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Disability Resource Center: Helping to ensure equal access to the University's educational, social, and cultural opportunities

Guidelines for Students with Disabilities

The University of Louisville is committed to equal opportunity and challenge for all academically qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of disability. Accommodations are available to encourage students with disabilities to take full advantage of the University's educational, social, and cultural opportunities.

The Disability Resource Center (Stevenson Hall, 852-6938) is responsible for the coordination of programs and services for qualified applicants for admission and enrolled students with disabilities. Determination of eligibility for services and appropriate accommodations is determined by staff of the Disability Resource Center after review of documentation of disability.

As needed, DRC staff will discuss the student's request for services with the student to determine appropriate accommodations and/or consult with the faculty member or other involved office regarding the request. When there is any question about the appropriateness of the student's requested accommodation, the DRC staff member will inform the student of the decision.

Questions or concerns related to requested accommodations not resolved with individual DRC staff should first be discussed informally with the Director of DRC and then be subject to informal consultation with the Dean of Students. Written student complaints submitted to the DRC will be addressed by the DRC in writing to the sender. Matters that remain unresolved may be formally presented by the student to the Director of Staff Development and Employee Relations located in the Human Resources Department by following the ADA Formal Complaint Procedure. A complaint should be filed within 180 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. Formal appeals include a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint, results of the informal meetings, and requested resolution. All formal appeals will be promptly investigated and a decision will be rendered within 60 working days of the date of receipt. Please contact the Office of Affirmative Action for additional information on the formal complaint procedure.

Applying for and Requesting Support Services

Referrals

Students and potential students are referred to DRC by publications such as University of Louisville application packets, schedules of classes and catalogs. Students are referred by community agency personnel, University of Louisville faculty and staff and other students, high school counselors, health care professionals, family members and others. Referrals are made verbally or in writing. Referrals should be routed to the appropriate coordinator or to the Director when DRC staff have questions regarding the appropriate staff member to work with a student.

Submitting documentation of disability

All students seeking assistance from DRC must disclose the presence of a disability. In most cases, the student will be asked to submit documentation of disability for review by the appropriate DRC staff person. Upon receipt and review of the documentation, an intake appointment will be scheduled. Contact the Disability Resource Center for additional information about guidelines for diagnostic criteria. Read our Documentation Guidelines for more information.

Intake appointment

After review of documentation, the appropriate coordinator will contact the student for an intake appointment. At this meeting, the student's eligibility for accommodations and anticipated needs will be discussed. Policies and procedures regarding specific accommodations, such as letters for faculty, exam accommodation, supplemental note-taking service, etc. will be discussed.

Requesting specific accommodations

Requests for accommodations coordinated by the Disability Resource Center are made by completing a Service Request Form (available at the Disability Resource Center) and submitting the form along with a copy of class schedule to the appropriate DRC Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the student to request specific accommodations each semester via the Service Request Form. Please remember that accommodations can generally occur only after submission of appropriate documentation, review by the coordinator, determination of eligibility for specific services, and request by student for specific accommodations.

Timeliness of requests

Submission of accommodation requests for instructor letters, exam accommodation, and supplemental note-taking services should generally be submitted no later than two weeks prior to beginning of term. Some accommodations (such as interpreter service and taped textbooks) require much more notice. Please refer to policies and procedures for specific accommodations such as reader service, interpreter service, for additional information on timeliness of requests. Although DRC staff will make reasonable effort to process all requests, untimely requests may result in delay of accommodations.

Academic Adjustments

Academic requirements will be modified, as necessary, to ensure that they do not discriminate against qualified applicants or currently enrolled students with disabilities. At the student's request, DRC staff recommend academic adjustments in compliance with legal mandates. Academic requirements that are essential to programs of instruction are not considered discriminatory.

Modifications shall not affect the substance of the educational programs or compromise educational standards. Students can ask the appropriate DRC staff member to provide a memo recommending academic adjustments for each class in which the student is enrolled. Because of the diversity of individual needs relating to disabilities and the uniqueness of each class, students must discuss their requests for course modifications with their instructors each semester.

DRC Availability

The staff is available to consult with students on an appointment basis, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Other hours may be available. To ensure that staff is available and have adequate time to meet with you, please call and schedule an appointment.

Accommodations for Specific Disabilities

Various accommodations may be available for students with specific types of disabilities. See our accommodations for specific disabilities page for more information.

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