by calling 317-788-6153 or visiting Schwitzer Center 206.
It could take several weeks to arrange accommodations, so it is most helpful if students identify their needs prior to their arrival on campus or the beginning of a semester. However, Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) is available to work with students with disabilities at any point in the academic year. The SSD office is located in room 206 in the Schwitzer Student Center (second floor) and documentation should be submitted in this office. If you have questions about documentation or if you need copies of the required forms for submission, you can find them online or request them by calling 317-788-6153.
Registering for Disability Services
A student is not registered for disability services and may not receive accommodations until the appropriate documentation has been submitted to and approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Providing information to the Admissions office or discussing disability services with an admissions counselor or faculty member does not automatically register you for services.
Disability documentation submitted by a student is confidential. Any accommodation a student receives is confidential and will not be noted on a transcript or permanent record. UIndy will not release any part of the documentation without the student’s informed consent. Signing a release of information allows SSD to prepare accommodation memorandums for professors. These memorandums will be given to the student to personally deliver to his/her professor(s).