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Reasonable Accommodations

To be eligible for accommodations through the Disability Resource Center, students must register with the Disability Resource Center and must have a documented disability condition as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Under the ADA and Section 504, a person has a disability if he or she has: (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (such as walking, standing, seeing, speaking, hearing, sitting, breathing, reading, learning, thinking, performing manual tasks, taking care of oneself); (b) has a record of such impairment; or (c) is regarded as having such an impairment.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to instructional methods and/or a course, program, service, activity or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity.  An equal opportunity means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly-situated student without a disability.  UIC is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known functional limitations of an otherwise qualified student with a disability.  Students are not charged for the cost incurred in providing reasonable accommodations, including auxiliary aids and services (e.g., sign language interpreters, note taking services, text conversion to alternative accessible formats, audio or video tapes, etc.).  To determine reasonable accommodations, the Disability Resource Center may seek information from appropriate University personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services and activities, or status of facilities.  Reasonable accommodations are determined through the collaboration of the Disability Resource Center with the student, faculty, individual departments, and outside professionals as warranted.

Reasonable accommodations are identified by examining:

  • The interaction between functional limitations and the campus environment;
  • Potential modifications or adjustments to be made;
  • Access to the course, program, service, activity or facility;
  • Essential components of the course, program, service, activity or facility.

In order to obtain accommodations by the start of a semester, the student should meet with the Disability Specialist as soon as possible, preferably at least six (6) weeks before the first day of classes.  Such notice will allow students and the Disability Resource Center staff a reasonable period of time in which to determine whether the requested accommodations are necessary, appropriate and effective, and to implement the resources for any necessary aid in a timely manner.  If you require materials for document conversion, please contact the Document Conversion Supervisor as soon as print materials and syllabi are obtained.

The Disability Resource Center staff will write an individualized Letter of Accommodation (LOA) which certifies that the student has a disability, cites the circumstances for which accommodations are needed, and describes the reasonable accommodations recommended by the Disability Resource Center.  Standard policies and procedures, established bythe Disability Resource Center, for assistive technology and services will be included with the LOA.  The LOA will also invite students and/or faculty to contact the Disability Resource Center if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations. The student with a disability should present the LOA to professors in the courses in which they are requesting accommodations. Students are encouraged to meet one on one with their professors to discuss their
accommodation needs. Accommodations are not retroactive, and are only valid once a professor receives his/her copy.

The Disability Resource Center staff will contact individual faculty members as necessary to discuss the purpose and rationale for the recommended accommodations, as well as the process by which they could be most effectively implemented.  Faculty will be expected to assist with the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary.  Faculty are not expected to compromise essential elements of the course or evaluation standards.

The student with a disability will be responsible for contacting the Disability Resource Center if reasonable academic adjustments are not implemented in an effective or timely way.  The Disability Resource Center will work with University personnel and students with disabilities to resolve disagreements regarding recommended academic adjustments/modifications. In addition to providing academic support services and other assistance to students enrolled in UIC programs, the Disability Resource Center consults with other campus units in providing access to students with disabilities.  In these instances the Disability Resource Center is primarily concerned with:

  • Advising and referring students to these and other campus units on matters for which those units have sole responsibility.
  • Assisting in the coordination of services and accommodations with other campus units.

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