Student Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Student Disability Accommodations

How does the University of Dallas accommodate individuals with disabilities?

The University of Dallas is committed to facilitating students with disabilities access to and participation in the University's programs, events, classes, and administrative activities. The specific accommodation that will be appropriate for a student is evaluated on an individual basis so as to best assist the student.

In order to ascertain the accommodations that are appropriate for an individual student, the student should submit a request for specific accommodations, as well as supporting documentation. The request and documentation will be evaluated by the ADA Committee. The student can start the process by submitting his or her request online at udallas.edu/ada-request.

Will I receive the same disability accommodations in college that I received in high school?

It is difficult to say without reviewing the accommodations you received and the documentation supporting those accommodations.

While the ADA and Section 504 apply at both the high school and college levels, they do not apply in exactly the same manner. The United States Department of Education has provided a helpful guide for students that explains some of the important differences between the way disability accommodations apply in the high school and college environments. That guide can be found here.

Regardless, any documentation and information you have relating to disability accommodations in high school may be useful in determining the accommodations that would be appropriate for you at UD.

How do I go about requesting a disability accommodation?

The first step is to submit a request for a disability accommodation. Disability accommodations are generally submitted online, through the University's online request form, which is available here. However, you may also contact the Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator directly. And always feel free to call, email, or stop by with any questions about the disability accommodation process.

What factors are used in determining whether to grant a disability accommodation?

Requests for any and all accommodations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with approval being based on two factors: (1) Is the accommodation requested appropriate? and (2) Is it reasonable? Accommodations are designed to allow the student to meet the same essential elements of their selected program that are required of all students, with or without a disability.

What sort of documentation do I need in order to receive disability accommodations?

The following documentation guidelines are used to verify the student's disabling condition(s):

  • A clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, information about the functional impact, and suggestions of appropriate accommodations provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.
  • All documentation must be on official letterhead, typed, and signed by the professional. Diagnosis written on prescription pads, handwritten, or stamped with a signature will not be accepted.
  • Documentation should be current. Common sense and discretion will be used in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying. However, in most cases, the documentation should not be more than three years old and in some cases it should be even more recent.

In addition, the ADA Committee has developed guidelines and verification forms to assist students in gathering appropriate documentation for certain disabilities and accommodation requests. You can find the guidelines and verification forms here.

Finally, while each institution conducts its own evaluation, you may find it useful to see the more detailed (and frequently disability specific) guidelines provided by the College Board, which administers the SAT. Those guidelines are available here.

Is it possible to receive accommodations relating to specialized dietary needs?

Yes, it is possible to receive accommodations relating to specialized dietary needs.

Students who have specialized dietary requests that are not based a disability should consult an Aramark representative to discuss how to customize their eating experience in light of their specific requests. Aramark is able to meet many specialized dietary requests. More information is available here.

Students who have specialized dietary requests that are based on a disability can consult an Aramark representative, but should also submit a disability accommodation request to the Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator here.

Is it possible to request an exemption from the meal plan based on disability?

Yes, it is possible to request an exemption from the meal plan based on a disability. Requests should be submitted to the Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator here.

Requests based on specialized dietary needs are treated as requests for an accommodation so as to receive the specialized diet. Consequently, the ADA Committee will review the request to determine whether the supporting documentation establishes a medical/disability-based reason for the specific diet. The ADA Committee then makes a recommendation for a diet-based accommodation.

The student presents the Committee's recommendation to an Aramark representative to review and comment on. The Aramark representative will acknowledge either that Aramark cannot provide the recommended diet-based accommodation or that it can provide the recommended diet-based accommodation.

The student then submits the recommendation and acknowledgement form to the Office of Student Housing for a decision as to the appropriate accommodation.