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Procedures P-V-1.30Procedures for Student Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Related PolicyVersion Effective DateProcedures Contact
UMGC Policy V-1.30 Student Reasonable AccommodationNovember 10, 2023Accessibility Services

In order for UMGC to arrange for the accommodations that will best meet students’ needs, students will submit a detailed request for accommodations along with clear documentation of the disability or chronic medical condition.

  1. Reasonable Accommodation Request
    1. The following is a brief overview of the process for requesting accommodations.
      1. The student completes and submits the Accessibility Services Student Intake form.
      2. Accessibility Services emails the student links to upload documentation and schedule an appointment to discuss accommodations.
      3. The student schedules an intake appointment and submits documentation regarding the disability or chronic medical condition.
      4. After documentation is reviewed and the intake meeting takes place, Accessibility Services sends a draft accommodation letter to the student for review.
      5. The student responds to the email with any suggested edits to the letter, which will be reviewed and approved by Accessibility Services.
      6. After the letter is finalized, the student submits a request to have their accommodation letters distributed to faculty members for upcoming courses. This step is repeated before the start of each term (fall, winter, spring, and summer).
      7. Accommodation letters are distributed via email to the instructor, student, and program director one week before the start of the course or as soon as possible if the request is submitted after the start of the course.
      8. Accommodations are not retroactive and begin on the day the instructor receives the letter from Accessibility Services.
    2. On the Student Intake Form, the student will describe the specific accommodation request and return it to Accessibility Services. Medical documentation in support of the request should be submitted to Accessibility Services as soon as possible (we recommend within 10 business days* to ensure accommodations are received in a timely manner).
    3. Documentation should show that the student has a disability which currently or permanently causes an impairment.

    *This includes Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, excluding weekends, University holidays, or University planned and unplanned closures.

  2. Accommodation Determination
    1. Accessibility Services will review the student’s accommodation request and engage the student in an interactive dialogue to determine and implement a reasonable accommodation.
    2. During the communication process, Accessibility Services will consult with relevant faculty and staff and will conduct a student intake, and accommodations will be applied based on the discussion between Accessibility Services and the student. Occasionally, other departments, a third-party vendor, or outside disability-related organizations may also be consulted depending on the nature of accommodation being sought.
    3. All accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be implemented in a specific course or courses. In other words, an accommodation may be implemented in a specific course due to the nature of the assignments, assessments, or course materials but may not apply to other courses.
  3. Implementation
    1. Once a student completes the intake process, they are actively registered with Accessibility Services. Each term (e.g., fall, winter, spring, or summer), students will request that their accommodation letters be distributed in order to begin receiving accommodations in the new courses.
    2. Accessibility Services will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations within ten (10) business days after receiving the documentation needed to support a request.
    3. If a student believes they have been denied reasonable accommodations by Accessibility Services, they may appeal the decision by contacting the ADA Compliance Officer.
    4. If a student believes that reasonable accommodations are not being implemented by UMGC (e.g., by a program, by an instructor, or at an event), the student should contact Accessibility Services immediately. If Accessibility Services is unable to resolve the concern, Fair Practices should be contacted immediately.
    5. Faculty members are responsible for reviewing accommodation letters upon receipt. Any questions or concerns about whether an accommodation fundamentally alters the course or program should be directed to Accessibility Services, and the Program Director should be copied on these communications. Accessibility Services has a responsibility to respond to these communications in a timely manner. The student should not be included in the communication until the question or concern has been resolved. If Accessibility Services is unable to resolve the concern, the ADA Compliance Officer should be contacted immediately.
    6. The ability for the University to implement temporary accommodations does not guarantee that they can be provided long term. The process for requesting temporary accommodations is the same as requesting permanent accommodations. However, when accommodations expire, the interactive process will need to be revisited to ensure the student is receiving proper accommodations.
      1. Implementing a temporary accommodation may occur when:
        1. time is needed to research a permanent accommodation solution, to acquire equipment, or to arrange a service;
        2. it is necessary to test an accommodation to determine if it is effective;
        3. the medical impairment is temporary but sufficiently severe enough to entitle the student to an accommodation; or
        4. it is necessary to avoid temporary adverse conditions in the educational environment.
  4. Exceptions, Waivers, and Substitutions
    1. The process to request a course substitution or waiver due to the existence of a disability is initiated through Accessibility Services as part of the Accommodation Request. Accessibility Services will collaborate with the Academic Department to determine whether a substitution or waiver is an appropriate accommodation.
    2. To be eligible for consideration for a course substitution, the student will need to provide Accessibility Services with documentation from a certified professional, substantiating a disability and documenting its specific impacts on the student’s ability to complete the course. The proposed course substitution cannot constitute a fundamental alteration of the student’s academic program. The proposed course substitution must satisfy the degree requirements for a student’s academic program.
    3. In the case when a course substitution and/or waiver is not approved, Accessibility Services will communicate with the student to discuss and explore alternative accommodations.
  5. Complaint Procedures
    1. Students who believe that, in violation of this Policy, they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation due to their disability or who believe their reasonable Accommodation Plan is not being implemented, may file a complaint with Fair Practices, a unit within the Office of Diversity and Equity. These complaints can also be directed to the U.S. Department of Education. Contact information for these offices is below:

      UMGC Fair Practices Unit
      3501 University Boulevard East
      Administration Building
      Adelphi, MD 20783
      Phone: 800-888-8682 ext. 17955

      External Complaints
      Students may also file a Complaint externally by contacting:

      U.S. Department of Education
      Office for Civil Rights
      Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
      400 Maryland Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20202-1100

    2. Time Limits

      Complaints of discrimination or retaliation in violation of this Policy must be made within thirty (30) calendar days following an incident of discrimination or retaliation. Fair Practices may waive the time limit upon a showing of good cause.

  6. Related Policies and Resources
    1. UMGC Policy V-1.30 Student Reasonable Accommodation
    2. For more detailed procedures and forms, visit UMGC Accessibility Services.