Accommodations and Disability Access
Accommodations and Disability Access (formerly Disability Support Services) is the department on campus that supports individuals with disabilities in obtaining reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access in the classroom, online learning environments, and the campus community. We also advocate for accessibility and understanding on campus, work as a liaison between students with disabilities and their faculty, provide consultation and training for faculty and staff, and support students in developing self-advocacy skills.
The ADA department supports individuals with medical conditions, physical impairments, psychological disorders, hearing or vision impairments, temporary injuries or conditions like pregnancy, as well as individuals who may be neurodivergent, such as those with learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, or those on the autism spectrum. Individuals with these conditions should contact us to discuss their accessibility, assistive technology, and accommodation needs. Those who believe they may have a disability but have not been diagnosed, are also encouraged to contact us. We may be able to support you through the process of having your needs evaluated through Dominican or external resources.
Additionally, our department has brought Kurzweil literacy software to the Dominican campus community, in an effort to promote accessibility and inclusivity. Any Dominican University student, faculty, or staff member who thinks they would benefit from using this text-to-speech/speech-to-text program can contact us at ADA@dom.edu to request a user license and software training.
Requesting and Utilizing Accommodations at DU
Initial inquiries about accessibility and accommodations for students should begin with the Accommodations and Disability Access office. We recommend that students connect with us at least four weeks before the beginning of a new semester or academic year; however, students can request accommodations at any time. We encourage students who received accommodations through an IEP or 504 plan in high school contact us upon admittance to DU, so that we can support you as effectively as possible during this transition. While faculty and staff can consult with us about their own accessibility needs, inquires about accommodations for faculty and staff should begin with the Office of Human Resources.
1. Make your Accommodation Request: The first step in requesting student accommodations at DU, is to complete the Confidential Request for Accommodations form. Upon completion, please submit the form to ADA@dom.edu or bring it to our staff in the Academic Success Center (ASC).
2. Submit Documentation: Documentation of disability can enhance the information available when assessing your accessibility and accommodation needs. Helpful documentation may be copies of an IEP, 504 plan, or psychological/psycho-educational evaluation from high school, or documentation from a medical or mental health provider. While documentation is recommended, we recognize that barriers exist to accessing documentation. Students are encouraged to meet with ADA staff without the need for documentation in hand at the time of the first conversation. Determinations on individual documentation needs will be made during the initial meeting with the student.
3. Attend an Intake Meeting: Upon receipt of your Confidential Request for Accommodations, ADA staff will contact you to schedule an intake meeting, where will engage in an interactive process to evaluate your needs and determine appropriate accommodations at DU. If additional documentation will be necessary to approve your accommodation request, we will share that with you during the intake meeting.
4. Initiate Accommodations: Following the intake meeting and approval of accommodations, students will receive an ADA approval form to share with faculty and/or housing staff. Students can select which faculty members they would like to notify, as well as decide which accommodations they will use for a given class or semester. Students may choose to share information about their specific diagnoses or disability, or they can keep that information confidential. We understand that communicating about your accommodations and/or disability may be challenging for some students. Any student who is approved for accommodations who would like assistance communicating with faculty should contact ADA@dom.edu, and we can provide assistance.
Appealing an Accommodation Decision or Filing a Grievance
- If your accommodation request is denied by Accommodations and Disability Access staff, you have the right to appeal the decision and your request will be reviewed again by a designated campus committee. To start the process of appealing an accommodation decision, email ADA@dom.edu.
- If you have been approved for accommodations, but feel that your accommodations are not being met on campus, please contact us. We are here to support you, advocate with faculty, and help determine if a particular accommodation can be met in a given class, program, or setting. We can also help facilitate communication between you and any faculty or staff, to help promote understanding.
- Any individual who feels they have been discriminated against due to disability or access needs can file a grievance by submitting a report through Dominican University's One Process reporting system.
Commitment to Nondiscrimination
The American with Disabilities Act, as amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination based on ability. Dominican University strives to create an environment that is accessible to its entire community and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of physical or mental disability. Accessibility is not limited to physical spaces but includes the following basic rights:
- Access to services, programs, and any events and activities organized by Dominican University
- Access to information from Dominican University as readily as others are able to access it
- The expectation of the same level and quality of service from Dominican University that others receive
To ensure equal access, and realizing that equal does not always mean the same, the University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations, including appropriate auxiliary aids and services, academic adjustments (inside or outside the classroom), and/or modification to the University’s policies and procedures, to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless providing such accommodations would result in an undue burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the relevant program or activity
To learn more about Accommodations and Disability Access or to request access or disability accommodations, please contact:
Accommodations and Disability Access
(708) 524-6659 (fax)
Alison Healy, MAT, LBS1
Accommodations and Disability Access Coordinator