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 limitations of an otherwise qualified student with a disability. Students are not charged for the cost incurred in providing reasonable accommodations, including auxiliary aids/assistive technology 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 student, faculty, individual departments and the Disability Resource Center as warranted. These accommodations might encompass accommodations or services for Admissions and Registration, Assistive Technology, Classroom Access, Course Accommodations, Captioning, Document Conversion, Exam Accommodations, ASL/Oral Interpreting, Note Taking, Parking, and Transportation.
Reasonable accommodations are identified by examining:
- The barriers resulting from the interaction between the student's documented disability and functional limitations and the campus environment;
- The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers;
- Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, activity or facility without accommodations;
- Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, activity or facility are compromised by the accommodation.
Applying for and Obtaining Accommodations
To request disability-related services, students must contact the Disability Resource Center and make an intake appointment. Please refer to the Disability Resource Center Application for Services for further information.
In order to obtain aids or accommodations by the start of a semester, the student or prospective student who believes he or she will need assistance to participate in coursework should meet with a Disability Specialist as soon as possible, preferably at least six (6) weeks before the first day of classes. Such notice will allow the student 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 identify the resources for any necessary aid in a timely manner.
Students with disabilities are required to provide documentation of their disability and how it may limit their participation in courses, programs, services, activities and facilities of UIC.
The Disability Resource Center will file official documentation of the disability, including information about the functional limitations related to the disability. The Disability Resource Center will insure that disability-related documents are kept confidential and shared with UIC personnel on a limited and need-to-know basis.
The Disability Specialist and the student with a disability will discuss the interaction between the disability and the academic environment in order to determine reasonable academic adjustments and modifications. Consultation with faculty, staff, and outside professionals regarding essential elements and reasonable accommodations will occur in situations that are new, complex or sensitive.
The Disability Specialist will outline the process for the provision of reasonable accommodations and will present this verbally and in writing to the student. In determining reasonable accommodations specific to documented disabilities, the following questions will be addressed:
- What are the academic circumstances for which reasonable accommodations are being sought?
- What accommodations will be provided?
- Why will these accommodations be provided?
- When and/or to what degree will they be provided?
- Who is responsible for providing the accommodations?
- How will the accommodations be provided?
The Disability Resource Center service 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. The LOA will also invite students and/or faculty to contact the Disability Resource Center if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations.
Standard policies and procedures, established by the Disability Resource Center, for services will be included with the LOA.
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 may choose to deliver the LOA to his/her instructors, or may ask the Disability Resource Center to send it to faculty. When faculty are unavailable, the student will consult the appropriate department head. If neither faculty nor the department chairs are available, the student should immediately request assistance from the Disability Resource Center.
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 disabled students. 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.
Students with disabilities are encouraged, but not required, to register with state rehabilitation agencies, the Veteran's Administration, or similar agencies in order to obtain the full range of services to which they might be entitled.